Musings of a True Consultant in a Sea of Vendors at AMA Higher Ed

Posted: November 15, 2013

Written from 35,000 feet somewhere between Boston and Raleigh on my way back from the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education.

As someone who works on the agency side of the equation, it’s not every day I get to partake in the actual content of a conference. That’s to say, I’ve often found myself handcuffed to my own exhibit booth.

People seem surprised when they ask where I’m from and I tell them VisionPoint Marketing. It’s as if I’m not expected to be sitting alongside them in a breakout session. Do I really have the audacity to leave my exhibit booth? Could I actually be here to learn and collaborate and become better at doing my job? Could this guy actually have empathy for me even though he works for a…[gasp]….VENDOR?

I’m here to learn too!

One of our guiding principles at VisionPoint Marketing is the constant thirst for knowledge. We even wrote it into our company values. It’s true that I’d love to pick up some leads while I’m here. It’s an expensive conference and like everyone else, I need to prove to my boss that what I do brings ROI.

But I can be more than that…right?

I often tell people that I’m a consultant first…and a salesman last. The nice thing about having “business development” on my card is that you get to consult with me for free. I can be your gatekeeper to realms of information that may not be readily available. And (unlike many higher ed marketers) I actually have resources at my disposal. I’m your connection to a fully stocked team of strategists, architects, designers and project managers jonesing to sharpen their claws on YOUR greatest marketing challenge.  And my time is free! 

So talk to me. Consider me a colleague…a fellow higher ed marketer who may actually be able to help you solve a problem. Because the truth is, I AM in your shoes, I’ve seen your challenges and I do have empathy.

So, let’s get started!