Friday, April 5, 2013

so the marketing degree and the first job is complete...

wow it has been just over 2.5 years since i completed my bachelors degree. since i left australia. since i arrived in the uk. since i decided i would give it everything i have got.

the first job, that was interesting, what an amazing, amazing experience, i have loved every second. but did the degree really prepare me for what was next...

in all honesty, it did not! there are very few times were i was able to put back-in practically what i had learnt without it taking too much time. learning so much on the job made me resilient and tough against the idea that i might or might not succeed.

i guess it will be the next job that will define what is next, how i have progressed, what i have learnt.
the degree certainly taught me how to learn, how to think and how to ask questions. what the job taught me is, how to work, how to behave and more importantly how to succeed.

my first 2 years in the real world...the real working environment has been a huge learning curve, there has been ups...and downs and a journey worth celebrating due to the people i have met and the projects i have completed.

i am stronger for studying, but is work all it is cracked to be...perhaps...i know work is not meant to define you, but i want to love what i do, i want to be passionate about who i am and what i believe in and i want to make the world a better place because of it.

my next role will be that, i will have more courage, more conviction and will bring a greater understanding of what “my” success looks like with an implementation strategy that will change the course of history!

(well maybe not quite just yet, but maybe it could do at some point...)

so the degree is over…so then comes the first job…so the first job is over…so then comes…
passion, excitement and reward!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mastering the silence

How do you master the silence, how do you quieten the mind. How do you find out what you deserve without folding you deck of cards. How do you survive listening to your mind when  all you want to do is shout out loud and scream till your heard. I want the discipline of finding the truth, of knowing what is right and where not to go wrong. The ability to know thy self and thy self be true. To flight to be the best and shine above the crowd. I will follow, I will listen, i will let everyone know who I am and where I will go. No one has to tell me what to do and who I have to be. I am in charge, you hear me I am in charge. Fighting the fear alone, battling the plague of the mind, the real hurdle is knowing when to start not when to stop and let go. What makes me different how will you know not to let me go....I am myself I am the queen of my temple the head of my heart, the only one available to my soul. I am holding on tight, some dreams do disappear, I hate it but I know they do go. The dream becomes the reality if your lucky, I am lucky, I will be lucky. I watch and learn, I listen and hear. No time is wasted, no time " just disappears" I will wait till it is right, till I know it's perfect. How do you master the silence how do I quieten my mind....?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The way we are, the way I am...

The world scares me.... Sometimes I am prepared for the obstacles, battles and challenges. Other times I am caught so far off-guard that I wonder what happened. How could I of missed the obvious signs. perhaps there were not any? Perhaps no one is responsible and the reason the incident happened was purely life itself. I believe we all build resilience up in life, not barricades or thick skin but force fields of knowledge which provide confidence towards our instinctive actions. I laugh aloud sometimes at the comedy of life, the tragedy makes me cry out with laughter. The comedy makes me silently sob. The normal times for me are far and few between and I relish those rare occasions. Surly I would miss the tragic moments once it goes, when it goes, if it ever dose. Because it reminds me how "rich" life is. "alone we are born, and we die alone " a snippet of a poem from my 3rd form English class. I prefer my life filled with magnificent moments, being on the ecstasy of life. I will look back on this feeling and smile I know I will. Right now I just have to learn from my experiences and get better at life.... 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All is well that ends well....

My twelve-week internship, without sounding drab and borderline pathetic was all that I ever expected and a little bit more. It was challenging, engaging, emotional, a complete Disney World roller coaster learning experience. Would this have been different if my placement was not at ZigZag Advertising Agency? Probably, but it was all the better for happening at ZigZag Advertising under the careful guidance of Managing Director Mr Vince Dickson.

Why did I decide to do an internship? Was it because of the amazing workplace opportunities, networking possibilities and the rewarding nature of the program, promising to offer me endless hours of extended learning? I would honestly like to say that I chose to partake in the internship because of all those things, but rather my decision was far more utilitarian than that. I needed another 20 credit points to receive my degree and rather than take two subjects I chose to take the internship, which is a 20 credit point subject.

The internship at Griffith University is intended to be as demanding as two subjects together and is ideally taken in a student’s final semester; it has a GPA requirement of 5.5 and is convened under close observation by a leading marketing professor who guides students from beginning to end in the writing and production of an industry report.

