In the spring of 2015, SHIFT launched its cutting-edge Marketing Technology Immersion (MTI) program to help the agency develop a better understanding of SHIFT’s data-driven approach to communications and client services. The program offers SHIFTers the opportunity to participate in an educational course that allows traditional PR pros like myself the chance to dip our feet in the intricate and fascinating world of marketing. After a group of courageous trail-blazers tested the flagship program, I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of seven SHIFTers enrolled in the second MTI class, which ran from September to December of 2015.
Over the intensive 12-week boot-camp, my peers and I were taught how to use a range of marketing tools and programs aimed at helping us better service our clients. We learned how to optimize the success of an ad campaign on a variety of social media platforms, how to better understand and analyze our clients’ SEO and how to run and interpret a comprehensive competitor report – just to name a few.
Additionally, the MTI program taught me some critical lessons around best practices that every PR or Marketing professional should be sure to keep top of mind each and every day. Understanding the results of your efforts and furthermore why and how these results came to be will allow you to adjust your approach in real time – ensuring you are consistently providing the best service possible for your clients. Additionally, gaining a better understanding of the intricacies behind SHIFT’s overall data-driven approach can help you communicate your results to your clients in a more comprehensive way.
- Establish Client Goals First. Before gearing up on any PR or Marketing projects, professionals of either designation should be sure have a clear and open conversation with client contacts about exactly what they are trying achieve with any given program. Company goals are usually somewhat dynamic, so it is important to get a clear idea of what the desired outcome is on a consistent basis. This way, you can adjust which tools and strategies you are using and provide optimal results all year long.
- Content is Key. Social media analysis has become a common request for clients on both B2B and B2C teams here at SHIFT. While impressions, engagement and follower counts are all great indications of a successful social program, each means much less if you don’t have consistent, engaging content populating your pages (and your newsletters, email blasts, etc.). It’s critical to inform your clients how important the quality and frequency of content is as soon as possible. Once that is established, the audience will come – and stay!
- We Have a Marketing Technology Team For a Reason. If the SHIFT MTI program taught me anything it’s that the field of marketing technology is an extraordinarily complex and dynamic one. As the digital world adapts, so do the tools and programs we use to analyze them. No matter how quick of a learner you are (or think you are), it would be impossible for the Marketing Team to teach all of the ins and outs of the industry to any one MTI class – in large part because they are constantly changing.
I found the Marketing Technology Immersion program to not only be an incredible learning experience, but also a genuinely enjoyable one. There is something extraordinarily satisfying in being able to qualify the results of your team’s efforts with hard evidence, and being able to interpret this evidence and communicate why the results are what they are with clients helps build trust and develop stronger professional relationships for your company, your team and most importantly, yourself!