TOP TEN MARKETING NUGGETS OF WISDOM: WHAT I LEARNED AS AN INTERN
Written By: Ashlyn Sipe, Summer Intern
1. Marketing is always easier with a cup of coffee or some pizza- Allow yourself that guilty pleasure that allows you to be fully present for the task ahead of you. More often than not, you will see Jordan and other HQ employees with a cup of coffee in their hands; it simply makes the job easier. Mellow Mushroom being right next door is also very helpful, as Jordan and I have made many, many, visits to get some pizza and/or salads! Exercise, meditate or grab that cup of Starbucks so that you can have a clear mind. We all benefit from experiencing the full presence of each other.
2. Passion. Focus. Drive. - Days are busy and employee’s schedules are packed. I had never seen such full calendars before this internship! In addition to the regular workday, there are also regular evening events and meetings that occur. Although the HQ team is a committed group of individuals that put in long hours and have tight schedules, the group was cohesive and clearly enjoyed their jobs. The workplace environment was welcoming, engaging and positive. It was teamwork at its finest.
3. Blogging is an effective tool that helps others ‘see’ you — One of the first things Jordan told me I would be doing is writing blogs, which automatically told me that blogging is a very important part of marketing. I remember the night before my first day, I anxiously watched She-wolf’s webinars, taking extremely detailed notes on blogging. The biggest thing I took from those is that blogging increases SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which helps them be discovered on search engines. Quiet and reserved by nature, I initially wondered how comfortable I would be writing my thoughts for public viewing. I soon discovered that writing, particularly in a blogging format, felt natural and came easily. It became a way for me to use my voice and to better articulate my thoughts and communicate my ideas to others.
4. There’s a lot more to web design than just making it look pretty- It’s no secret that basically everything is online now, if not on mobile phones. Smartphones are constantly developing, and your website should with them. I learned this on my first day. Jordan gave me this huge book with a bunch of lists of local companies. I was focusing on North Carolina wineries and breweries, looking up their websites and social media accounts and finding the ones that needed the most help. Some of them were very well-known, but their website was so outdated and there was almost no social media presence. Your website could make or break your brand and it’s important to constantly evolve with technology advancement.
5. Set goals and follow through with them- Goals are so important for everyone to have but specifically in business. Goals are powerful tools that can help motivate yourself and employees. They are a way to measure your company’s progress, plan for the future, and a source of satisfaction and celebration when completed.
6. Social media is HUGE in marketing- It’s no secret that the biggest and most well-known companies have highly successful social media pages. Social media, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., is a fast and effective way to connect with your customers, spread awareness, and build brand loyalty with your customers. As a teenager who is frequently on social media, I understand how important it is to keep up with your social media pages, as it will very easily spread the word and build a connection with your followers and, in this case, customers.
7. Unfortunately, you can’t please everybody- I learned this on my very first day of my internship. We were working with a company who needed their whole website redone. It’s a no-brainer that everyone has a different idea of what a project should be and have their own opinions. The website mockup that Brandboss had created looked, in my opinion, spectacular, but the owner of the company had imagined something different. That is one of my favorite parts of marketing- the idea that a piece of everyone gets put together to create one, big, final product that completely changes the client’s business for the better.
8. Values are important, keep them close (I really, really like this one!)- One of the things I love so much about marketing is that it allows you to maintain your values and work them into every project you do. I am one who keeps their values close to their heart and tries very hard to not go against them. Loyalty is one of my core values. If I were to become an entrepreneur one day, building relationships that were built on mutual trust and respect would be important to me, for from those relationships loyalty is a result. In addition to your personal value system, you also need to keep the company’s and the client’s values and mission statements in the forefront of your mind. Beautiful and effective marketing can come from the blending of these value systems.
9. Staying true to your brand is important- In a way, this goes along with values. When you create a business, you must figure out a brand to set you apart from competitors, connect with your customers, and represent your business as a whole. Being the creative person I am, when Jordan gave me the project of designing a greeting card, I instantly wanted to play around with all the fonts and color schemes. But, I learned how to follow the brands of Brandboss and the partnering company and use their specific fonts and colors to make it true to their businesses. This was one of the most challenging but enjoyable tasks I did during my internship and it taught me that consistency is key.
10. And most importantly, surround yourself with greatness and HAVE FUN- It’s important to surround yourself with people that challenge, inspire and encourage you. It is equally important to find joy in what you do. The environment at HQ Greensboro is very fun and lighthearted, where everyone works hard but takes time to chat and connect with their coworkers. I hope to one day have relationships with my coworkers, as Jordan has with hers.
As my internship comes to a close, I would like to say thank you to everyone at HQ Greensboro who welcomed me with open arms and made me feel as a part of the team! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my blogs. I had never done this before and the amount of love and support I was given was incredible! And most importantly, thank you to Jordan for taking me under her wing and giving me the inside scoop of what it’s like to work in a marketing firm. Even if I don’t end up following the marketing path, I learned so many life lessons and had so many great experiences that will benefit me no matter what profession I pursue.