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As someone who’s accumulated a decade of eclectic career experiences, I am a believer in career chaos theory. Your resume may leave people wondering how you got from point A to point B, but the route you took and lived experience has all informed your point of view.My path to becoming a digital marketer certainly wasn’t a straight one – my origins are as a Birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating environmentalist (to be fair, granola is delicious). My passion to do the best possible job communicating with people about how they interact with the environment, and more importantly – compelling them to act, led me to take diverse opportunities in journalism, communications, advocacy, research, psychology, and marketing before I recently honed in on the digital experience.
All of this has accumulated very naturally over the last decade, but I decided to dive into the Digital Marketing course at BrainStation to strengthen this particular skillset so I can offer the best possible resources to small businesses and nonprofits alike.
This past week, while we were discussing strategy in class, we returned to the concept of the marketing sales funnel. While I’ve been exposed to this professionally, it never really struck me until that night how really it is just another take on the classic engagement pyramid used by grassroots advocates and organizers. It’s comforting to come full circle between my two worlds and see such striking similarities in a tool used heavily in each respective field. The concept is basic – expose a large group of people to your cause or company making them aware, and then try to have them become more engaged eventually influencing an (inevitably smaller) portion to act in some way.
It’s about influencing your community and the realization that to get people to sign your petition or make a purchase you need to put yourself in their shoes and think “what do they get out of this?” It forces companies & organizers to be aware that to get loyalty you need to have conversations, be valuable, incentivize, and always think about how you can earn the action that you want this person to take.
This, to me, is why digital marketing is increasingly exciting. Retailers have had to come around to the fact that using social media as a giant megaphone is ineffective (not to mention rather boring) and develop tactics for building real communities and incorporating feedback. In turn, savvy nonprofits and charities are borrowing the best tools a marketer’s handbook has to offer to get smart about reaching the right audience and influencing an outcome. Somewhere in between these two worlds is where my expertise lies and seeing how BrainStation fosters this concept confirms that I’ve chosen the right place to hone my skills and develop the strongest tactics possible.