D&IPeopleBlack marketers gathering for first culture summit

The African-American Marketing Association holds its first Marketing for the Culture Summit on May 12, 2022.
Jim MassaraMay 10, 2022

Dozens of marketers from all over the country will gather in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday to network at the first-ever Marketing for the Culture Summit.

The conference — the first to be staged by the African-American Marketing Association — is ideal for full-time marketers, content creators and anyone who wants to be one, AAMA President Michelle Ngome told Marcom Weekly.

The summit’s theme is “Monetizing Your Content,” with keynote speaker Marquel Russell — the self-described “King of Client Attraction” and founder of a marketing consultancy, Client Attraction University — discussing how to generate leads.

Other speakers include: Terrence Moline, a longtime design pro and founder of African American Graphic Designers; Kiah McBride, a writer and digital storyteller who has worked for Nike and Ogilvy & Mather; Tina Bonner, an expert on the metaverse and founder of Black in Meta; and Juntae DeLane, founder of the Digital Branding Institute, a digital-branding authority and former senior digital brand manager for the University of Southern California.

The African-American Marketing Association, based in Houston and founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2019, is one of several formal organizations for Black marketers that simply didn’t exist as recently as five years ago. Ngome, who is a marketing consultant, noticed the need almost a decade ago at a holiday party.

“We had like 20 Black professional organizations, and everyone gets on stage,” Ngome said. “You have Black MBAs, you have engineers, you have all these professionals, but no marketers. How come we don’t have a Black marketing association?”

Over the next few years, several Black marketing groups networked informally via social media, Ngome said, but very little blossomed publicly until recently, some of the activity spurred by the murder of George Floyd. Ngome cited the Black Marketers Association of America, the Black Marketers Coalition and Hue as other recently minted trade groups with comparable missions.

Natalie Gullatt, founder of the Atlanta-based Black Marketers Association and marketing strategist based in Atlanta, agreed that the Black Lives Matter movement — and the heat it generated through social media — motivated several trade groups to go public. Social media, after all, is the natural habitat for marketing, yet it was being used “without a lot of thought,” Gullatt said.

That lack of focus motivated several Black marketing groups to come out of their shells, and the loosening of pandemic restrictions allowed them to do so. Gullatt’s group, in fact, will hold its first public events this year as well. The Black Marketers Association Shades of Marketing Tour starts in Atlanta in July, with stops planned later in Houston, Boston and Los Angeles.

“I think it’s very similar to the story of Uber and Lyft, two companies on opposite sides of the country with the same concept,” Ngome said to Marcom Weekly. “We’re all in different parts of the world, thinking of the same thing, trying to find a solution to the same problem.”

And there’s room enough for everyone, Gullatt said.

“It’s nice to have options of how people can participate and still get the things they need,” Gullatt told Marcom Weekly. “If you can, join all of the groups. You’ll get something different from each one, which is a beautiful thing.”

The event is in-person only. Pre-registration is required on the Marketing for the Culture website.
Marketing For The Culture Summit – Monetize Your Content (aa-ma.org) 

EVENT: Marketing for the Culture Summit
WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
WHERE: The Gathering Spot Atlanta, 384 Northyards Blvd. NW
PRICE: $150-$175

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