And so, my journey begins…

Tomorrow marks my fourth week at my work placement. I am yet to ask permission to name drop, so for now, ‘work placement’ shall have to suffice. As I begin to type, I’m already struggling to order the happenings of the past three weeks in any chronological form, but I will try my best.

Week 1:

So, I arrive. Here I am on the sixth floor of a lovely office block in Moorgate, with my new job title of CRM and Social Manager. What that means is that over the next 12 months, I will be managing and learning the routes and channels to the engagement and re-engagement of consumers. Email marketing was introduced to me on day one, as one of the main channels adopted to help build retention. By day two I was building my own email marketing campaigns. To elaborate a little, this consisted of me using a program (or two) that was entirely novel to me (e.g. Adobe Dreamweaver), picking up the ins and outs of code, and someway, somehow, my brain managed to absorb this all so quickly without one explosion! Great start!

I sat in on a few meetings here and there this week – (meetings – I’m officially a grown-up) – one being the weekly commercial meeting. You may have sensed by my previous post, my uneasy relationship with numbers. Attending this meeting during my first week and listening to numbers and percentages being thrown around the room nerved me a little (/a lot), but I wrote it all down in my new black notebook (so very cliche) and intend to get to grips with it all promptly –  give me a few weeks! Luckily, I have a wonderful manager, who’s motivating and helpful, and I can see myself learning loads from him. I also had the opportunity to attend further meetings and conference calls regarding upcoming initiatives, which included customer classification. Customer classification practically enables you to understand your consumers and target audience by identifying who they are, how they live and how they spend their money. From my understanding, the market research industry classifies consumers into their social grade using categories A, B, C1, C2, D and E. The classification system I was introduced to during this meeting was much more in-depth, referred to as ‘Mosaic’, and is offered by the company Experian. Regardless of the classification system, by classifying consumers into categories, targeting will become very controlled. For example, emails will be written and targeted to a much more precise segment of consumers depending on the content.

I am also responsible for social media side of things. The great thing about social media is that for most, it is a learning process, and it is OK to test what you can do with it and how to get the best out of it. Facebook, Twitter and the likes, needed some attention, so I spent a little time with them this week to get them back up and active. In my opinion (feel free to challenge me), social media as a marketing tool, especially in B2C industries, could not be more important. Individuals today have such high filters, that they simply will not buy into any advert you throw in their face. They will not click that link and enter your world just because you tell them to. Engaging with your target market and providing them with a compelling story, helps individuals to build trust, emotion and loyalty towards your brand. It has reached a point whereby individuals no longer trust what you say; they trust pure recommendations. You need to provide your audience with a reason WHY they should come to you, and ultimately recommend you. Social media offers a perfect platform to cultivate this, by providing businesses with the ability to be human and interact with their consumers. For this reason, I really do intend to take my responsibility with social media seriously.

What I learnt the most: How to code an email campaign!
My aim for next week: Get to know everyone in the office!

Week 2

This week saw much of the same to week one, in the case that I’m still building email marketing campaigns (plenty of them), and getting to grips with everything. I also spent some of this week re-designing the twitter page. However, for someone who knows Photoshop back to front (ish), this was slightly more complicated than anticipated! After hours scrolling through Google, I now understand that building an image that fits your 11″ computer and uploading it to twitter may look great from your end, but things go terribly wrong when viewing things from a 13″ computer, a laptop, or iPad etc. Eventually, I came across a template, and figured this all out, so now we have a brand new twitter design ready to go live sometime next week, that should look great from screens of all shapes and sizes! Phew! (If you’re struggling with the same issue, this website was my saviour! –

During this week I was also lucky enough to attend an event called FBStart London. From their website, it was obvious that it was a Facebook conference, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I rocked up and took my seat amongst approximately 30-50 small businesses and start-ups. The masters of Facebook, (that includes the very guy who built the newsfeed), spent the rest of the afternoon demonstrating how to get the most out of Facebook. To be fair, it was essentially a sales pitch on Facebook’s part, but it was extremely insightful nonetheless. The advice given was largely focused on a shift to mobile (with the development of viable apps), and a greater use of Facebook as a marketing tool and how to go about implementing it. The founders of Secret Escapes, Zaggora and Y-Plan discussed the huge benefits of using Facebook as their central marketing platform and explained that testing on small budgets at the outset can help you measure which direction to move towards.

In terms of my aim last week, i’m still getting to know my 50-odd collegues. But i’m getting there… now to remember their names!

What I learnt the most: How important mobile is becoming to businesses.
My aim for next week: Voice my opinion of the importance of social media!

Week 3

I’ll keep this one short as so much happened, I couldn’t possibly note it all down. This week was absolutely crazy, with a lot of conflicting emotions involved. On a good note, I sent around a powerpoint presentation documenting the importance of social media, and what was missing from the company, to all the senior staff, which was received well.

Then there’s the bad note… My brilliant, motivating manager who I was due to learn bucket loads from, informed me he is leaving the company next week. As well as being outright gutted because he is a pleasure to work with, I’m expecting the time between his departure and a replacement being found, to be extremely challenging. As of next week, I will be the only member of the CRM team, with what will be a total of 4-weeks experience! This week and the week to follow, therefore, will involve me learning and noting absolutely everything possible, to ensure a smooth running when he leaves. Although a lot of responsibility may shift my way, and I’m going to have to pluck up the courage to speak during meetings slightly prematurely, i’ll take this as an excellent opportunity and ultimately, a learning curve. And isn’t that what this is all about?

      Wish me luck…

What I learnt the most: Try and get involved in as much as possible.
My aim for next week: LEARN EVERYTHING! (or at least start with the numbers…)