Why marketing you ask? Why do I want a Masters in Integrated Marketing?
I found that marketing was the perfect industry for me because of my dual interests in psychology and business; I could have the best of both worlds with a life in marketing. One of my most innate qualities is my desire to understand why things work, why people think the way they do, why people behave the way they do. Why people make the decisions they do was incredibly fascinating *(still is) and the reason people behave the way they do interested me, but how those factors affect a business sounded like a perfect marriage for me to spend my life studying and more importantly, something I could be passionate about.
I was lost after high school, in a sea of college ambiguity, a plethora of people that inundated my classes with their own passions, leaving me drowning in empty space-unknowing how to fill my void and which path to travel down at this fork in life. I drifted and slowly drowned in the sea that are the freshman pre-requisites, my success in school was peeling away without any particular passion to drive me.
When I left College of Charleston in my sophomore year I went home to New York to pursue my long-term love affair of fashion. I had to do my time, and in a sense yes, this meant a form of jail to me, I had to get my grades up attending a community college, which I was not happy about. Little did I know I would discover my life’s passion here. It turned out my experience at Westchester Community College was not only better than I expected, but it had some amazing benefits…
I signed up for a fashion class, and as it turned out, my fashion teacher was also my marketing teacher. I was able to marry my two interests and see how another had led a successful career filled with stimulating possibilities that I could see myself doing.
The biggest thing that changed through this transition was my ability to achieve success. At Charleston I had been studying for countless hours and trying everything possible to do well, without having any success. I finally began to excel at WCC, to achieve my goals and get great grades when I was able to study topics I was interested in, and passionate about. It felt good to be enjoying studying as well as what I was learning. I heard a click and felt it finally possible to combine my creative interests and business mind. The idea that marketing could be a study of people’s behaviors and interests in order to better sell a business to a market was thrilling to me.
Now, after having pursued a career in marketing and having done very well in a school I could enjoy, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in NYC, I am beyond thankful I could find my calling early on and a school that fit my needs so well. At LIM I realized I was even more passionate about marketing than fashion. LIM offered me the opportunity to get real world experience in the field before I graduated, allowing me to ensure that I wanted to spend my life in marketing. I had successfully done 4 internships by the time I graduated from LIM, and achieved great grades. When I faced graduating I wanted more learning to become even more of an expert. But I came upon the decision that it would be best to get real world experience before moving forward as I could draw upon that experience if i decided to go back to school I would be better suited to learn from it.
My mind abound of so many things, topics, ideas, thoughts. Swirling around, creating a mist, clouding any one thought. I thought clearly for a moment… I want more, I want more learning, I want more out of my life, my time is not yet up to stop climbing.
My creative juices flow constantly, not working independently, rather as a team with my analytical mind as its partner. My mind is still open space ready to embrace more information.
It feels important to get more training, not just in marketing but specifically within my area of interest of digital marketing. There are clear indicators that I have seen working in the field of marketing for the past 5 years which I know point to the new direction of the industry being digital…all digital. Social Media Marketing and Digital Advertising together are very strong forces that cannot be ignored, yet as I try to stay on the leading edge of my industry it has become clear that the healthcare industry will be one of the last to follow suit. I don’t want to be last, I want to be on the forefront of change. I want to be the expert on the rapidly changing environment.
The future of the marketing industry is digital marketing; and II want to be a digital marketing and social media marketing expert so that when the whole world finally arrives at this same conclusion they can look to me as one who knew this, saw its importance and has experience leading companies into the future. I want to understand all the technologies and methodologies that are out there to disseminate a message to a market. Only with complete comprehension of the newest techniques and channels in the field of marketing, and diligent upkeep on news in the industry can I become that expert.
I became interested in social media and using it as a channel of marketing as I saw its power for my own generation. I saw the speed at which the invent of social networking changed the behavior of Generation N (also known as Millennials) and how some businesses that were embracing the use were benefiting in a brand new, way via deeper engagement with consumers, I knew this would be the market changer.
There was a shift a few years ago from social media being a channel for social interactions between people to businesses understanding its power of speaking to consumers. I believe the shift or complete overturn in marketing from selling to the customer to the customer dictating the sales terms is a permanent one, and with the rules of marketing changing, social media can help businesses to keep that ever so important relationship with their consumers.
