As I read Schau and Gilly’s (2003) article titled ‘We are what we post?’ I came across an insightful question: “If “we are what we have” and “I link, therefore, I am”, does it follow that we are what we post?” Perhaps not entirely; but to people who connect to us via the digital world, we definitely are what we post. I think this is what studying E-Marketing and all its components has taught me.
What I take home from what I have learnt in lectures, through the group project and perhaps more so through my initiation to the blogging world, it is that digital marketing involves a great deal of creativity. To succeed, to stand out, to sell…it all comes down to being creative; but most importantly, to be so in ways that are relevant to others and their needs.
Singh, Veron-Jackson and Cullinane (2008:282) make the point clear:
“[…] customers respond more favorably to marketing when they have control over what they see, when they see it, whether it can be personalized to fit their needs, and when they can be active participants in the marketing process”.
Interestingly, this particular course has made me realise that marketing extends far beyond products and services as we traditionally understand these. I choose the quote above as an example to illustrate that I am myself a product, prospective employers are the customers, and what I can offer must be personalised to suit their needs if they are to employ me.
This brings me to my next point, which is how to market. Let’s face it; social media is now inextricably, inseparably linked to marketing. As Botha and Reyneke (2013) note, “messages are spread among social media users at an astounding speed across a global landscape”. Thus we are what we post on social media platforms. To market myself, I must make use of relevant social media sites. To market myself well, I need to consider the content at length: controversial has its place (or not anymore!), but perhaps less so on LinkedIn; boring never had its place to begin with. Following the trend is so passé; start the trend and maybe you have a winner. The e-tivity-ing, WordPress-ing, blogging aspect of this course has specifically taught me this.
Closely related to marketing oneself is arguably the most important aspect of a website: the About Me page. While this should be obvious, it often is not. Thanks to this amazingly insightful video, I realised what a crucial aspect of marketing this is.
One area which I feel should have been covered in greater depth is viral marketing. I think an amazing idea would be to illustrate the practical side of it. Students could compete in creating a viral post. After all, viral marketing is central to digital marketing today. As Wilson (2005) rightly point out, “a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly”, and this can only benefit marketers.
Overall, this entire course has successfully demonstrated why and how digital marketing is “timely, inexpensive and can be quite effective when done in a targeted and relevant manner” (The Artery).