AMA Austin: Mobilizing the Future

By Josh MelerDecember 12, 2013AMA, austin ama, Events, Mobile

iPhone_5_AMA Spread

Great News for the Austin AMA and Josh Meler of AVAI Mobile Solutions! The Global AMA wrote an article featuring the Austin AMA Mobile App!

Download the Full Article (.pdf)

“Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest – social media channels change more rapidly than the weather nowadays. It is important that marketers keep up with this ever changing platform because each social media channel is a way for companies to reach out and relate to consumers. No chapter knows this better than AMA Austin, who upped the ante this fall by introducing the AMA Austin mobile app.”

The app was first brainstormed by AMA Austin volunteer Josh Meler, who works for AVAI Mobile Solutions. AVAI and Meler approached AMA Austin in the spring of this year with the idea for the app. “What better [organization] than AMA?” Meler stated, adding that AMA’s assistance and guidance to young marketers is what inspired him to create the app. Chapter President Melanie Brenneman gladly welcomed Meler’s idea. “Austin is becoming the next Silicon Valley.” she said, explaining how the chapter’s need for a mobile app was crucial. “We needed a way to share information that was easily accessible [to our members.]”

Launched this September, the app has already received 150 downloads. “The Events feature was the most important,” Meler stated. “Users can add events to their personal calendar, see a map to the event, and create reminders.” The multi-functional app also allows users to post photos straight to their social media accounts (Brenneman also mentioned the Photo Booth feature, which allows users to add fun graphics and frames to their pictures). There are links to job openings, surveys, board information, and tabs detailing the benefits of joining AMA.

When developing the app, the most important factor was accessibility, both for those using the app and those maintaining it. “I am not Computer Science major, I am a marketer,” Meler clarified when speaking about the manageability of the app. “What’s great about AVAI’s mobile platform is how easy it is to use.” Meler explained how changes to an app, such as adding a new event, typically take one to two weeks to write, approve, and publish. With the Content Management System (CMS) provided by AVAI, Meler and other volunteers involved with updating the app are able to make changes and add new information within the app in no time at all. “It’s pretty seamless.”

The app is available for iOS and Android users as well as a PC download. QR codes are displayed at every AMA Austin event, making downloading the app fast and convenient for all current and potential members. The app is also a “native mobile app” meaning it is functional with or without Internet connection. When asked what advice he would give to other AMA chapters thinking of creating an app, Meler said, “Don’t just have an app to have one. You need a reason.” Brenneman added, “It is about keeping people involved. The marketing channel has changed over the last five years. People are mobile and we have to stay with the times.”

About Josh Meler

AVAI Mobile Solutions

josh-headshotJosh Meler is currently the Marketing Manager for AVAI Mobile Solutions, an Austin-based mobile application development firm offering a platform approach to mobile app management. Here he helps formulate market strategy, articulate brand messaging, and implement a variety of marketing initiatives and campaigns. Josh is enthusiastic about mobile innovation and is excited for the technological hub Austin is quickly becoming. Josh graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Originally from the Kansas City area, Josh has lived in Austin, TX for about 2 years. He is an avid runner, with recent improvements as a triathlete. Josh also has a diverse creative background, and enjoys finding the time to pursue his imagination.