Spotlight on AMA Volunteer Melody Chuang

Get to Know Melody Chuang, Our May Volunteer of the Month

Melody Chuang, Austin AMA Volunteer

Melody Chuang

Account Architect, TrendKite
Volunteer of the Month, May 2016

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

Los Altos, CA – a suburb south of San Francisco located in the Silicon Valley.

WHAT IS YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE?

I’m on the membership committee as the Chair of Collegiate Relations and also help manage our social media accounts with the technology committee.

WHAT IS YOUR DAY JOB?

Account Architect at TrendKite

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE AMA?

I joined AMA shortly after graduating to expand my professional network. Joining AMA has been one of the best decisions I’ve made post-grad; the amount of support, advice and mentorship I’ve received from seasoned professionals has been invaluable.

WHAT (OR WHO) IS YOUR FAVORITE MARKETING BLOG OR THOUGHT LEADER?

Seth Godin, hands down! I love how inspiring he is – I recommend his writing to everyone.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’VE BEEN INSPIRED BY LATELY?

People. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the people that have been placed in my life, whether intentionally or by chance. I’m becoming more and more aware of how big a role connections can play in your life and it’s amazing to see how chance encounters can lead to such great things in the future.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD:

Curious.

Connect with Melody on LinkedIn.

Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs. Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site to get started.

Jetaya McGhee, April Volunteer of the Month

Get To Know Jetaya McGhee, Our April Volunteer of the Month

Jetaya McGhee, April Volunteer of the Month

Jetaya McGhee

Director of Events, Incoming VP of Programming
Volunteer of the Month, April 2016

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

New Rochelle, NY

WHAT IS YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE?

Director of Events, Incoming VP of Programming (2016/2017)

WHAT IS YOUR DAY JOB?

Membership marketing for a not-for-profit association.

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE AMA?

I joined AMA as a way to connect with like-minded professionals. As a remote professional, it can become challenging to develop relationships and idea-share with peers. Being involved with AMA Austin provides me with an opportunity to learn, engage with peers, and grow professionally.

WHAT (OR WHO) IS YOUR FAVORITE MARKETING BLOG OR THOUGHT LEADER?

I enjoy perusing many marketing blogs, however I have come to enjoy INTERGEEK quite a bit. Check him out!

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’VE BEEN INSPIRED BY LATELY?

Alejandra Costello is a professional organizer. She has inspired me to attempt a professional home re-organization, without the professional.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD:

Transformational

Connect with Jetaya on LinkedIn.

Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs. Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site to get started.

How Austin’s Business Culture Inspires Entrepreneurial Success

How Austin’s Business Culture Inspires Entrepreneurial Success

This is an edited version of a post that Jennifer Bankston published on LinkedIn.

Read any headline about the fastest growing cities in America, and Austin is among the top of the list. After all, it unseated Silicon Valley, and hit #1 in the U.S. as a city for start ups (Kauffman Index Report 2015). The surrounding hill country with magnificent Texas wildflowers in spring is simply breathtaking. But, Austin’s true uniqueness is its culture. When I arrived almost three years ago, I had a few phone numbers from friends and former colleagues. I half-expected one call but instead received invitations to luncheons, happy hours and a “How can I help you?” from senior-level entrepreneurs, inventors, technologists, marketers and other professionals. I gained mentors, colleagues, peers and friends at Austin Tech Breakfasts, the Capital Factory, meetups and the Austin Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Recently, my firm was proud to co-sponsor a women’s entrepreneurial panel as part of our “Women in Leadership Group.” I realized that Austin’s ‘je ne sais quoi’ is its welcoming nature that draws you in with a warm embrace—whether you interface with lifelong Austinites, the college students who never leave or newbies from around the globe like me.

Each Austin-based panelist including moderator, Melinda Garvey, an entrepreneur herself, co-founder and publisher of Austin Woman Magazine and On the Dot, provided mantras on what has helped to define their entrepreneurial successes. Their three primary tips of creativity, authenticity and knowing oneself might be a roadmap to put your own entrepreneurial aspirations into action.

Be Creative: “It’s fine to be bored. Boredom begets creativity.”– Yvonne Tocquigny, Founder and CEO of Tocquigny, an internationally recognized digital marketing agency

The ability to generate ideas and be creative is one that requires time without distractions. Not having anything to do usually means time to self-motivate and taking time out to think. For example, in creating brands for companies, one needs to spend time with a blank canvas as the beauty and success of a brand permeates to end-users in a personal way.

