Digital Marketing Conference Brings Amazon, Facebook to Kennesaw State

 Digital Marketing Conference

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 25, 2018) — Amazon, Facebook, Yelp, and other high-profile internet companies are sending experts to Kennesaw State University in April to teach small business owners how they can use digital marketing strategies to better connect with new and existing customers.

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University is hosting the 2018 Digital Marketing Conference on April 6 from 8 am to 4 pm in the KSU Center. Featuring speakers from some of the largest and most influential players in the digital marketing space, the conference will show attendees how social media, email marketing platforms, online payment systems and other technologies can help grow their businesses at home and abroad.

The conference is open to everyone. While the target audience is small business owners, anyone with an interest in digital marketing is welcome. Registration is $99 now through March 15. After that, the price increases to $149.

Click here to register

Keynote speaker Cynthia Williams, Vice-President of Fulfillment for Amazon, will discuss how her company’s fulfillment services give small businesses the freedom to market their products to a wider audience, with Amazon managing all of the warehousing and shipping. Amazon is also sending a representative of their international fulfillment team to talk about putting international customers within reach.

“It’s exciting to have two people from Amazon coming to the conference, especially with Atlanta being on the top 20 list of potential cities for Amazon’s new headquarters,” says Drew Tonsmeire, area director for the SBDC at Kennesaw State University.

“We’re really excited about all of the speakers we have assembled. It shows all of us that Kennesaw State University has come to a new level that we can bring speakers of this caliber to talk to our small businesses.”

Other speakers at the 2018 Digital Marketing Conference include:

  • Marjory Laymon, Senior Manager, Product Management, Amazon Global Selling

  • Kevin Gottlieb, Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

  • Genna Gold, Outreach Business Manager, Yelp

  • Ariana Hargrave, Director, MailChimp

  • Zac Ebrams, Business Development Manager, Worldpay

  • Jessica Ludolph, Owner, Ludolph Social, and Digital Marketing Instructor, Emory University

  • Kristin Carlbom, Digital Strategist, ReachLocal

  • Kim Joyce, Regional Sales Manager, ReachLocal

  • Zach Allen, Account Executive,

  • Manu Muraro, Founder, Your Social Team, and Former Marketing Director, King of Pops

Conference sessions will cover a wide range of digital marketing concepts, including using Instagram to engage with customers, growing a business with positive Yelp reviews, implementing an effective email marketing campaign, accepting international payments, reaching clients on social medial, and adapting marketing copy to appeal to customers around the world.

According to Tonsmeire, many small business owners have limited budgets and do not give digital marketing the attention it deserves.

“The first thing they think to do is hire a student who doesn’t understand the business’s mission to do all their marketing,” he says. “But social media marketing is more sophisticated now. You can’t simply post about a product and expect to get people interested. You have to help clients know who you are before they are even looking to buy.”

The conference’s goal is to demonstrate to small business owners the importance of digital marketing, while also helping them realize that managing their online presence is not a daunting task.

“There are so many sophisticated marketing tools out there these days that do not cost a lot,” Tonsmeire says. “You just have to put in the work and manage them. That is what is appealing about this conference. It will teach small business owners it is not just about driving traffic, but about bringing clients.”

Equally as important as what attendees can learn from the conference presenters is what they can learn from each other. The Digital Marketing Conference offers small business owners a unique opportunity to network with other business owners and share their solutions to digital marketing challenges.

Funded partially by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the UGA SBDC offers strategic business consulting from its 17 locations across Georgia to small business owners at no cost. The SBDC helps owners develop their business plans, assists with securing financing, helps build marketing plans, discusses pricing strategies, and much more.

Educational programming organized by the SBDC – like the Digital Marketing Conference – provides additional ways for small business owners to engage with the SBDC.

The SBDC plans to make the Digital Marketing Conference into an annual event.

- Patrick Harbin