I believe there has been an enormous change will dictate the way marketing needs to think about marketing tactics, no longer do businesses tell the consumer what they want, instead consumers are in charge, they want to be able to be involved in the co-creation of a new product, and involved in the marketing process, they want brands to be authentic and transparent. Social media marketing allows this two way conversation between businesses and consumers, open dialogues about the company, changes in products and services customers needs, openly. With this kind of landscape shift it becomes even more important to deeply understand our consumers and meet them where they are spending most of their time, online. I want to learn more tools to enable me to understand all the knowledge digital engagement with consumers allows us to have access to. Understanding how we can utilize all the analytics and data captured online to enhance a marketing campaign and track the return on investment has huge benefits that I want to learn to employ to more effectively impact a company’s bottom line and align with the company’s overall goals.
The expanse of digital marketing allows for companies to target, segment and reach customers in a more effective and financially efficient manner which has huge benefits for companies to better utilize their dollars and market to the right target segments, everyone wins when people know the right way to bring these two concepts together for the business and consumer. And if for no other reason, social media marketing allows us to connect more deeply with our consumers which is priceless for companies.
Working at a healthcare company for the past 4 ½ years, social and digital marketing has been a late adoption, along with the rest of these companies in regulated industries (due to the healthcare industry being so highly conservative and regulated). Although I have been fighting to prove the importance of these new channels of marketing, the slow growth of adoption from our company did have some benefits: allowing me to read, learn and understand how social media should work for our personal brand. It offered me the opportunity to move slowly and methodically go through trials and fails in order to find our space.
Uncovering the right voice in the social media marketing space takes time and it should take a number of thing into consideration; it should include a vast knowledge and personal understanding of a company’s mission, brand, products/services, a human voice that can be true to the brand’s established image and a voice appropriate to speaking to your targeted audience(s). Another important aspect is having the understanding that the way a business needs to speak, post, engage, etc. on social media platforms is quite different from your own personal space in social media.
I was able to take the time to learn what a brand needs to develop in the social online space to successfully utilize the channel of social media for marketing to its consumers. I spent time reading articles from experts (none of whom were actually experts yet as we were all still learning), trying out tactics, and time honing a brand voice that could be both true to our brand while also humanizing a company in an industry that had long been much less than transparent.
it is always a challenge to keep up with the immensely fast paced world of social media. With new technologies constantly being developed, algorithms changing, the rule book is always new and keeping up with the joneses is a must to just keep your head above water, let alone be atop of the rest. Consistently reading and browsing the web is an important daily task for anyone in the digital and social marketing space.
I spent a good year fighting to prove the importance to my company, reading extensively to keep up with the ever-changing industry and learning how to implement best practices for our company. I was able to make some headway, proving the importance and hence creating a job title for myself as Social Media Specialist. While the healthcare industry still drags its feet at the back of the line to fully embrace social media marketing I believe there are plenty of companies that do understand its importance as I do which will need someone like me on their front lines, leading the charge into the next century!
With Millennials becoming a far more important target market for businesses to sell to (and the largest generation in American History!) it is vital that we follow them to their social spaces, understand their behaviors and internet usage to engage with them. The largeness and strength of this market is another reason I believe in pursuing digital marketing.
Millennials demand much more from companies selling to them today. First amongst these things are transparency and authenticity. With such a highly influential generation it is vital that sellers interact with consumers actively taking a role in their conversations, rather than passively listening to conversation as previously done (re:focus groups). Social listening tools are not enough, social engagement must be part of the mix.
Brands cannot dictate the marketing of their products anymore without input from their consumers, which is why social media is the perfect platform for these two-way conversations to occur. Brands and companies can see their target audiences’ behaviors in their natural habitat and also in the selling space. But kids these days don’t want to be sold to, they want to be consulted, interacted with, so brand’s needs a plan to enact that conversation and engagement on the various platforms. The true success in connecting with the largest buying market, millennials, is to achieve shared interests with brand success. Can you engage your consumers deeply enough, that they, like you, have a deep, vested interest in your products/services? This, I feel, is the key to a truly successful and integrated marketing technique in today’s world. The need for a consistent experience offline and on is another important key to success in marketing today.
Social media should touch every part of an organization, I want to be part of that transformation and understanding in the business world. I want more learning, more management skill and more understanding of what it is that i love. I am quite certain marketing is one of the loves of my life so it only makes sense to be the best I, can earning higher education and even greater knowledge about my career choice.
I want to become a Marketing Manager, following that, a CMO and following that I will rule the world! (or at least the marketing decisions at one company).