- My quarter in Mark Staton’s Digital Marketing class has taught me a great deal about the potential to business growth and brand recognition that can be realized through the use of an awesome digital marketing plan.
Having an online presence is not just an advantage for businesses anymore, it is becoming a necessity. Consumers are increasingly using the internet not only from their desktops, but from their mobile devices and tablets as well. Having an understanding of these platforms and how best to utilize them to the benefit of your business is an essential aspect of succeeding in the digital age.
Over the past few months, I’ve learned
Technical marketers- being able to do the things that you request from developers.
Understanding the process gives you power
– AB testing
One of the important things that I’ve been beginning to understand is the importance of understanding technical skills as a marketer. During the course I went through tutorials that took us through the basics of coding websites. This is an important skill to have as a marketer because you are actually more understanding of what kind of labor and skill set is required to complete the tasks that you are asking your developers to complete. This allows priorities and scheduling to be set at more appropriate points. Other technical skills such as knowledge of SQL become valuable as well. When you understand how to they give you quicker access to database information which cuts down on query processing time.
Other things I learned were geared towards understanding how to collect data by conducting research on the internet in order to determine the best course of action. AB testing was a great lesson that taught me how that web pages can be manipulated so that visitors see different versions of a page. Data is collected on the activity generated by visitors and it is determined from this data which features of a site are facilitating micro and macro conversions. The best tool for understanding user behavior however is Google Analytics. After going through the Google Analytics Certification process, I have learned a great deal about the possibilities that Google Analytics allow for internet marketers. You can figure out everything from the length of time that visitors stay on a given page to the determining where along the path to a goal conversion a customer is lost.
In addition I’ve learned of some trends that have been changing the way consumers interact with businesses. The most obvious one of course is social media. I’ve been able to work with Google+ which is so much more useful than I previously thought, especially in the field of content marketing. Another great tool is Hootsuite which allows the user to track social media activity in a very concise way. One trend that was discussed was co-creation which is when companies pass a part of the value creation process on to the customers and in return, customers feel more engaged, and in many cases because this reduces their production costs in one way or another, that value is transferred to customers. One example of this is Quirky which is a company that enlists their customers to create the products that are going to be sold by the company then the product inventor takes a respectable share of the revenue generated.
Mobile was another of the topics that was discussed. More specifically, trends in mobile payment, its growing popularity, issues in security, which lead to customer doubts, and other positives and pitfalls of mobile payment. In addition, mobile advertising was a discussed and despite the fact that it’s not as popular yet, the projections are staggering on the amount of advertising money that will go into mobile.
Some other topics of discussion include understanding search engines, paid media, earned media, and owned media. However my favorite part of this course has been my introduction to inbound marketing and content marketing. The concept is so important to our current situation because the outbound marketing efforts that are used just aren’t enough to stay relevant anymore. We need to bring people to us, and the sophistication of search in our age is making it possible. People want to research for themselves, they want to discover, problem solve, and understand their purchases more in depth. By establishing yourself as the authority on a subject matter you can expand your company’s reputation as a trusted source of content.
Overall the class was a great experience and I’ve even been given the opportunity to employ the skills I’ve been learning throughout the rest of my curriculum, as well as in real world contexts. The startup software company that I currently work with has given me the opportunity to exercise my new skills in developing content and bringing customers to us through content creation and the use of social media with Hootsuite as a social media monitor. Google Analytics has helped me to understand more about the behavior patterns of our users and potential users, allowing us to develop our sales funnel.
Thanks for a great quarter Professor Staton!