Be Authentic: “Be confidently authentic.”Blake Shanley, Founder of Noun Connectors and Tiny Taiga

Not only does it take being confidently authentic to inspire oneself, but it takes authenticity to inspire others, too. The learning process is a continuum—a building block for not morphing into something else for the sake of business. Entrepreneurship is a learning process both from others and their experiences and in taking time to reflect on your own.

Know Yourself. Know Your Client: “Get to know yourselves and your clients in order to get things done.”– Lisa Henken Ramirez, Vice President for Customer Experience at NetSpend

Sometimes, you have to build new programs in order to achieve maximum results. In the case of increasing the lifetime value (LTV) of a client, and promoting loyalty, retention and referrals, this often entails in-person discussions with your clients to understand their business needs. At the same time, being able to push yourself a little out of your comfort zone can be highly impactful.

But that’s not all. Each of these panelists and the moderator stated that their successes can be attributed to giving back in their community, Austin. Today’s intern is tomorrow’s client. Or someone more junior asking for advice is a future partner. Or not. The Austin how-can-I-help-you culture is simply to give back to the community in full measure.

While this native New York/New Jersey lady may still sing Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl,” with a little more conviction than “Amarillo by Morning,” Austin is a very special place to call home.

About the Author

Jennifer BankstonJennifer S. Bankston is Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at McGinnis Lochridge in Austin, TX. She is responsible for spearheading the Firm’s strategic and tactical business development initiatives as well as managing its marketing and communications efforts. She has over twenty years of experience in working in various industries including technology, legal, financial services, energy, life sciences and healthcare. As a volunteer with Austin AMA, she currently serves on the communications committee and is a former VP of Communications for the group.

You can find her on LinkedIn.

Member_Spotlight_Robynne_Trifiletti

Get to Know Robynne Trifiletti, Our March Volunteer of the Month

Robynne Trifiletti

Robynne Trifiletti

Freelance Graphic Designer
Volunteer of the Month, March 2016

Where did you grow up?

San Antonio, TX, Cape Canaveral, FL and Baltimore, MD.

What is your volunteer role?

Organizing the monthly Marketing Mornings Meetup.

What is your day job?

Freelance graphic designer

Why did you join the AMA?

I worked in event marketing for several years, and although my primary focus these days is design, I still recognize the importance of marketing and design collaboration in business. Being a part of AMA allows me to get to know local professionals and keep up to date with the latest industry trends.

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

I don’t really follow any marketing blogs, although I’m a big fan of Medium. I do have a few favorite creative leaders that I idolize and draw inspiration from daily: Emily McDowell, Anna Bond, Tina Roth Eisenberg and Ashley Rose. Check them out and be amazed!

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

Adult coloring books. I’ve always loved to color and draw, so this is one of my new favorite trends.

Describe yourself in one word:

Resourceful

Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs. Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site to get started.

Many Thanks to our Annual Sponsors:

Austin_AMA_Member_Spotlight

Get to Know Kathryn Krol, Our February Volunteer of the Month

Kathryn Krol, Austin AMA Volunteer

Kathryn Krol

Marketing & Business Development Manager, Trimtastic
Volunteer of the Month, February 2016

Where did you grow up?

Munster, Indiana

What is your volunteer role?

I am a part of the technology committee, which is responsible for Austin AMA’s social media activity. In particular, I post content for our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

What is your day job?

I am learning that as I go. I recently left a position at Texas A&M University in Marketing Communications to accept the challenge of helping form a high-end trim carpentry, installation and design company here in Austin. This new company is a merging of three entities, and I am functioning both as a business development advisor and the marketing director as I am developing the new company’s marketing program from start to finish (if there is such a thing). I love it. Helping companies transition to the next level is my specialty.

Why did you join the AMA?

I wanted to network with a variety of marketing professionals who were not only serious about their craft but came from a range of companies, businesses, backgrounds and skillsets. I joined Austin AMA while still living in College Station because I liked the energy that came through its own marketing. Now that I have been a part of Austin AMA, I believe Austin has a lot of marketing talent that it hasn’t even begun to fully utilize. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Austin leading industry-wide marketing trends at some point in the future.

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

Lately, I have fallen in love with HubSpot. It’s my go-to site because it features smart blogs from a variety of marketers and has an eye on marketing industry news, tips and information—all with a visually appealing aesthetic and a light sense of humor.

