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A Google Experience… Squared

For new starters, getting up to speed with the ins and outs of media can be a dizzying, challenging and sometimes frustrating experience. Whether it’s the constant emergence of new technologies, the task of navigating a number of channels to create an effective media plan, or getting to really understand an audience far removed from our own experiences… The world of media can be tough.

To ease my own introduction into this world, I enrolled on the Google Squared’s digital marketing course, which brings 25 young workers from both creative and media agencies along with marketing departments within wider companies.

The content of the course is a mix of panels, workshops, and lectures, with the main focus being on three large (and pretty intense) projects. The first called for us to come up with a brand new digital business, while the second required us to present a full media plan for a hair care product (making sure that we emphasise the importance of its multi-tonal salon quality). The final task was a genuine client brief for the Shakespeare Schools festival, an educational charity that encourages teenagers to immerse themselves in a range of abridged Shakespeare plays.

Conduct in a digital age
One of the most notable panels that took place involved a discussion entitled, “Do traditional principles of advertising still apply in a digital age?” The general consensus among the speakers was that while a lot of the principles remain important, one that has emerged as increasingly essential is authenticity.

In an age where consumers have a greater voice on a range of social platforms, it is crucial that we treat them intelligently and with respect. We were invited to consider case studies of brands such as Red Bull as its focus on authentic advertising has led to it being extremely well respected. This cemented the idea that we as a business must stay in tune with the wider world in order to deeply understand our customers and in turn generate greater brand loyalty.

A new set of tools
I also gained some more specific skills from workshops that were designed to introduce us to a range of marketing and advertising products. This included Google Adwords, Google Trends, plus a session in which we learned how to create our very own mobile app.

This helped aid my understanding of a range of tools that are valuable in the creation of a full media plan. It also highlighted how important it was to do your research! Embarking on an advertising campaign can easily be rushed, especially if one is working of preconceptions of any specific target audience. Being able to use these tools effectively as planners can give rise to interesting insights and thus open up opportunities to target audiences in new and innovative ways.

Be prepared to fail
Squared emphasised the importance of failure. In short, being successful requires pushing yourself and committing yourself to a level of risk that may ultimately lead you to fail. Playing it safe is not an option if you are determined to be the most innovative business around. However, most importantly, you can only learn from your mistakes. It can lead to greater understanding and provide you with bigger and better ideas that will help you to eventually succeed.

As Vizeum prides itself on being an innovative agency, I think this is one of the most important things that I can take with me into my daily work.

Bianca Athanasiou, Planning Assistant, Vizeum