Tag Archives: digital marketing

“Digital ignorance is not bliss”

This post was contributed by Elena Georgalla, Work Readiness Programme Officer at Birkbeck

Google logoA key aim of the Work Readiness Programme, Birkbeck’s innovative partnership with J.P. Morgan, is to inspire students to enter the digital industry. On the evening of January 14th, roughly 50 Birkbeck students were converted (!) with the help of Frederic Kalinke, data-driven marketer, former Googler and founder of Exactimo, a digital marketing school that teaches the inner workings of Google.

Frederic’s motto is simple and compelling: Digital ignorance is not bliss. Google has transformed business as well as the way we work, interact, shop, learn and communicate. To not understand how Google works or what it can actually do is to not understand modern business. Considering the extent of Google’s presence in our lives, this lack of understanding of its inner workings won’t do any favours to anyone seeking to start a business or pursuing a career in anything from advertising to journalism and from law to consulting. Having a good grasp of digital marketing is particularly important for students who are deciding on their first job or for those who are contemplating a career move.

Understanding Google

Entitled “Understanding Google”, the workshop started with three warm-up exercises which invited students to reflect on the reasons why the internet is such a powerful tool for business. Frederic then invited the students to dive straight into Google, to understand the reasons that led to its creation, its mission statement, its dynamic business model and the importance of data-driven decision-making.

The rest of the workshop introduced the students to Search Engine Marketing, Display Advertising, Video Advertising and Analytics. In fact, using a Powerpoint presentation and a whiteboard, Frederic explored 37 key terms, including Demand Fulfilment; SEM (Search Engine Marketing); Organic; AdWords; PPC (Pay Per Click); SEO (Search Engine Optimisation); Off-page Optimisation; Anchor Text; Contextual Targeting; YouTube and Google Analytics.

The workshop concluded with some valuable career advice applicable beyond digital marketing. As put by a student: “the workshop covered topics that are very interesting not only for those who want to pursue a career in digital marketing, but also for everyday users of Google”.

The importance of digital literacy

For us behind the Work Readiness Programme, it is important to highlight initiatives such as Converted. Educating students about the digital opportunity goes beyond increasing their employability. Digital literacy opens doors to opportunities alternative to the standardised graduate packages that fill the milkround.

Equally, it enables students to be critical and to evaluate different options across sectors. What might appear as a linear career path may seem initially appealing from a career security perspective but a few years into the job one can easily find herself stuck. Finance and law are often guilty of that. Finally, as the digital industry is fast-paced and fast-evolving and it is engulfing all other sectors, from transport to retail, healthcare and hospitality, a solid grounding in digital marketing is an advantage in any sector. Google has been, and will remain for a long time, at the forefront of that. Frederic could not have made a stronger case. So by the end of his workshop, we were all converted!

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