With our fall digital marketing course having just wrapped up in Toronto, we wanted to shed the spotlight on our project winners, Emma Knight and Jessie Corney.
Since week 1, Emma and Jessie worked as a team to build out a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for MISFIT, a Toronto-based studio offering a truly unique mind and body experience. Each week, the various groups took their key learnings from class and applied them to their final project, with a final class featuring presentations from each. The ladies of MISFIT came in to see the presentations, and collaborated with our team of instructors to pick a winning presentation.
Tell us briefly about your background coming into the course.
Emma: I am currently in charge of marketing and brand development for a Toronto start-up called Greenhouse Juice Co. My educational and professional background is in journalism and international affairs. I have a master’s in each from Sciences Po, Paris, and have written for a range of publications in Canada, France, the US and Argentina. I’ve also worked on the business side of news and done some copywriting for brands here and in the States.
Jessie: For the last 10 years I have managed international artists working closely to develop and implement creative, marketing and sales strategies for photographers, directors, animation, digital and technology studios specializing in advertising. Currently I am working freelance as a consultant for visual storytellers and have recently joined the team at Thinkingbox, a digital production studio, as their Sr. Account Manager.
Why did you decide to enrol in Digital Marketing?
Emma: I chose this course in hopes of deepening my understanding of some of the more technical areas of digital marketing.
Jessie: I was looking to shift my career slightly but did not know where I would land. Diving deeper into digital marketing would be valuable in all the directions I was considering.
What was the learning experience like?
Emma: The course was fascinating, and impressively wide-ranging. Every class was filled with practical, up-to-the-minute information that has been directly applicable to my current work. Some were so fast-paced and dense with information that my pen hand hurt and my head was spinning. I hadn’t been in a classroom setting since finishing grad school in 2013 – it felt great. The instructors were also incredibly friendly and approachable, and the school itself is stunning.
Jessie: I sincerely appreciated the relevant industry knowledge of the educators. Our class was small, comfortable and casual. The teachers were incredibly helpful and eager to offer in depth insight into any questions we had.
What was your favourite section of the course and why?
Emma: I loved delving into SEO and SEM. These were some of the most intense classes. It was exciting to have the curtain pulled aside on an area of digital marketing that had always (until now) seemed unduly complicated.
Jessie: I could not put my finger on a favourite section. I love a challenge and I am still reading over notes of the areas I was less familiar. The teachers would often supply additional reading to delve into more detail.
Favourite instructor and why?
Emma: I can’t play favourites! They were all excellent: kind, funny, articulate, and approachable despite being dauntingly accomplished.
Jessie: All of the teachers had a specialty and would add to each other’s lectures as they went. They worked as a panel to bounce questions off of one another. If one persons industry led them to additional insight they would share. I found it incredibly helpful; I could not pick a favourite. They all offered immense value.
What did you find the most challenging? Most rewarding?
Emma: The most challenging part was balancing this course with my work for Greenhouse. We’re a small team trying to do a lot at once, so I’ve been working 10-12 hour days 7 days a week for the past two years; this course has been my only non-juice activity. Finding time to get everything done was a challenge, but I’m glad I found a way. Learning that the MISFIT Studio team found our presentation useful has been the most rewarding part.
Jessie: I found the more technical aspects of SEO/Analytics the most challenging simply because it is a dry subject. It is difficult to make data sexy.
Most rewarding was working on the digital strategy for a real business. Both Emma and I create similar strategies for our own businesses so we connected to the project and the brand. Hearing their appreciation, how they felt we truly recognized their business and its need was incredibly rewarding.
How has the course helped you grow professionally and personally?
Emma: Many concepts that looked grey to me before are now rendering in technicolour, which will no doubt serve me well both professionally and personally.
Jessie: Professionally the course gave me confidence in the areas I was most familiar and insight into sections I was not. I have a better understanding overall of how to help my clients and employer with their digital marketing. I feel I was given some great tools and reference to continue to learning as e-marketing shifts with time. Personally I now have a Snapchat account – BAM! Now I am down with the kids.
What are your next steps in continuing your digital marketing journey?
Emma: I am planning to create a digital marketing plan for Greenhouse like the one we created for MISFIT, and then put it into action.
Jessie: It will be important to continue learning as elements are always changing.
Any advice to aspiring digital marketers?
Emma: Be authentic. Believe in what you’re selling. If you don’t, it will be obvious.
Jessie: Take this class. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Bring coffee.
What course will you be taking next?!
Emma: Good question! I want to take them all. I’ve always wanted to learn how to code…
Jessie: Working with a digital production studio and other visual storytellers there is a lot of options that would improve my skill set and performance as an employee, advisor, and entrepreneur.Still figuring that one out.
And finally…what did MISFIT have to say?
Andrea & Amber: It was really our pleasure! We learned so much from everyone. Thanks so much for letting us take part, the info will i’m sure prove to be invaluable!