American Marketing Association launches on-campus marketing agency 


Image: Dean Yusuf

Contributing Writer for The Cluster Jaycie Calvert (left) meets with former American Marketing Association President Hailie Poppell (right).

The Mercer chapter of the American Marketing Association has started a marketing agency called Ember Marketing, which is working with Macon businesses to give students real-world experience.

Tammy Crutchfield, senior associate dean and professor for marketing, inspired the club to start their own agency after telling them that the University of Georgia chapter did the same. The agency provided UGA students the opportunity to work with businesses in Athens, according to Hailie Poppell and Olivia Korta.

Poppell, a senior marketing and managing major, served as AMA president in the 2019-2020 school year. Korta, a junior, now serves as the president of the club.

The club, composed of marketing, finance, accounting, management and journalism majors, started their marketing agency last spring, but their momentum was cut short after COVID-19 sent everyone home.

“We actually met with our first client on the Thursday before school was canceled, and then schools cancelled and we all disbanded,” Poppell said.

Now, the marketing agency is in full swing, working with their first client.

“We are working with Steven Brewer, CPA, which is an accounting firm in Macon,” Poppell said. “We’re doing his entire marketing rebrand from name, brand and color scheme to social media plan and website redesign.”

The club and marketing agency currently holds meetings on Wednesdays where they go over different proposals for the accounting firm they are consulting.

Mercer AMA also partnered with the agency management class, said Korta, who is also in the class.

“We’re implementing marketing proposals that were created by the agency management class last semester, so we were given these proposals and we’re going to implement them for our CPA client,” Korta said.

Korta said meetings have been focused around taking one step at a time.Ember Marketing is looking to expand and to grow in the coming semesters, with each member having their own role in the agency, Poppell said.

Another goal of the agency is to work in the Macon community.

“[Ember Marketing wants] to reach more potential businesses in the Macon community because a lot of them are hit hard from COVID, so right now is a great time for us to persevere through this because people in need, they don’t have the money to pay for a marketing firm, so we do their work for free or for really discounted rates,” she said.

In addition to networking and building connections in the Macon community, Poppell said that Mercer AMA helped her with her future: Poppell recently accepted a position as a marketing strategist and boutique coordinator for a business in Macon.

“In AMA I was really able to perfect my resume, perfect my sales pitch of myself and learn how to pitch my ideas to someone properly,” Poppell said.

The club is looking to expand their reach as they grow, Korta said.

“We’re really excited to see what happens with this and the great work we’ll do in the future,” she said.