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

All I can say is that the year 2015 was one huge inspiration. So many changes and forward moves occurred that I have no problem believing 2016 will be even better. In other words, I guess it’s easier to say ‘change’.

Describe yourself in one word:

Bold (but I still hate public speaking).

Connect with Kathryn on LinkedIn.

Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs. Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site to get started.

Many Thanks to our Annual Sponsors:

SXSW Interactive: Five Recaps from 2016

SXSW Interactive: Five Recaps from 2016

Did you go to SXSW Interactive this year? If so, lucky you. You likely saw a mix of insanely cool tech and heard mind-blowing facts, stats and trends after the POTUS and between power naps. For the rest of us, we can only live vicariously through the Twittersphere and bloggers who took time to log their learnings.

For anyone with South By FOMO, here’s a recap of the recaps — cherry-picked just for you:

[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info”] What’s next for CX?

This piece connects the dots with 2016 customer experience trends and forecasts—including the power of virtual reality and integrating digital experiences into physical spaces. And if you’re craving post-SXSW CX insights, don’t miss the Austin AMA’s CX panel on March 31.
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[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info”] Superbabies and Supercomputers

Sessions about DNA sequencing and artificial intelligence identified the good, the bad and the outright spectacular sides of smart tech—and brought sci-fi scenarios into a foreseeable future.
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[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info”] Non-tech and Tangible Stuff

One New York Times writer mentioned this year’s abundance of non-tech products that just help people live better lives—from brain-boosting supplements to chewable coffee cubes.
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[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info”] Smells like Good Marketing

You should know that the sense of smell is an underutilized one when it comes to storytelling, and this recap from the Austin Chronicle tells us how that could change.
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[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info”] Exceptional Brand Experiences

How do you get everyone to notice your brand at SXSW? You blend digital with physical tactics for an immersive experience that puts the word “booth” to bed. CNBC recognizes those who did just that—including Gatorade, American Greetings and Spotify.

And if you just glazed over that heap of copy, check out the SXSWi in photos from AustinInno.

Maybe next year, SXSW.

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About the Author

Bana JobeBana Jobe
Communications Manager, Marketwave

With a passion for writing, Bana focuses on content strategy—from editorial direction to measuring/reporting content performance and analytics. As communications manager for Dallas-based Marketwave, she represents the agency’s Austin presence. She serves on AMA Austin’s technology committee as blog manager.

[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-linkedin”] LinkedIn [icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-twitter”] Twitter [icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-globe”] Company Website
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Many Thanks to our Annual Sponsors:

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Member Spotlight - Melissa Love

Get to Know Melissa Love, our January Volunteer of the Month!

Melissa Love, January Volunteer of the Month

Melissa Love

Marketing Consultant
Volunteer of the Month, January 2016

Where did you grow up?

Mattoon, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana

What is your volunteer role?

Sponsorship Committee

What is your day job?

Marketing Consultant

Why did you join the AMA?

It is a great way to meet like-minded people who are genuinely passionate about marketing and helping businesses grow.

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

Steve Stoute, Founder and CEO of Translation

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

I continue to be inspired by unbiased and selfless collaboration. For instance, when colleagues show up to brainstorms with nothing more than their creative ideas and ingenuity for the benefit of the project.

Describe yourself in one word:

Funny.

Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn.

Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs. Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site to get started.

Many Thanks to our Annual Sponsors:

Be Relentless: Five Questions for Jeffrey Hayzlett

Be Relentless: Five Questions for Jeffrey Hayzlett [Event Preview]

In business (and marketing especially), limitations exist everywhere—mostly in our minds and in the stories we tell ourselves. So how can we overcome them? Everyone can think big, but the art is in acting bigger.

So says Jeffrey Hayzlett, upcoming speaker at Austin AMA’s February luncheon, “Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless” held Feb. 26 at Abel’s on the Lake. We definitely hope to see you there, but until then, we caught up with Jeffrey for a sneak preview of his upcoming talk:

Where’s the balance between being bold and brash – or is there one?

There shouldn’t be one. In fact, the job of a marketer is to create tension and push things beyond what they are to create growth.

As marketers, it’s not always easy being irrational – often because of board expectations, corporate politics and other obstacles. How can we steamroll those obstacles without steamrolling the people behind them?

One shouldn’t wake up every morning hoping to be stupid. No one wants to fight fights you can’t win. However, as marketers our jobs are to take things beyond where they are presently. In order to do that, you’re going to have to push some boundaries. Be irrational in saying you’re going to exceed customer expectations, increase revenue or higher growth margins.