I did not select my placement at ZigZag rather it selected me! I had a choice of course but my suggestions were actually given to others and I was recommended to go to ZigZag as I would enjoy the experience of being placed in a Boutique Advertising Agency with an intimate team of ten. An Advertising agency I thought, wow what an opportunity, it will be just like Mad Men (The American CBS T.V show recreating the events of an Advertising Agency in the 1960’s) with all the dramatic highs and incestuous lows, smoking in the office, receptionists in tights skirts and trying to build relationships with homogenous business men. Yes I agree, my daydreamed version of an advertising agency is far more fictional and rather grotesque in current employment relations standards, but there is something about that era of creativity and marketing to the masses that has an innate appeal to me. Something raw and naked about the marketing conditions that fills me with excitement and reinforces the art of relationships needed to survive in the industry.

So once this dream was dispelled, I quickly became aware of what I needed to do to stay ahead in the project. I would like to mention that my final mark for my report has not been posted so I do not know how I have been graded and wether the work I produced was to the academic standard required. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the task and was very happy with the quality of the report produced.

My industry report was on Blogging and producing Blogging guidelines for of Boutique Advertising Agency. It started as a general analysis on the functional effects of social media on small businesses. This task was interesting but completely impractical for a twelve week university course where I only spent eight hours once a week in the ZigZag office. This was then narrowed down to the specific information that MD Vince Dickson wanted. Vince already had in mind the social media tools he wished to use but wanted a thorough analysis of the tool before he was to implement them in his business. From here I started my research into Blogging.

I really had no previous concept of social media in business and certainly no logical idea of what Blogging was when I started. I am voyeur on facebook and I dabbled in Twitter and Myspace only to find I much prefer communicating with people face to face! I do however see the benefits and the progression of social media in business and I believe now it should be adopted as part of a businesses E-Marketing strategy.

As previously stated, my internship required me to spend eight hours once a week at ZigZag. During this time the hardest part was to remain sitting still at my desk for eight hours straight and not really talk to anyone. I am social person I like listening and interacting and learning. At ZigZag I remained silent unless I attempted to speak to the kind graphic designer Gavin, about technology related topics, which I thought would be of interest to him. Even then, it had been drilled into me that when you’re at your internship you are seen and not heard, and the placement is doing you a favour by having you in, so you must not disturb those around you. So basically I obeyed this rule as much as possible without trying to seem completely insignificant.

The internship at ZigZag was an experience I am happy I conquered, I may have grumbled and cried, sworn and winged, but I found the process at the end to be far more fulfilling than any other previous University subject. My only irritations came from the University itself and the teaching method employed to get students through the program. I felt neglected by the University and left in the dark about how I should achieve the objectives I had set in place in the beginning. I new it would not be an easy subject, but I did not believe I would have to quite literally figure everything out for myself. Maybe this was the intention of the University to develop students to stand on their own two feet in the business world. However, after paying $2500 for the course I did expect a little more guidance and one to one supervision.

This aside I cannot really complain about what I have achieved. The relationship I have made with the Agency itself where I feel apart of me is left behind in the report, which hopefully in someway will be used. Also the relationship I have built with Vince who has taught me more valuable lesions in four conversations over twelve weeks than I could ever have imagined. To where I am now, two months on, where I am about to embark on another internship, where I will help develop in a more hands on approach the social media strategies for a rapidly growing personal development company in London. I would like to think that in five years time (or sooner) I will reflect on this period of my life and say that my internship at ZigZag has really helped shape my carer and develop my abilities in marketing in a way which has helped me succeed over others.

Time as they say will tell. I know it will take hard work, perseverance, rejection and determination but I keep my fingers crossed all the same. Hoping that the experience I have gained from ZigZag and the completion of my Business Degree, can transcend further than University to the rapidly changing business world that now awaits me. 

Social Media Revolution

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Have some brands gone too far in their use of social media?

My university, like most universities has a portal, which is intended to be used as gateway communication between lecturers and students. I happily engage with this server every semester to make sure a fluid channel of communication is kept between my lecturers and me. I don’t share the information with my friends. This portal behaviour is private to me and is kept between the university and me only.

However recently one of my courses decided that instead of connecting with me on the university portal, it would set up a Facebook group and engage with me using the platform of social media. This meant I would have to become friends with my university course code. Not something which appealed to me in the slightest.

