Momentum Marketing Conference debut

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Representative from City of Mandeville Alia Casborne, left, and Marketing and Development Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West Lira Casborne, right, attended the first "Momentum Marketing Conference" where they learned about the marketing trends that business can use for 2018. Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar 

The university’s Small Business Development Center and 5 Stones Media organized “Momentum Marketing Conference” for educating small businesses on marketing trends. The conference featured four presentations and a one-on-one marketing assessment session.

5 Stones Media’s Director of Client Services Kim Walker described how the idea for the event was formed. The conference was held on Friday, Jan. 19 at the War Memorial Student Union Ballroom.

“We’re a marketing agency, and we’re part of a national agency mastermind group,” said Walker. “One of the other agency in another state mentioned that a big thing that they did that the community really loved was bringing Google to town and because we are Google partners, we were able to reach out to our rep.” 

Walker described the purpose of the event and how the event panned out.

“We find that business owners are often very overwhelmed by marketing,” said Walker. “It changes all the time. So, we wanted to put on a conference that educated small business owners and inspired them to really get on board with modern marketing and grow their business in 2018. We had four presentations. I spoke specifically about the five trends that we see in marketing for 2018. So, we talk about businesses understanding their customer journey, personal voice assistance. We talked about chat bots being a big thing this year.”

One of the main attractions of the event was the presentation from Google representative Drew Tonsmeire.

“Drew, who is the Google expert that flew in from Georgia, he talked about micro moments,” said Walker. “Business owners really understanding those quick moments when people are on the go and out and about when they’re using Google to search.”

Lira Casborne, a representative from Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West gave her reflection of the event.

“I think it was extremely helpful,” said Casborne. “It really felt like a conversation. It wasn’t overly structured. There was a lot of engagement in conversation going on. Overall, I thought it was a great seminar to kinda refresh you about the basics of what you should be doing with social media but also giving you great ideas from the research they’ve done.” 

Casborne pointed out that she was interested in the presentation provided by J.R. Portman. Walker explained what the remaining two presentations were about.

“J.R. talked about video and the importance of video and the different types of video businesses can use, as well as the process for creating videos,” said Walker. “Then Drew came back and did the final session about how to actually put these things in place starting with Google My Business where business owners can go and claim their business listing to make sure that it is updated.”

The event was sold out with 175 people participating at the conference. It was concluded with free marketing assessment where 5 Stones Media gave a report card for small businesses by looking at their website, analyzing social media, Google My Business listing, video and photography, looking at aesthetics and effectiveness of design of their website.

Rachael Creech, owner of Adventure Pets in Mandeville gave her assessment about the event.

“I thought it was excellent,” said Creech. “You don’t always get to hear directly from someone who works for Google. That was very informative. I’ve gotten a lot of good things out of it. Our business, we’ve been around 17 years, but there’s always something new to learn, specially with the digital stuff. It’s a good resource.”