My First 4 Months in Direct Marketing

Marketing, Data, Newbie's Guide

My First Four Months at Koju Media

A direct marketing newbie shares some of the most important marketing lessons she’s learned during her time at Koju Media.

It’s difficult to know what to do with your life when you finish university. After learning and developing general administrative skills on a post-graduate internship, the chance to become a marketing assistant appealed to me and with good reason too. Marketing is an ever-expanding industry with plenty of opportunities that continue to evolve alongside the internet and all its trends. A successful marketer is someone who understands the kind of content that interests their users and has the ability to retain the attention of their audience and convert this attention into sales. So it stands to reason that many consider a career in marketing after they leave university or want to make a career change in such a successful, thriving industry.

Walking through the door at Koju Media on my first day, I had to admit to being a complete data and direct-marketing novice. If you said ‘data’ to me, I’d think of random sequences of one’s and zero’s! I never really put much thought into why emails from companies I’d never heard of would pop into my email inbox or why my products I had looked at buying would follow me onto Facebook. Was it a telephone survey I did, or entry into a competition where I hadn’t unticked that ‘please share my details with 3rd parties’ box, it was just strange to see that companies knew details about be and products/services I might be interested in.

The science behind the process is now clearer to me after my first four months working with data and how it can be utilised by businesses to target the right consumer by the right channel. As we have been so busy in the office with GDPR on the horizon and helping clients, I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to learn the intricacies, but my first four months have started me on the right track.

Time has flown by in ways that I couldn’t have imagined here at Koju Media and there has been an astonishing amount to absorb over that time. Before another four months passes by, I’d like to share some of my observations, some of the things I’ve learned in my time here, and how working at Koju has challenged me to grow both personally and professionally. It will be fun to check back in a couple of years, to see how my perspective continues to change:

Email Marketing

As a marketing assistant, I am tasked to occasionally create and send marketing emails for the company itself or on behalf of some of our other clients. When it comes to email marketing, copy is one of main factors deciding whether a campaign succeeds or fails  ̶  if an email is devoid of well-written content (no matter how fancy or well designed the email looks), your subscribers will eventually stop opening and unsubscribe to your messages.

So, how do I ensure that I’ve written a good quality marketing email? It all comes down to a few copywriting best practices I’ve learnt that should be applied to both the subject line and the main body of the email. In order to attract a subscribers attention in the average busy work-email inbox, the campaigns I write need to be cleverly written, for instance I would use actionable language techniques like “Don’t Miss…” or “Save up to 40%”, which create a sense of urgency and make it clear to the recipient what they can do with the information in the email, should they choose to open it. Personalisation is another useful technique I use in my some of the campaigns, as I’ve noticed that the click-to-open rate can be higher in some instances where I include the recipient’s [FIRST NAME] or [TITLE], [SURNAME].

Thirdly, most emails need to be filled with interesting graphics to keep the reader’s attention, and designed for desktop and mobile devices. I use the functionality brand, Instiller to achieve this as it has a drag and drop feature which makes building the email easy and quick to adjust  ̶  although this can sometimes be a bit fiddly. And principally, emails must contain a meaningful call-to-action (clickable links to the website, landing page or way to purchase the product/service). After all, if brands are taking up subscribers’ time and inbox space, the message needs to have a point to it.

Social Media Marketing

As a younger millennial, the internet has been around for as long as I can remember, and I first become active on social media as a young teenager, so I’m no stranger to how most social media channels work and use them frequently in my own time. So when I was asked to help with one of Koju’s social media campaigns, I simply thought: “It’s only social media, how hard can it be?” But what I didn’t realise is that for a brand, it can be very hard. While the ever-changing social landscape gives us new and exciting ways to engage with our audiences, the changes also require us find and understand our target audience, as well as be alert and able to learn and adapt quickly, I found that this was mostly achieved through trial and error.

Business articles and books often state that a smart, detailed and concise strategy is the key to a successful social media marketing campaign. So our teams first step was focusing on our audience’s main social platforms, there are hundreds to choose from, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Periscope, etc. —how did we distribute our time into creating a voice on all of them? Short answer: we didn’t. As much as I would have probably liked to create a Koju Media Instagram or Snapchat, it wouldn’t have been relevant for a B2B data company unfortunately — the trick was to find the platforms with the highest concentration of our audience, which was on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and then transmit our content marketing and targeted advertising through those channels. My colleagues recommended that I used the e-learning platforms, udemy and LinkedIn Learning for some online beginner courses on social media for business, these were great as they carefully explained previously unknown concepts, such as social analytics and conversion funnels.

During my time at Koju I’ve learnt that building interest on social media can be particularly difficult for a company in a profitable, but not particularly “exciting” market niche in comparison to others. I try to convey that clean and complaint data may not be very “fun”, but what it is, is highly essential for your business (especially with GDPR around the corner).

You’d also be hard-pressed to find any business based social content without any accompanying visuals, I myself noticed that we had a much higher count of ‘impressions’ and ‘engagement’ with images than with text content alone. I mostly use royalty-free photo’s and stock images from websites such as Pexels and Pixabay — a really valuable recourse for those who want high quality images without having to pay the extra licence fee.

Final Thoughts

While it has only been little over four months into my burgeoning career as a marketing assistant I can firmly say that I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. I’m also very excited to be working on the data side of direct marketing. I want to challenge myself to learn all about GDPR and compliance, I want to help the team explore new avenues and I want to confidently evaluate the quality of client’s data. What I’ve loved about being member of #TeamKoju is the overarching encouragement, support and trust that they provide. It’s a young company, so every day is different and we’re all new to building this, and understand that at this stage, it’s good to learn what works best as we go.

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