#Zenith2016 Speakers Exposed! Q&A With Michelle Stinson Ross And Jen Jamar

This month, Duluth, Minn. will host some of the most brilliant marketing minds in the world. And we’re not just saying that. The lineup of speakers for Zenith Conference includes those who frequent the globe’s leading industry conference stages and blaze innovative international marketing trails. They’re all pretty dang smart (and word has it funny, too). Double threats. On April 28, they’ll be here. In the lead up to the conference, we’ll be profiling these speakers, giving you a glimpse into their brilliant minds.  So, let’s get to know them!

Today, we’ll introduce you to Michelle Stinson Ross and Jen Jamar, who will co-host Reputation Monitoring & Protection: DATA EVERYWHERE! Recognized as authorities on the outreach power of digital media and data-driven strategies, Michelle and Jen are just the woman to co-host this session.

For more than five years, Michelle has co-hosted #SocialChat and has been published in Social Times, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, SEM Post and AIMCLEAR Blog. Jen is the co-founder of Get Social Events, owner of Resonant Results and regularly speaks about content strategy, analytics and social media.

So, without further ado, we present to you Michelle Stinson Ross and Jen Jamar! *Cue applause

AIMCLEAR: We’re excited to have you in our cozy, Northern Minnesota city. Can you tell our audience where you hail from?

Michelle: I’m traveling to Duluth from the heart of the Silicon Hills aka Austin, TX home of bluebonnets, long hot summers and tech start-ups.

Jen: I live and work down in the Twin Cities. Specifically, I’m based in Robbinsdale, a suburb of Minneapolis.

AIMCLEAR: Have you ever been to Duluth before? If yes, what is your impression? If no, what do you expect? Be honest (and don’t be afraid to offend us with comments regarding accents).

Michelle: This is my 4th visit to Duluth. I love the lake, the quirky hippy shops, and the food…. Oh my the food. The Black Water Lounge is an incredible place to hang out with people. I caught a jazz trio there last year. Every time I travel to Duluth I make arrangements to stay a little longer. This time I’m staying for the weekend.

Jen:  I love Duluth! The city is beautiful to visit, and I’ve always had great experiences while visiting for business and pleasure. Even if I’m just passing through on my way farther north, I try to make a point to stop in Duluth to take in some of the gorgeous views of Lake Superior.

AIMCLEAR: What inspired you to enter your career field?

Michelle: I have to be honest and say that this field found me. I’m an extrovert and communicator by nature, so when social media came along, I was all in. In a lot of ways I’ve found a career path that lets me get paid for my favorite addiction. If there is a person that has inspired me along the way, it would have to be AIMCLEAR‘s (Founder) Marty Weintraub. I am grateful for his mentorship in my career.

Jen:  My background is in data analysis and analytics, but I’ve always been interested in marketing. I first got into digital marketing by way of content creation — I was approached by companies looking to add content marketing to their mix, and what began as regular guest posting soon turned into expanded roles involving online marketing at a larger scale.

AIMCLEAR: What excited you most about the future of your field or area of expertise?

Michelle: What excites me most, and has always kept me excited every day since I started this journey, is the constant change. And it’s not change just for the sake of it — with every iteration of channels and practices we improve and grow. It THRILLS me every day to know that every piece of content I create with my clients has the opportunity to take on many shapes and touch several audiences before its lifespan is spent.

Jen:  I love the changes. New algorithm updates, new social networks, new events, new technology — all of it constantly changes the digital marketing landscape and opens up new opportunities to connect with customers.

AIMCLEAR: Why were you interested to speak at Zenith about your particular topic?

Michelle: The interrelations between the purposes/tasks of reputation management, PR, customer service and marketing are of intense interest to me. There is absolutely NOTHING that happens in a vacuum anymore. For good or bad, we can never really foresee the total impact of any single moment of marketing communication. Each social post, video, blog article are like stones tossed into a pond. We cannot fully predict everything that may happen. It is therefore incumbent upon each business to maximize the good and turn around the bad. Yes, our communications set up lots of opportunities, most of them we can identify and track, but we also have to be ready for those serendipitous moments we didn’t foresee.

Jen: Your reputation is one of the most valuable assets of your business. There are so many ways to get involved in the conversations already happening that can help shape and improve perceptions about your company, your services and your products. Reputation monitoring is a gateway to uncovering your advocates, learning about your competition and improving your offerings.

AIMCLEAR: What do you hope attendees gain from your session?

Michelle: More than anything, I want attendees to hear/see something that they can grab on to and implement when they return to work. That “something” isn’t going to be the same for each person in the room, but I want them to have a few light bulbs going off in their brains. Like anything we do in marketing, most of what we put out there are just conversation starters. I want the attendees to walk out of my session with information they can implement or at least start a conversation with their fellow stakeholders. Hopefully, I open the doors to conversations with me and my fellow presenters. Since I can’t address specific needs or concerns during the presentation, I hope that attendees will feel free to ask questions and build on the ideas I have to share.

Jen: I want attendees to walk out with at least a few tools and tactics they can implement right away to start seeing results for their business.

AIMCLEAR: OK, off the topic of marketing, BUT do you plan on doing anything fun in Duluth?

Michelle: YES!!!! I want to see more of Duluth than I’ve been able to get to on foot from the Sheraton. It has been a blast spending time along Superior Street, but I think with the extra time, I’m ready to see and do more. What exactly, I haven’t decided just yet. I’m counting on the Zenith and AIMCLEAR peeps to point me in the right direction. Certainly anything that the great outdoors and the historic district have to offer will be high on my list for a weekend in Duluth.

Jen: Besides hanging out with all the cool people at Zenith? This will be a short trip for me, but I plan on squeezing in a photo walk along the shore.

AIMCLEAR: Thanks for joining us, Michelle and Jen. And, have a blast in D-Town (that’s what we call Duluth). 🙂

In its fifth year, Zenith Conference is expanding to all-things-digital marketing — from search and social to content and PR. It’s going to be wild. Have yet to register? It’s not too late. Sign up here!

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