I went to my first Marketing in Ottawa Meetup today. The group is organized on Meetup.com and is made up of people in Ottawa that either work in marketing or run a business and need marketing help.
There was only about seven people there but everyone seemed to have a slightly different background and that is what makes these things so interesting. You never know what you're going to hear or what you're going to pick up. After spending time studying marketing at the MBA, I found that I really enjoyed talked about marketing strategy at a more grass roots level.
In formal marketing programs, you often talk about marketing with large budgets (or at least some budget). When you get in the room with small business owners, you are often talking about marketing with NO budget. On top of this, you are often taking about marketing with limited expertise. For example, I may suggest that somebody set up a blog, and while this isn't too difficult, it does take some knowledge and time (money) to start. In the end, I just found that I walked out with a much great appreciation for what marketing really is to most of the people that do it on a daily basis.
Here's some of the people that met:
Elaine from Wild Pigments, an Ottawa art studio. Elaine teaches art to people of all ages.
Caroline from Evolv. Evolv is a new fortified water product that increases stamina, energy and endurance.
Judi from Judi's Studio. Judi has a number of things on the go from the Kids to Be and Me show, to a few other businesses based out of Judi's Studio.
Marie from Trusting Yourself. Marie specializes in helping all sorts of people live better lives. Powerful stuff!
The meeting was organized by Linda. Linda is an interior decorator.
We also had a real estate agent in the group, which is always interesting as I find the real estate industry is one that is really embracing e-marketing and particularly social media strategies. Amie is a real estate agent who specializes in all kinds of property all over the Ottawa area.
In all in all, it was a great lunch and I'm glad I got to meet and get some feedback from these people.