One of the featured topics in your book is to “clean your own bathroom.” What do you mean by that?

Set an example for other people. That’s what I mean. Don’t be afraid to do any job that’s needed in order to get it done. Just because you’re the Chief Marketing Officer in a multi-million dollar retail business, doesn’t mean you can’t put a t-shirt on and visit the stores to learn more about customer experience. Know everything about your business from the bottom to the top.

From your experience, are there any Texas-based brands that have particularly embraced the “act bigger” mantra? Which ones and how?

The Dallas Cowboys. They have become not only a regional team but also a national team. A team that has fans not just all over the United States but all over the world. That’s saying something. That is a group that says we’re going to be bigger, badder versions of ourselves.

Another one, I think, was the early Dell. The verdict is still out on the new Dell, but the early Dell for sure. The Michael Dell who flew to Sioux City, South Dakota, to drop t-shirts off at his competitor’s, Gateway, offices. That’s bold. That’s thinking big and acting bigger.

What’s one action that we could start doing today—and everyday—to be more bold and relentless in our job roles?

First, have clear conditions of satisfaction. Know your role as a performer or customer and what promises you have made in that role. Then make sure everyone delivers on those promises. Second, focus on the things that matter today to get you where you need to go tomorrow.

Learn more Jeffrey at the Austin AMA’s next luncheon on Feb. 26: “Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless.”

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About The Speaker

Jeffrey Hayzlett
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, a prime time television show host on CSuite TV, and a radio host on CBS Radio’s Play.it and C-Suite Radio. From small businesses to international corporations, his creativity and extraordinary entrepreneurial skills have enabled him to lead ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into the c-suite and business strategy, mass marketing prowess and affinity for social media. He is a well-traveled public speaker, the author of the bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet, and one of the most compelling figures in business today.

Jeffrey is a leading business expert, cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business, and C-Suite TV. Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. Drawing upon an eclectic background in business, buoyed by a stellar track record of keynote speaking and public appearances, and deeply rooted in cowboy lore, Jeffrey energizes his role driving and delivering change. He is a turnaround architect of the highest order, a maverick marketer who delivers scalable campaigns, embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a remarkable cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.

5 Questions for Yvonne Tocquigny on Selling Ideas

5 Questions for Yvonne Tocquigny on Selling Ideas

Whether or not we’d like to admit it, we’re all in sales. Yes, even marketers. We have ideas. They need to be sold. And most of the time, the person you’re pitching your idea to has an attention span of three minutes or less. It’s important to make that time count. Enter the nuanced art of selling ideas.

Catch Yvonne Tocquigny, Chief Creative and Strategy Officer at Archer Malmo for an engaging Special Interest Group (SIG) session on Jan. 27 from 7:30-9AM: You’ve Got a Great Idea… Now, How Do You Sell It?, held at Waterloo Ice House (breakfast tacos included!). In the meantime, we caught a quick preview below:

1. You’ve written before about generational differences in marketing to millennials and boomers. Could the same be said for selling ideas? Do you think idea-selling changes as generations evolve?

Different generations have different values and care about different things. So to sell to each generation, you must understand what motivates them, what they need and what they fear. However, the fundamental principles of how you go about understanding the audience and relating to them is the same.

2. What’s one common mistake that people make when selling ideas?

The most common mistake people make is that they fail to truly focus on the person they are selling to. They fail to understand their audience and they focus on what THEY want to say and what THEY want to sell.

3. How can they fix it?

Listen to the customer. Make sure you’re selling something that is truly relevant to them. Shape your offering and your message to fit them.

4. What are some blogs, books or other texts that you recommend to improve idea-selling, and why?

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is an excellent book on how to effectively convey your message and persuade an audience.

5. What’s one action that we could start doing right away to better sell our ideas?

Spend less time talking and more time listening. Most presentations would be better if they were shorter. More succinct. More powerful. Listening builds trust and creates common understanding. The better we understand our audience, the more effectively we can relate to them. Many times, presenters have the illusion that as long as they are talking, they are in control. And if they are in control, they can continue to “sell” and have a better chance of victory. The opposite is actually true.

Learn more about selling ideas from Yvonne at the Austin AMA’s next SIG event – click the link below for more information!

