Digital Marketing Class One: Back to School
Emma Knight, Greenhouse Juice Co., Blog Post Two
I’ve often thought our calendar has it wrong: September is a far more appropriate time than January to begin a New Year. That bittersweet, butterfly-inducing “back to school” feeling is the one I most associate with wiping the slate clean and starting something new.
My last graduation was in 2013, so for the past two Septembers my back to school feeling has been pure placebo. I still bought lots of pens, but it wasn’t the same. This is a partial explanation for my enormous excitement at the opportunity to put my Billy Madison hat on by taking BrainStation’s course in Digital Marketing this fall.
The first class this past Monday did not disappoint. The classroom set-up was polished and welcoming. A handwritten card marked each student’s place at one of three long tables, and a swag bag (including a black reporter’s notebook, my favourite) waited on each ergonomic chair. I was even greeted by name as I entered the classroom – an impressive feat, in a course with nearly thirty participants!
Our first task was to take turns sharing a bit about ourselves, and what attracted us to this course in digital marketing. I was amazed by the cross-section of backgrounds in the room, from scientists to entrepreneurs and dancers. A common thread was that we all felt our digital marketing skills, whether nascent, acquired through a formal education in marketing, or honed over years on the job, were due for an update.
This was both comforting and daunting to hear from so many of my new classmates, including those who had been in digital marketing roles for years, or who had recently completed degrees in digital marketing. Comforting because it made me feel like I was not the only one binge watching MailChimp tutorials in the wee hours of the morning. Daunting because the pace of change will, of course, only accelerate. Like most things prefaced with “digital,” this field is evolving so quickly that constant, active learning is the only way to stay ahead of the curve.
As the three-hour lesson progressed, I became increasingly confident that I had come to the right place. The curriculum that we will cover over the next twelve weeks dovetails beautifully with my medium-term to-do list. A class discussion on the meaning of the word “brand” opened my mind to a new way of looking at the term, and by extension, at my role.
And perhaps most promising of all, I felt an immediate affinity with both the BrainStation teachers (whose humourous, irreverent style speaks to my condition, and who are clearly on the cutting edge of this quickly-changing landscape), and to my fellow students, whose collective curiosity, knowledge base and enthusiasm I found inspiring.
As if all this weren’t exciting enough, BrainStation offered us a dinner break catered by Flock with beer on tap, which some students brought back to the classroom after the break. Talk about too cool for school!
I was so inspired by the first lesson that I finally worked up the courage to send Greenhouse’s first email newsletter– something that topped my to-do list for longer than I care to admit. (Don’t worry; I didn’t drink any beer before doing this…) I’m very much looking forward to next Monday!