Marketing 101: How it Works in the “Real World”
Andrea Goldstein is a member of the Towson University Class of 2012 who interned with us this fall. We wanted to give her a chance to share some of what she learned on our blog. Below are her words of newfound wisdom—beginners and veterans alike, we hope you can learn from this post as Andrea learned from her experience with us.
Stepping in to a new company is always quite the adventure. Even though I knew what Right Source Marketing did before I started, I was excited to be able to get some hands on learning experience in a marketing field that is becoming more important every day—content marketing. While working at Right Source, I was not only introduced to content marketing, but also effective team dynamics, and the wild world of social media when before, I was normally on the other side of the table as a consumer. Overall, what I learned goes far beyond teachers and books.
Here’s a few top takeaways:
1. The importance of personal branding. Originally I met Will Davis, Right Source’s Managing Partner, when he came to Towson University to speak on the importance of blogging – little did I know he would be my future employer. At the time, he inspired me to start my personal blog, and to take more seriously how I was viewed online. Slowly, I began to brand myself and the next time I saw Will at a Towson job fair, he seemed excited to know I had started blogging. One thing led to another, and here I am sitting in Right Source’s office today writing this blog post. Will said a large reason why I got the internship is what and how I wrote on my blog. It will be hard to forget the first few times I met the Right Source team, somehow they took a complicated concept and made it seem so simple: write online, brand and market yourself, and you’ll get attention from the right people.
2. A small business can do big things. Working at Right Source is definitely not what I am used to after interning at 200+ employee companies. The work that comes out of the smaller RSM team is astounding. Everyone has their specialties, and they all complement each other. We have everything from the business savvy, social network savvy, copywriting savvy, and project managing savvy—and a large network of specialist partners. Right Source works with national companies – because they can.
3. Analytics, Analytics, Analytics. As a young adult in this world of social media, I am familiar with many of the different properties, both personal and professional. But I’d never realized the importance of using their tracking capabilities for measuring success until I worked at Right Source. Between Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other sites, there is a multitude of statistics available for analysis. These stats are such a vital feedback tool, it’s a wonder anyone would do work without them. Learning about analytics from Right Source even helped at my other internship, where I was promoted from my unpaid position to a paid position due to my new analytics abilities.
4. Two heads are better than one. Brainstorming sessions are commonplace at the office. While project owners are assigned, there is a large amount of thought sharing in the planning stages. While everyone has specialties, good ideas can come from all over. My ideas seem to have as much weight as everyone else’s—Right Source understands you don’t need experience to be creative. Due to this open-mindedness, Right Source is able to capitalize on this idea of sharing, and the results prove it.
5. Three lefts don’t make a right, so plan ahead. Some companies seem to get the job done eventually, but Right Source doesn’t drag anything out. Good planning ahead of time helps avoid making three lefts, resulting in more effectiveness. One of our clients needed a big initiative started, and instead of stopping once we came up with what we thought was a great plan, we continued brainstorming until we had quite a number of back-ups and alternatives if the situation changed. I’ve learned at Right Source that taking time in the beginning saves time in the end and avoids extra frustrations along the way.
6. The answer could be next door. Right Source Marketing’s Baltimore office is located in the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, which allows for many new smaller tech companies to get started easily under one roof. It seems like almost everyone here works together. We can’t possibly know the answers to everything all the time, but luckily, here, the answer could be just down the hall.
7. More is not always better. Having 5,000 Facebook fans is an accomplishment for many companies – but how helpful is it in actually driving business if only 500 of them are interested in your company? Here we stress the importance of quality leads that actually drive company growth rather than massive quantities of leads. I see a lot of companies with many fan pages and huge amounts of fans—but the pages don’t seem to produce actual leads. Marketing efforts could be better spent elsewhere.
8. If you teach a man to fish… At first it didn’t make sense to me why Right Source would explain to their clients so much about what they do and why they are doing it. If we teach clients about everything, what are they going to continue to hire us for? The answer: expertise. Ultimately, I found that educating and executing is more effective than simply executing. Clients know exactly what our strategic plan for their business is, and why we think it will work.
While I was only with Right Source Marketing for a short semester, I feel like I could stay with them for much longer and still continue to learn more every day – especially considering the team’s collective knowledge. As the marketing field continues to change and grow, continuous learning is a necessity.
As an aspiring marketer, I would love to know what you have learned from your work experience—whether it’s a semester as an intern or a long career. Let me know what little things really stood out to you in the comments!