Digital marketing is said to be “the engine that drives today’s business, big or small” where “effective digital marketing is the marketing that bridges electronic technology with psychology in the marketplace.”(Douglas 2014) Digital marketing is known to be not “just another new channel for marketing. On the contrary, it’s a refreshingly new approach to marketing which offers a unique understanding of consumer behavior.”(Douglas 2014)
Ken Robinson states, “natural talents are like human resources”. (Robinson 2012) One needs to dig deep for them to be found. But before any digging can take place one needs to create a circumstance. I believe this digital learning process has created this circumstance for me where I was able to explore my talents as well as grasp a great amount of knowledge in relation to the digital marketing techniques as well as the digital and social eco system at large.
This is true where after immersing myself in a series of personal opportunity developments under the digital theme, I was able to attain an overall learning outcome of the ability to evaluate a range of digital platforms and infrastructure technologies, using both theoretical and practical evaluation approaches. The PODS that I had chosen for this theme were carefully selected, as I wanted to reach a 360-degree experience of the digital eco-system as a whole. I thus for this particular project placed emphasis broadly on one category within the digital context, that of Digital Infrastructure/Technologies. This was due to the fact that I had valuable experience already collected in the field of digital marketing and context being a current digital marketing master student where extensive amount of work has already been completed on the latter two themes. This is in relation to the additional digital portfolio, which was completed under the management of Dr. Theo Lynn where demonstrated was my mastery of effective communication including the selection and use of media for specialist and non-specialist audiences. I explored eight different areas within the digital context where each exploratory section was supported by a series of appendices where the balance of material is evenly distributed covering marketing theory, performance of technical skills, content authorship and data analytics due to the module in relation of Digital Marketing Mechanics and Authorship. There I gathered a mix of different digital marketing areas I have explored social media in relation to Twitter and Facebook. I have written a Press Release and ran an email marketing campaign to accompany this. Furthermore, I have achieved certifications in Google Adwords Advanced Display as well as Google Analytics. I have developed my blogging skills and explored social bookmarking. Also a report was written on best practice when managing reputation and management crisis for firms when leveraging the benefits of social media. Exploring these sections allowed me to gain a better understanding of the whole digital eco-system at large. Thus, in order to gain that 360-degree of digital marketing knowledge, for this particular context I chose to focus on mainly on the digital infrastructure and technologies. My goal was to eliminate weaknesses and gain that competitive advantage those skills of programming as well as knowledge of great web design and usability offers. I believe there is no point playing in the sandbox, if you do not have knowledge of its key elements and structure.
As a digital marketer one deals with websites and web infrastructure on a daily basis. From the likes of creating content for the website or blog as well as implementing SEO strategies and tactics. Web design and knowledge of programming are interlinked in both of these activities, where basic knowledge on both can improve the results you achieve with that content and those SEO plans. This is true where if you know how the web is designed as well as how it should look, your content as well as SEO tactics will be aligned with that knowledge which will allow you to implement better structures and achieve those desired results. I believe that Digital Infrastructure in relation to Web Design and Programming skills is the Omega Point of digital environment. This is true where all digital activities link back to this key point. In summary, having knowledge of the digital infrastructure allows you to understand that measures and key performance indicators you can use, where “it is important to have a clear measurement strategy to guide your implementation strategy”. (Analytics Academy 2013 pp.3)
On another note, this particular theme has also allowed to me to question many things and ask why? This is true when I participated in marketing lab project and tried to analyse why certain techniques and measures were used in order to fuel my personal growth. By being immersed in that environment and always asking when completing projects for client work, I was able to accumulate an extensive amount of knowledge where I believe online sources would not have suffice. I asked many questions, as I believe the power of why is rather under looked where we spend a lot of time participating in this activity when we are young and stop when we grow older. It is important to question a process not only to identify its true meaning however to source ideas for further improvement. Furthermore, I stress and fully agree to the concept of active learning where “learning is not a spectator sport” as “studies prove time and again that college students do not learn when listening passively” an example “twenty minutes of listening to a lecture is the maximum amount of time that students can process information effectively.” (Somma 2012) Thus, the method of lecturing as we know it may be coming to an end and active learning will emerge which can be defined as “students [that are] engaged in more activities than just listening. They are involved in dialog, debate, writing, and problem solving, as well as higher-order thinking, e.g., analysis, synthesis, evaluation.” (Somma 2012)
In summary this particular theme has allowed me to achieve academic enrichment and personal growth where active learning and immersing myself in a task was a powerful idea for significant learning. However, it has also allowed for other weakness and flaws to emerge, which I intend to focus on in the future. This is where I intend to keep developing my coding and programming skills as well as copywriting and Photoshop skills. This is due to where “digital marketers are communicators by default, and the greaters communicators have what it takes to pitch an idea, win eyeballs, and keep even the most easily distracted audience engaged.” (Chan 2013) Thus, “from branded content to complex Inforgraphics and interactive video, the savvy marketer of tomorrow has them covered.” That being in relation to Photoshop skills but where copy-writing competencies come to play is “new hybrid of digital content marketers will find themselves central to the organization’s inbound marketing strategy.” (Chan 2013)
As well as to keep up with our rapid and ever changing environment in relation to education I intend to make full use of the website created when using Code Academy and set up my own online digital portfolio, which I can now do having collected a ray of digital experience. This also goes in line with the idea that “the web is in the midst of an evolutionary cycle that’s likely to spark profound changes in education, where creating an online body of work in the dominant theme in the future.” (Delaney 2012) Evidence of this is “the overwhelming number of online resources and models now available on the popular “electronic portfolio”— the digitized approach to portfolio development.” (Zubizarreta 2008)
In conclusion, “life is the cumulative effect of a handful of significant shocks”(Taleb 2010) in which I intend to ask many questions and not be afraid to make mistakes as “ within every mistake there is a lesson waiting to get out.” (Honey 2014) By embracing the fear of failing when participating in these digital personal opportunity developments, I intended to grow as an individual and fuel my power in order to achieve my ultimate goals in my chosen career. “The greatest fools are often times more clever than the men who laugh at them.” George R.R. Martin, novelist and creator of Game of Thrones (Murphy 2014)
As a side note, my ultimate goal was to not fall into the forecasted talent gap as identified by Online Marketing Institute where 700 executives from Fortune 500 as well as other international agencies were surveyed where findings showed that “The study exposed widespread dissatisfaction business leaders have with the skills (or lack therof) of their digital/social media teams. It also found a significant talent gap in the industry that is negatively effecting ROI, sales and employee retension.”(Tanner 2014)