Upcoming Events

Planet Propaganda: A Madness to the Method
John Besmer Principal/Creative Director at Planet Propaganda

What do giant angry beavers, spaceless astronauts, and Blake Shelton have in common? Unimagined creativity, that’s what! John Besmer, principal at Planet Propaganda — a full-service marketing and design agency — will walk us through their proprietary Simplify >< Amplify process for producing breakthrough creative for brands like Duluth Trading Company and Pernod Ricard’s Smithworks Vodka.

There should be something in this presentation for everyone. (Assuming everyone enjoys ball and buttcrack jokes. Which they do. You know they do.) In addition to client work, Besmer has written many screenplays and scribbles goofily on his site In his spare time, he enjoys rum.

Thursday, October 20, 2016   |   11:30 am – 1:00 pm

WMU Fetzer Center

$25 for AMASWM Members    |   $40 Non-Members  |  $12 Students (with valid student ID)

Register Here!



2016 Annual Marketing Conference: Answers in Action

  • The Power of One Voice in Social Media, United Breaks Guitars – Dave Carroll
  • Brain Science & Marketing, an Unlikely Combo – Andy Crestodina
  • Audio Branding, Hear the Sound of Your Brand Growing – Colleen Fahey
  • Meaningful Connections, the Brand and Consumer Relationship – Andres Ordonez
  • Stormy Kromer, the Making of an Iconic Midwestern Brand – Gina Thorsen

Special Guests: Improv Effects

more information

Wednesday, November 9, 2016   |   8:30 am – 4:30 pm

WMU Fetzer Center

$125 for AMASWM Members  |  $199 Non-Members early registration, expires Oct. 21  |  $249 Non-Members after Oct. 21  |  $549 3-Person Package (from same organization)  |  $65 Students (with valid student ID)

Register Now!




Market Research in the 21st Century: What’s in your tool kit?

Market research has evolved from basic in-person interviewing to phone to online to neurosciences. Researchers now can actually place a contraption on a person’s head and measure their brain activity while they watch a commercial, and tell whether they like it or not! There have been many other advancements in market research – many fantastic, some not so much.

Rob Klein is a classically trained market researcher with more than 30 years practicing and teaching market research. Learn what new tools you should have in your tool kit and which ones to be a little leery of before you dive in. Rob will discuss a range of tools from new techniques to new sample frames to new technologies, along with a few basic do’s and don’ts in survey writing. And, finally, Rob will leave you with a checklist for establishing why and how to conduct your next research study.

Guest Speaker:
Rob Klein, Founder & CEO, Klein & Partners

Thursday, December 15, 2016   |   11:30 am – 1:00 pm

WMU Fetzer Center

$25 for AMASWM Members    |   $40 Non-Members  |  $12 Students (with valid student ID)




If you would like to be a guest speaker at a future AMASWM meeting,
please email our Program Chair.



Recent Events

Straight from the Heart: How Southwest Revitalized Its Brand Image CANCELLED
Guest Speaker: Lexi Muller
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mastering the Art and Science of Brand Visuals with Canva
Thursday, August 11, 2016
KVCC, The Groves Center
7107 Elm Valley Dr., Kalamazoo MI 49009

Summer Mixer
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Boatyard Brewing Company
432 E. Paterson, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Simplicity: The Most Powerful Force in Business
Guest Speaker: Ken Segall
Friday, May 20, 2016

Elevating the Role of Marketing
Guest Speaker: Yvette Morrison, Vice President Marketing, Snap-On Tools
April 21, 2016

Yes, There Really is a Kalamazoo Baseball Game Going On
Guest Speaker: Brian Colopy and John Bollinger, Kalamazoo Growlers
March 17, 2016

Join Us for Our Winter Mixer at Zazios!
Let’s toast Old Man Winter, hob-nob with your fellow marketing peeps, and learn about the future plans and programming for our AMA Southwest Michigan club at Zazios Restaurant, Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, MI.
March 2, 2016

Selling Value in Commoditized Markets
Guest Speaker: Dr. Wes Martz is Vice President, Marketing at Kadant, Inc.
The price is right. Are you sure?
February 18, 2016

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean That You Should: Content Marketing Survival Tips
Guest Speaker: Jonathan Copulsky, CCO for Deloitte LLP and CMO for Deloitte Consulting LLP, Chicago
January 21, 2016
View Presentation Slides (PDF)

Direct Marketing in the Digital World
Guest Speaker: Becky Quinlan, Direct Marketing, Alliance Franchise Brands
December 17, 2015
View Presentation Slides (PDF)

2015 Marketing Conference
Guest Speakers: Don Schultz, Lacie Sandstrom, Rob Bliss, Dr. Bill Ward, Scott Monty
November 2015

Social Jiu Jitsu: The Art of Using the Market to Connect with Customers and Submit Your Competition
Guest Speaker: Eric Hultgren
October 2015

Storytelling: The Secret of Irresistible Marketing
Guest Speaker: Kindra Hall
September 2015

Branding Memories: How ArtPrize Creates Lasting Impressions Through Ephemeral Design
Guest Speaker: Todd Herring, Director of Communications, ArtPrize
May 2015

Building a Powerful Brand on a Shoestring
Guest Speaker: Jeff Yonker, Terra Trikes
April 2015

Social Networking on Steroids: Personal Branding Made Easy
AMA Members Only Event
Guest Speaker: Sima Dahl, America’s Personal Branding champion
April 2015

Advanced Digital Media Strategies to Drive Organizational Growth
Guest Speaker: Mr. David Murray, Manager, Social Media, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
March 2015

Changing Clients Into Partners
Guest Speakers: Brian Lam and Dann Sytsma, Improv Effects LLC
February 2015

Thinking on Their Feet: The BoldSocks Story
Guest Speakers: Ryan Preisner, CEO and Ryan Goff, Creative Director, Bold Endeavors LLC
January 2015

Living the Dream: Keurig and Beyond
Guest Speaker: Mr. Chris Stephens, Adjunct Professor at Notre Dame, Co-founder of Keurig
December 2014

2014 Marketing Conference
November 2014

Guerrilla Marketing: It’s a Jungle Out There!
Guest Speaker: Mr. Mike Knapick, Owner/Operator of Jimmy Johns, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins, and Bar Louie
October 2014

Artful Marketing: Engaging Nonprofit Audiences
Guest Speaker: Mr. Glenn Del Vecchio, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Ballet
September 2014