Over the past few weeks, I’ve been highlighting some of the attendees of the upcoming MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer, which takes place next month in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here’s why: You’ve probably already seen the speaker lineup, keynotes, and sponsor list. But as the name “Mixer” suggests, the attendees are an equally important part of the.. well, mix. Today, I’m talking to someone I’ve known on Twitter for a while, but will meet next month in Scottsdale: Sonny Gill.
Q: Tell me a little about your job/company.
A: I’m a Marketing Analyst for Cox Auto Trader, a division of Cox Enterprises. My role is very consumer driven as I’m responsible for community-centric marketing strategies for the online automotive businesses at CAT. From analyzing site usability, consumer research studies and most recently social media practices, I’m able to focus on several strategies to understand our users, connect with them and to help give them a better online experience.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face in your job these days?
A: Aside from the economy? Seriously, there are probably two main ones.
First, a challenge I see facing myself and a lot of us within the online marketing industry is the exorbitantly fast evolution taking place within and staying afloat of these changes. It’s aside from saying “hey, why aren’t you doing social media?!” because we know it may not be the best strategy for all businesses, but rather staying vigilant of these changes and possible opportunities.
The second challenge I face is the disconnect with people’s understanding of social media. Albeit new to many, the disconnect lays on education, understanding how to utilize the medium within the business and ultimately, gaining acceptance (internally or client-side) before anything externally can occur.
Q: How many marketing/business events do you attend a year?
A: I try to attend at least 1 or 2 a year. (I’d go to at least a handful if I could!)
Q: Why the Mixer?
A: I saw the amazing list of speakers and keynotes that were lined up for the event, which would be a major draw for most people. The thing that did it for me though was having the chance to network and meet face to face with the many people that I connect with everyday online and being able to talk with them as well as other industry influencers.
Q: So what are your goals there?
A: I’m hoping to learn and better understand how companies are utilizing social media within their current marketing strategies. Having real life examples and case studies about this booming and relatively new medium provides enough benefit in its own for this event.
In addition to that, I’m hoping to further grow relationships with my online friends/colleagues, expand my network of contacts, and potential opportunities for future collaborations.
Q: Is there anyone special or any kind of vendor you hope to meet there?
A: Is it cliché yet to say that I want to meet you? Honestly, in addition to you, there are a TON of people that I’m looking forward to meeting. Online colleagues that I’ve grown with the past few months, Amber Naslund, Mack Collier, Frank Martin and Connie Reece, are definitely on my list to hang out with. I’m also hoping to chat it up with Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk. Both of their passion in what they do is inspiring and I can only imagine what they bring to the table in person.
From a vendor standpoint, I look forward to meeting David Alston of Radian6 and learning more about social media monitoring.
Q: Which session is a “must-attend” for you?
A: I thought the last question was supposed to be the easiest! There are so many great sessions and will most definitely be all over the social media track. If I had to choose a ‘must-attend’, I’d have to go with Chris Brogan and Scott Monty’s session on integrating social media into your marketing strategy. I also look forward to Mack Collier’s Hot Seat Lab: Elements of a Successful Blog.