This post is the fourth in a series looking at the AMI. Click below to read the others:

  1. Whats wrong with the AMI
  2. The Great AMI Debate: Round 2
  3. The Stark Reality of the AMI
  4. The AMI Bites Back
  5. Marketing the Marketers: the UK perspective
  6. Bowll bites back: Geoffrey responds to the AMI

I know we cant please all of the people all of the time, but
you must have been going to AMI functions somewhere else. I attend many
AMI events and people’s shoulders on departing don’t seem hunched to
me; on the contrary, they seem uplifted, and their comments are also,
apparently, strangely positive.

Our events are attended by far more women (66%) than men (34%)
despite what you thought you saw. Our records reveal that 40% of our
members are under 35 and you can see that at the events.

So what’s wrong with the AMI? Let’s consider a few facts to weigh up the question.

In 1999 our membership was 3,400. Our membership is now over 6,000
and currently growing at over 14% net per annum. This performance is
occurring at a time when many membership organisations are declining or
just maintaining numbers. You say that ‘the AMI could have several
hundred thousand members’ when the best estimates of the number of
professional marketers in this country is between 45,000-60,000.

What have we contributed to the marketing community?

Well, our Marketing Metrics program has led the world in promoting
the role of marketing in creating value. This has been recognised by
organisations such as the Marketing Science Institute of the USA and
the Marketing Society of the UK. Our soon-to-be published metrics
website will offer marketers unparalleled tools to measure their
marketing performance and to demonstrate marketing’s central role in
value creation.

Our Institute has been a major player in a project run by the ISO to
develop a Standard for Brand Valuation, an undertaking of real
importance for all marketers, given the challenges we face in
demonstrating to accountants that the most valuable assets in most
companies are its brands.

We have greatly increased the availability of professional
development programs for all marketers in the past five years. Check
out our website (www.ami.org.au) for some of our current programs, such
as Strategic Marketing Leadership, Building Winning Brands and Finance
& Marketing Metrics. These are programs designed in consultation
with senior marketers to help them progress to CEO and Board level roles

Contrary to the listing in the article, we have a range of other direct benefits to members including:

  • Online newsletter – Marketing Update
  • Subscription to Professional Marketing magazine and B&T Magazine
  • Online bookshop
  • Marketing services directory website for CPMs
  • Privileged car hire rates
  • Privileged rates for Qantas Club membership
  • Special rates for professional indemnity insurance
  • Web hosting and managed services
  • Research services
  • Online webinars, featuring overseas marketing experts, available to members around the country.
  • A special student rate of $66 for three years, plus a two-year
    graduate rate at less than 50 percent of the normal membership rate

We work closely with other organisations such as the Australian
Association of National Advertisers and the Australian Market and
Social Research Society on synergistic programs to benefit all
marketers.

We have offered access to world level marketers through our various
events, people such as Professor Raj Srivastava from Emory University
in Georgia, Tim Ambler from London Business School, David Haigh from
Brand Finance plc, Pat LaPointe of Marketing NPV, New Jersey, Paul
Alexander, CEO of BeyondAnalysis (and formerly head of global markets
for dunnhumby plc), Iggy Pintado, Head, of Online Sales, Telstra,
Graeme Chipp, CEO of Growth Solutions Group and this year Professor
David Reibstein of Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, among
others.

These are people at the cutting edge of marketing in emerging areas
such as advanced data analytics and the critical issue of marketing and
financial performance. But I guess you would still go away with hunched
shoulders. Sorry. Maybe it’s you.

We have recently established a new Business Advisory Board headed by
Mark Smith, Director, Toll Holdings and until recently CEO of Cadbury
Schweppes and Trevor Amery, Executive Chairman of Subaru Australia, to
add further insight into marketing and the boardroom.

You ask about research. We have conducted research on the attitudes
to marketing of CEOs/CFOs and Marketing Directors. We conduct
comprehensive surveys of needs and preferences of our members. Our 2008
member research indicates positive attitude and response to our
programs and activities, though of course it is not universal, but as I
agreed earlier, you can’t please all of the people all of the time…

One final point. I am a passionate believer in the benefits of
marketing and that’s why I spend a lot of my time working on this
cause. If you feel the same way and can put aside those unsubstantiated
assertions, let me know.

If you look closer you will see an organisation that is both growing
and engaged with the marketing and business community, as the facts
demonstrate.

Roger James

Chairman
Australian Marketing Institute