AIA Corporation held its first virtual Marketing Lab event earlier this month, bringing together nearly 90 owners and seven speakers for two days of hands-on learning and collaboration. Topics discussed included social media, email marketing, company stores, and website and email analytics.

“In today’s competitive selling environment, marketing can no longer simply complement a sales strategy. It needs to play an integral role,” says Katrina Willis, senior vice president of marketing and supplier relations at AIA. “But with limited hours in a day and the inability to stay on top of the latest trends, we know this can be challenging. That’s why we wanted to provide our owners with direct access to the experts who could share relevant information, tools and best practices needed to launch and run a successful marketing campaign for promotional products.”

The event kicked off with keynote speaker Chris Burns, a digital marketing expert, entrepreneur and author, who provided tips and best practices to leverage various digital marketing strategies such as email marketing, social media, content marketing and SEO; finding the right mix and implementing a program that creates value. Burns then led a social media panel discussion with industry experts including Charity Gibson, national account coordinator at Peerless; Melissa Haen, North America marketing manager at Goldstar; and Christina Maag, an AIA owner of Hoopla. The group shared best practices for leveraging Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to build visibility and grow business.

“The Marketing Lab was incredibly productive and informative,” says Joe Miller, owner of AIA LogoTools. “So much has changed in the past year and it’s always helpful to have a pulse on the latest marketing trends so we can continue to stay relevant and engage with our customers and prospects.”

AIA Marketing Lab was produced by the AIA marketing team, a full-service, agency-formatted department that partners with owners to help grow their businesses. It joins AIA’s educational programming schedule, which includes Ask the Expert, a webinar series that connects owners with experts on topics ranging from customer behavior and PPE to marketing trends.