Over the last few months I have grown aware of the dominating presence of corporations and brands joining Facebook. Become friends with Air New Zealand (47 friends to date) or Coles (a little more promising, with 1500 friends). The question is why do we want to be friends or ‘like’ every brand we use. Why do I need to accept friend or group requests from companies and brands from my external environment?

Have some brands gone too far in their use of social media?

Suddenly I feel obligated to become friends with my university, when really I don’t want too. Facebook is not a popularity contest to display narcissistic behaviour; I can become friends with everyone! I do accept this may be the aim of some users out there. However I believe Facebook is a transparent forum, a mediated relationship builder between those groups or people that you want to share with. Not those you feel you have to share with.

I have considered establishing an alter ego, a Facebook identity to shelter my real self from the damaging friendships I have to establish from those friends I truly value. Sure, there are groups I wish to engage with, brands which I am loyal too and unashamedly accept into my life. But there are aspects of my social life, my private life, which I want to keep private from the brands that co-exist in my virtual habitat.

What I use and don’t use in the physical world is as much a private matter as it is in the virtual world. I happily use Kleenex toilet roll for the cute puppies on the T.V ad and the habitual relationship established from my childhood. However I do not and I will not become friends with my toilet roll on Facebook.

Should social media be adopted by every corporation, every brand, and every product on the market? Is the trend to use social media as a self-promotional tool so blinding that marketers have forgotten how to understand the consumer? Brands should endeavour to create meaningful relationships with their consumers. They should create value through communication channels that suite their users, not connect with their users because they are on Facebook.

Are corporations forgetting the basic principals of consumer behaviour and engagement?  I believe brands need to be aware about how and where they connect with consumers, asking wether or not this connection is relevant to the relationship.

I refuse to become friends with my course code or my airline of preference; there are other channels in my virtual or physical world, which are designed to supplement my experiences and relationships with them. Corporations and brands alike need to remember that just because the social media channel exists does not mean it should be used. Understand the consumer, analyse their behaviour, see what methods of communication are effective in reaching them. If Facebook is the right method of starting the conversation between brands and consumers it needs to be done in away that does not offend or disrupt the current relationship. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nowhere to hide- Role reversal in consumerism

What we as consumers know and what we want has changed.
We are labelled by what we consume and what we consume is stamped with our own identity trial. There are new expectations in the world of consumerism. Consumers are becoming producers in their own ‘brand’ new world.

Consumers are in search of a branded identity; and therefore consumption choices are dictated by what we stand for, or maybe it is what we want to stand for. There is no room for deception or disguise. Consumers are increasingly savvy. We are smart and will therefore make a choice lead by authenticity and trust. This behaviour applies in the real world as much as it does in the virtual world.

We are living in the age of corporate transparency, harnessed by the rapid development of the virtual world and online social networking. In this world of social networking there is no room for error, or mistake, because the spread of communication is instantaneous. Word of mouth is a powerful force. We don’t just look at brands, we look into them and we judge them. We consume them and assume their identity in doing so. Simultaneously, our identity is transferred to the brand. 

The role of consumerism has been reversed from the heady days of mass marketing to the smarter way of mass customisation, appealing to the individual as a single profitable resource. Selling one product to everyone on a mass scale has disappeared to the development of the individual market campaign. Where we collaborate with the corporation to produce a customised offer tailored to suit our own needs.

Through consumption, we as consumers construct an open curtain. This revealing habit established through consumption, allows technology to track our habits, motives and record and store information for various continuous analysis. In this way, we too are more transparent in our behaviours and motives than ever. This relationship dynamic between the consumer and the corporation is very much based on trust and delivered through the interface of brands.

Corporations have a new power, which is stronger than ever to develop products and services that nurtures loyalty and meets our specific requirements. This power is found by observing and being close to the consumer, understanding the consumer at a new depth and monitoring their behaviour in order to allow mass customisation.

Brands are the gateway between the consumer world and the corporate world and they hold a bold responsibility not to let us down. Corporations have the ability to make a positive impact on society with strengthened ethical and moral standards. Technology can take this message throughout the consumer world and similarly throughout the virtual world in an instant. Brands therefore have to be genuine to the core as there is no room for disguise or deceit.