I went Digital, and never went back.

Going Digital

When I graduated from college in 2012, I was faced with the daunting task of figuring out the next big step and getting my first “real world” job. My active search resulted in two
opportunities – one where I could join the accounting division of Ernst&Young, and another one where I could join the newly founded Digital team at McCann Erickson. With a vague idea of where I want my career to progress, I saw both offers as a great way to put my Business degree to actual use. Both offers were from equally renowned companies in their respective fields. Both had equally comparable terms.

Brain hemispheres sketch

The difference, however, was in that the Digital “team” at McCann consisted of my very
inspiring boss and no one else at the time, coupled with the fact that no one at the company really knew what Digital would do. It was not an easy choice. I loved numbers, but I also loved watching Mad Men. Deep down I knew I wanted to be a part of something creative and innovative. I decided to go Digital.

Mad (Wo)man in Advertising

The next few years were equally amazing and crazy. Defining digital marketing in a market where digital marketing is in its earliest stage of development. Communicating the importance of digital to very skeptical Brand Managers.

mad-men

Developing social media strategies for brands that never used social media in this market before. Discovering insights. Generating creative ideas. Building websites and apps. Designing engaging content. Viral videos. Trying to manage through numerous requests for a customized digital strategy from Brand Managers excited to try digital channels. Community development. Communicating the brand values through Social Media. Storytelling on Facebook. A/B testing of different posting times and messages. Generating conversations. Organic reach, ads, impressions. Likes and followers. All of these (and many more!) were a part of my daily life at McCann. It was what I loved doing every day, and what I want to keep on doing. Looking back, I know going Digital was a step in the right direction.

The Impact

Looking back, I also realize how incredibly lucky I am. Working in one of the best integrated marketing communications agencies in the world, I developed detailed knowledge and understanding of 360 degrees of marketing and communications. I got to witness the emergence and development of a digital market. I got a deep-dive into digital marketing from the get go of my career. I naturally developed and acquired many of the skills that a lot of companies are looking for now, 5 years later than when I first started working.

As the second-year BC MBA student graduating this May, I constantly follow the job market and its requirements. Knowledge and experience with effective marketing in digital space is valued more than ever in companies of all sizes and across the whole industry board ­– from finance to healthcare to consumer goods – you name it. Coupled with two years’ worth of knowledge from the MBA program, my digital marketing experience can open doors to many interesting opportunities. However, having experienced the ever-changing and evolving nature of the digital space first-hand, I realize I need to take another deep-dive into digital – who knows, maybe the “waters” will feel a little different this time.

Expectations

I am excited about digital media and its uses. This course teaches digital and social media through digital and social media. I am using at least some form of social media “all day, every day”. It will be interesting to see what I learn from this course and how it affects my usage of social media at the end of the course.

I realize there will be personal challenges throughout the course as well. While I routinely check Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook (in that particular order – funny how my priorities and preferences have shifted over time), I am not as active with Twitter. Incorporating it into a routine will require some effort, but I look forward to finding a space for it in my personal Social Media sequence.

Being an introvert by nature, I do not tend to express my thoughts out loud. Maintaining a blog so far seems to be the most intimidating part of the course for me. Still, I know it will be interesting and valuable to dedicate some time to research some of my topics of interest and to share the knowledge, all while brushing up on my writing skills. My Twitter activity will also have become an item on my daily schedule to make sure I actually post tweets.

However, my tendency to keep quiet doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy engaging in a discussion on some topic of interest. Both in-class discussions and Twitter exchanges so far have been very enjoyable. The diversity of the class helps provide a diverse array of topics for discussion both on and off-line – and I am looking forward to finding some of my favorite commenters, authors and “tweeters” throughout the course. With such a wide array of points of view in class, even the familiar topics are bound to be presented in a different light – and that is the beauty of the social nature of the course and the power given to it by the digital media.

 

5 comments

  1. Great post. I’ll be interested in hearing your perspective on this course at the end, given your extensive previous experience (don’t worry, I suspect you’ll still learn something). Actually, introverts tend to do well in this class, because the blog/ comments give them time to formulate their thoughts prior to expressing them. Some of the students who make the biggest impact on class are those who rarely make a comment in class (and that I might have otherwise not heard from)

  2. Great post – I really enjoyed reading it! It will be interesting to hear from you at the end of the course how (or if at all) your perspective on digital business has shifted. I, too, am a stranger to Twitter and it will be an adjustment to my routine, as well, making myself check Twitter and post on it nearly every day. Excited to see what perspective you will bring to class with your experience in digital advertising!

  3. Really cool post! Can you imagine where you’d be now if you had taken the position at Ernst&Young? I really hope you devote a few blog posts to going in depth about some of those skills you developed at McCann, they all seem super interesting and I’d love to hear more about them!

  4. I really enjoyed your post! I will be graduating this year and am also interested in pursuing a career in digital marketing. I think it’s fascinating how the digital marketing landscape has exploded and how you worked during the early stages of development only a few years ago. Now when I google digital marketing agencies, the number of companies has increased drastically from the time you graduated college to when I will. This insane chart (which you might already be familiar with) depicts the transformation from around 150 marketing technology companies in 2011 to around 3,500 in 2016 (http://chiefmartec.com/2016/03/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2016/). I’d be interested to learn about the different types of opportunities you have in your future given your past digital marketing experience and how your career path might differ from someone about to enter this industry.

  5. fayehubregsen · ·

    Ulker, thanks for a great post. It stirred up thoughts and questions in my head regarding the digital marketing space. Did you find you were able to get both your numbers and creative fix in your role at McCann? What were some of your favorite parts of generating digital marketing strategies given its “earliest stage of development”?

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