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Yvonne TocquignyIn 1980, Yvonne Tocquigny launched her company, Tocquigny (TOH-KEY-KNEE), and from its inception, the digitally minded creative shop has focused on transforming brands. Adweek, B2B and Clutch have all named Tocquigny a top agency, honors reflective of the shop’s work for clients such as CITGO, Jeep, Dell, Hitachi, USAA and Caterpillar.

Collecting and building a talented team of makers, thinkers and doers — all working within a company culture that complements the uniqueness of Austin — Yvonne is regarded as a forward-thinker in the industry, one who looks beyond the norm to reach goals and objectives.
In 2015, Tocquigny joined forces with Archer Malmo, a leading brand communications agency based in Memphis. As Creative and Strategy Officer of Archer Malmo, Austin, Yvonne remains a popular columnist for the Austin Business Journal and is a frequent speaker for groups of CEOs across the country, international Six Sigma organizations, CEOs in the banking and finance industry and groups of startup entrepreneurs. Recently, Yvonne presented at BMA15, the largest B2B marketing conference in the world.

Yvonne is a Founding Partner and mentor for The Capital Factory, an incubator for startup companies that draws business talent from across the country. She is an inaugural member of the Advisory Council for the School of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Texas and a member of the Advisory Board of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

Five tips for writing a PR or marketing award entry

Five Tips for Writing a Marketing Award Entry

Over the years, I’ve had the fortune of being involved in extraordinary work, learning from some of the best minds in marketing and PR along the way. Having been able to both participate in the work and participate in merchandising it (through case studies and award entries), I’ve learned that success and recognition (usually) go hand in hand.

But not always. By virtue of quality, exceptional work doesn’t mean it will be showered in trophies. And if sold well, slightly less exceptional work can win just as well. Most often, it all boils down to the pages within the award submission.

What goes into a winning award entry? Well, for starters, the work’s got to be stellar, but the act of composing the entry is a nuanced art. Here’s what can separate trophy-worthy work from the pile:

1. Quantify and qualify the results.

Obviously, the results section is one of the most important pieces of the entry. It’s where you really sell the success of the campaign—show its impact and how it influenced decisions, increased purchases or generated awareness. To fully tell that story, inject both quality indicators and quantity metrics within the section. For example, if you’re discussing a campaign that has content marketing components, you may talk quantity (how pieces impacted web analytics, for example), but you’ll also talk quality (how it improved customer sentiment or engagement through social sharing).

2. Discuss the challenges.

No marketing effort ever goes off without a hitch. There are always bumps in the road—limited budgets, compressed timelines, compliance snags and more. Mention them! Part of a campaign’s success depends on its adaptability—how it navigates tough waters flexibly. If you turned lemons into lemonade, that makes a compelling case for an entry worthy of recognition.

3. Tell the story.

Frame the context of your program through a narrative. Make things flow and inject transitions where appropriate. Mix short sentences with long ones, and be conversational when appropriate. Connect the sections (goals/objectives, challenges, strategy, execution, results) for a continuous piece that reads from beginning to end. But mostly, tell the story (without corporate fluff) and make the judges really care about it. After all, you’re selling this to them.

4. Revisit the goals.

Some of the most common award entries include a goals/objectives section at the top. Problem is—many entries mention the goals/objectives here and never speak of them until the results section. The goals are what really drive the thing, so they should be top-of-mind at every moment of the project’s duration. Revisit the goals throughout the entry and talk about how they played a role at every major juncture—from strategy to execution and measurement.

5. Make it visual.

Even pretty words look plain without visual treatment. If allowed, inject visuals that really tell the story of the project. If using photography, opt for professional shots when available. When formatting text, make it clean and fresh. Choose typography carefully. Use white space. Decide on a color palette and stick with it. Make sure the visuals complement each other and the written entry. And when possible, include your creative services team to ensure the submissions look clean, fresh and design-minded.

Often, one of the hardest parts of entry writing is recalling the project in the first place, especially when chronicling work that finished months before. To jog your memory, make it a point to pen a brief case study at the end of every campaign or effort. Not only will it help you write the entry later, it will also help you showcase the work on your website, portfolio and elsewhere.

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Bana JobeBana Jobe, Communications Manager, Marketwave

With a passion for writing, Bana focuses on content strategy—from editorial direction to measuring/reporting content performance and analytics. As communications manager for Dallas-based Marketwave, she represents the agency’s Austin presence. She serves on AMA Austin’s technology committee as blog manager. This post originally appeared on Marketwave’s blog and has been reprinted here with permission.