This is basically a rant, but if you’ve employed/interviewed grads recently you’ll be hugely depressed about how Uni’s really don’t have a bloody clue about the online sector. And I’m sure we’ll have all heard this somewhere. So; if you’re a marketing grad before going into a digital agency to work there for an interview or any marketing related interview read this list. Please! I do need to mention that not all grads do this just these are things that I have heard over the last 2 months and have really grated on my nerves.
This isn’t solely aimed at grads it’s also for those marketing managers out there that don’t get digital marketing, the ones who haven’t caught up with the new era as it were. You know who you are and yes you drive everyone who consults for you insane.
1. SEO is all about keywords and Meta right? – This is the number one offender in my book I can’t stand hearing this. Although number 2 is a little similar and depending on what mood I’m in can piss me off even more.
2. Oh I know about SEO we did a lecture on that a year ago – whilst this is not the graduates fault it is the universities, they would be better teaching them nothing than filling them with knowledge that was outdated 3 years ago and making them believe it is far too simple.
3. What is PPC/CPC/CPA/Any other basic acronym that relates around the PPC sector – This is basic, this can actually be explained in a single lecture, at least to have a working knowledge of the process, why isn’t it?
4. What’s affiliate marketing – Come on really? Why do people not know this! In a marketing environment affiliates (where it is applicable) are your best friends. It’s very low risk and it works. It’s basic stuff; it essentially is the practice of cutting someone else with a website in to advertise you and giving them a cut of the revenue from traffic coming to your site. Learn about the major affiliate networks, the iGaming sector is a little different here so you probably won’t need to know about that.
5. When I did my internship with crappysite.com they taught me loads about SEO and Social Media – If I look at crappysite.com and see it sucks, which it probably does if they let and intern manage their SEO and Social media. I am NOT going to be happy.
6. Question – On a scale of 1 to 10 (one being someone who has never seen technology 10 being an MIT grad with a computer science degree) what level of computer skills would you say you have?
YOUR ANSWER SHOULD NOT BE ABOVE 6! Especially if you can’t even use Photoshop! – Now the amount of times in this process I heard 7 or 8 to have it justified by I can use excel and word. That is not what we mean, that does not fit this scale and you have just displayed a complete lack of having any technical knowledge and possibly the aptitude to gain it. Knowing how to use the adobe sweet, logic and so on but no coding ability what so ever gets you a 4 in my eyes, being able to screw about with the basics of web code and hack and slash your way through creating a unique wordpress template, just about gets you the ability to justify a 5. Next time somebody answers above a 6 I’m going to bring the head of development in and say right he’ll interview you for a position on his team, you’re clearly capable.
7. I read somewhere that SEO was dead – This is the moment when my head finally explodes and I want to ask them to leave my sight before I take their degree and burn it in front of them as apparently it’s worthless. – Offline marketing is the dying media, SEO is just ever changing (Print/Radio are plummeting and you can’t rely on TV advertising because unless your prime time or directly either side of the show it doesn’t work well).
8. Online Marketing is all about Twitter and Facebook – Whilst this isn’t an entirely unhealthy prospective, (aside from the fact that no-one with a knowledge of marketing should neglect any channel they can exploit during a campaign) after all social media is important, these people usually have the misguided interpretation that it is going to be the easy way of doing things. Technically being good at social media means being anti-social as the most important hours for you to be working aren’t necessarily 9-5 think about when the audience is online. The other thing is social media is not just about adding a load of people and watching the sales come in, things don’t work like they did with Myspace any more. Added to that everyone thinks they want to “do” social media get to the back of the line. To do this you really need to understand what gets shared, what people like in each target market, what times they’re online as well as being really into your products. Not sounding so simple is it. And then even if you get the traffic, social media traffic is generally very low converting. Ok it has other purposes such as brand management etc. But, new marketeers wanting to focus too much resource on this are most likely misguided.
9. I have a MA in Marketing I know best. – This just makes me laugh, no, no you don’t.
10. But, in Uni I was told….. – What you were told is probably wrong, if you are going to start the sentence with but, in Uni I was told…. Don’t! You were probably told wrong.
11. (ok technically this makes 11 points, but 10 makes a nicer number for the title) – Email marketing isn’t that just spam? Well, ok a lot of it is, but the answer is no and Email marketing is still probably the most cost effective of all online strategies as much as I hate to admit it, on average it returns a revenue of 40X what is spent on it.