As a graduate of Boston College who attempted to make sense of an Accounting and Film degree, I began by playing a bit of word association when it came to “Digital Business:”
The film guy in me immediately thought, “Facebook Videos,” the Accounting guy in me thought, “Paid Social,” but the combination of the two often thinks – how do I make a living out of this?
In the form of many different blog posts, that’s the crux of the various topics I explore this semester will all have the underlying question: what is the future of digital advertising, and what is my place in it? What will jobs in marketing and filmmaking look like in the future? Should I keep playing with my camera or would I have better luck sticking to debits and credits?
Although I likely have a very marketing/video biased view of digital business, these are the questions I’m bringing into this class, knowing they’ll probably seem either insignificant, irrelevant, or poorly phrased by the end:
- Are videos effective marketing tools, or flashy media with view counts that’s easy for marketers to hang their hat on?
- What are the success factors of digital videos and commercials? Is it story, length, style, or even song choice? Is it time of posting and number of Facebook followers? Are we all victim to Facebook’s algorithms, can we cheat the system, and is it really all about “pay to play”?
- What is the key to digital ad buying and social campaigns? How do you spend the right amount to really add value?
- What will the ad agency of the future look like, if at all? Will large agencies still rule, or will small creative shops and freelance content creators seize the day?
- What elements of marketing and branding will be immune to changes in platform and technology?
- What skills do I need to learn to stay relevant and be effective in marketing?
- Will a BC MBA offer me that skillset, or is experience, networking, and creative risk-taking a much better endeavor?
Clearly, when I think of digital business, I think of digital advertising. And though I’ve been exposed to other “digital business” things like IT databases, big data, information systems, data-driven manufacturing, cloud computing – it all sounded not only daunting, but outright boring. And that’s why I decided to play with cameras instead of audit IT systems, even if I’ll end up making half the money doing it!
When it comes to this class, I really hope to push myself with the blogs, and make them opportunities to actually research things I’ve wanted to learn, instead of saying, “that’s my new year’s resolution to learn” and never actually getting around to doing it. I could procrastinate with video tutorials and compare specs on cameras and lenses for hours on end, but I often need to force myself to do the marketing, analytics, and business-minded legwork I aspire to learn – and that’s what I hope this class will force me to do. I want to develop the skills of a digital entrepreneur, and even better, try to align to future digital trends.
I also really hope to be proven totally wrong by this class. I hope I leave thinking that my “digital business = digital marketing” was pathetically narrow, and that the possibilities for the kinds of jobs, livelihoods, and companies that might exist in the future are radically different than I might have expected. And though it might prove to be the total opposite, I’m hoping this class might provide some reassurance for the path I decided to take after graduation. With a choice between Risk Advisory Accounting and Filmmaking for an alma mater I love, I opted to play with cameras. The question will be, how do I make this sustainable? How can this choice make not only a difference for myself, but others too?
Lastly, I hope to form not just a network, but friendships, from this class. Since putting myself out there in the video and digital world, I’ve been blown away be people’s creativity and passion – often realizing it’s quite a ground for friendship and exciting collaborations. I think the upside and ceiling for this class is infinite if I can put in the time and effort, but it’ll be a complete waste of time if my blog posts meet the same fate as overpriced gym membership purchases in January. Most importantly, I hope this class will challenge me, make me more aware of the world around me, change the way I think about the world, my career, my passions, and open my eyes to how they all intersect.