After a whirlwind year of all things digital marketing, it’s hard to believe I’ve been at Advantec a year already.
Having joined the team on January 11th, 2017 as Marketing and New Business Executive, I thought I’d document what I’ve learnt so far, and look forward to what there is to come for me at Advantec.
Where my journey started…
I started my digital marketing adventure as an apprentice in a B2C roofing company (having little to no experience in marketing). After finishing this apprenticeship I worked temporarily for a B2B travel employment and reviews company, whilst looking for a permanent role in the B2B industry.
Being a digital agency, Advantec offered a slightly different interview process than I had been previously used to. The relatively informal interview gave me an opportunity to really learn the ethos of the company before I started, meaning I was sure I wanted to work here. I had no experience in an agency, but a little in the B2B industry, but Andrew Brittain (our MD) took a chance on me. For me, it’s not about the experience in the industry, it’s about the way you learn and what you can bring to the company.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect working at a digital agency, but I knew it would be exciting. Will my background be relevant? Would I be more creative or analytically focussed here? What is expected of me? Can I bring more to the company than my predecessor? The familiar questions we all have when starting a new role.
Here I’ve outlined my main focuses in this role, what I’ve learnt and what’s to come:
After a couple of months of settling in and sticking to what I knew, content creation for our new website and our social media sites, email marketing and sorting out our CRM, I turned my attention to our events.
Andrew and I sat down to talk about our previous events and what we wanted to improve upon. Having organised events before (B2C side) I thought this would be easy! It wasn’t.
Organising our events take up a lot of time, organising dates, venues, times, content creation, forecasting numbers, cost and profits, marketing them to the right audience, getting attendees, the write-ups etc. After getting used to the way our events work, it became obvious this would become a large part of my role – and I love it!
As a 22-year-old, you could say I had a pretty good idea about social media anyway. I guess I know what catches one’s eye on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and what NOT to write on these social platforms.
My role started by bulk creating content for social media and for our blog page. As the months went by, I realised I wasn’t using any social media management tools (controversial, I know). I still put content on LinkedIn and tweet daily, but I try and make it as topical and as interesting as possible for the audience.
Previously to starting with Advantec, I didn’t realise how big a part your personal LinkedIn plays in making and maintaining contacts relevant to your industry. I’ve learnt how to use LinkedIn and it’s advertising platform to target users I think would be interested in what I/we have to showcase.
Okay, I admit it, cleaning our outdated CRM/Database system was not the most interesting job, but it had to be done and it required a lot of time and patience, and as a newbie to Advantec a year ago, I took the reins and ran with it. Since clearing the database of old emails and contacts, our open rate and CTR on our email platforms has increased markedly.
As time went on, I started to segment our data so that marketing emails were going to the relevant individuals. It takes a lot of practice to get our emails formatted and shaped to the way we think the end user will like – it’s all about A/B testing different styles, dates and times.
The cold sales email approach is so outdated, but at first, I didn’t know how to change the way I had been trained as an apprentice.
Within six months of joining, I had a couple of in-house sales training sessions. I had only ever personally approached ‘warm leads’ about Advantec and the ‘cold leads’ were just an email in a long list. This had to change. The training showed me that the personal approach works for both warm and cold approaches – be yourself and they’ll like you, and if they don’t, then smile and move on.
What’s to come?
We have so many exciting events coming up in both Southampton and London, including Spring Networking Drinks, GDPR training, Google Analytics courses, SEO courses and Google AdWords courses (both Introduction and Advanced). For me (a relatively new digital marketer), the most exciting project coming up is delivering ecommerce training to master’s students at the British School of Fashion, London in February and March.
I’ve learnt a lot in the last year and worked with incredible people along the way, I’ve even introduced Advantec to their first office puppy! Advantec has allowed me to explore my creative side and 2018 is the year for me to tie this creativity in with my analytical side.