The end of the semester is upon us, another year over, and for those of us on the ladder system it’s the end of our level 7 degree, in 2 weeks’ time we will be finished and awaiting exam results to see if we have passed and are qualified marketers. This also means the end of the New Technologies For Marketers module which had me writing blogs on a weekly basis since February. All these blogs can be found on my blog homepage for those of you interested in reading them. They were all based on topics we were given to write about and all centred on some aspect of marketing or social media. We were asked as our final blog to reflect upon the subject and our blogs and our experience.
My NTFM experience begins back in December when I was choosing me subjects for this semester, I was approaching my Christmas exams, I was stressed and my asthma was playing up, I decided I wanted to ease my stress so would not choose subjects I found interesting but instead choose subjects that sound easy and had the most of the marks going towards continuous assessment so I could cut down the amount of final exams, I came across the description for NTFM it stated that it was 100% continuous assessment and would be focusing on the use of Facebook and Twitter as a marketers aid. This was screaming my name, as all my close friends will tell you I have a major Twitter addiction and it had no final exam. I applied for it as my number 1 choice as a result.
The module began in week 2 of the semester and I remember sitting in the first lab and laughing to myself as Catherine the lecturer said, “those of you with Facebook and twitter accounts please log in, those of you who don’t have one please register” normally we are told to get off it in class. As well as the obvious reasons for enjoying the subject it soon became my favourite as the theory classes were interesting, relevant and engaging, the labs introduced me to new Social Medias I didn’t use such as Pinterest and it thought me about aspects of Facebook and twitter I never knew existed. I couldn’t be happier, at this point; I made the best decision ever choosing this. Then one day Catherine walked into the lab and said, “The next thing we are going to look at is blogging” this wasn’t too bad until the next statement was made, “ye are all going to write a weekly blog giving your opinions on topics myself and Colette choose and its part of your continuous assessments so there is no choice”. I thought to myself this is karma coming back to punish me for choosing the subject out of laziness, and I was trying to think of a way out of writing the blogs.
Now as many people would tell you, my Mother more so than anyone else, I have never been short of an opinion and since I was a child I have never been afraid to express my opinion even if it would get me into trouble, so you may think I’d love blogging. However the reason I was dreading this is the fact I’m a bad dyslexic who has trouble reading and writing. My spelling is bad, my grammar tends to get mixed up, I’m a slow reader, I don’t understand what I have read a lot of the time, and I was going to have to publish to the world blogs written by me. I had the sweats in this class as thoughts of secondary school flooded back where there was sniggering if I was asked to read, now there would be sniggering if people were to attempt to read what I’m saying. I went home that day and while sitting on the bus and train going home scenarios were going around in my head where people would see my bad spelling and think there was something wrong with me, or worse think I was stupid. As the first topic was given to us I began to think rationally, I could write it in Microsoft word and use spell check, and if we need to read other articles online about the topic we are blogging about I could just see who others have referenced and save myself attempting to read through stuff. This didn’t seem too bad, so I wrote my first blog, and hit the publish button, there was no turning back now, it was out there on the big bad internet for anyone to read. I told my friends about it and they had a read off it, and came back to me. The feedback I received was all good, the blog was full of my opinions and unique views, and it had my name all over it and made an interesting read they said. I felt some confidence grow, the following week we had our second blog, I wrote it and this time posted it on twitter and Facebook so my friends could read again, my view count on the blog went up and my comments on Facebook were all positive. The sniggering I feared wasn’t there, people were enjoying my blogs. I began to enjoy it and even started reading other online blogs and articles so I could back up my points with information I found myself rather than links others in my class used, after one of my more recent posts I received feedback on Facebook which you can see in this photo (Pablo Manchini is my Facebook account, it’s my nickname and it means anything I post on Facebook is not linked back to Mark Ryan). NTFM took its place at the top of my favourite subjects list again.
The end is near and my final NTFM blog is almost finished and I ask myself what have I gained from this module, the answer, I gained loads. I grew in confidence I learned about things such as search engine optimisation (SEO), how to effectively use social media for marketing and much more. It grew my confidence levels to the point where I enjoy blogging so much this won’t be my last, I plan on continuing blogging and expressing my views on relevant marketing and social network topics.
Lastly it opened my eyes up to what I want to do after college, up to this point if I was asked what I want to do with my marketing degree I would have told you there are two areas I want to go into, branding and brand management was the first and my second was politics. I studied marketing so I could market myself in a political campaign as it’s an area I’ve always wanted to move into. Now I have a new direction I want to go in before I start my political career, I want to do digital marketing as its interesting, relevant, cost effective and it’s an area business need to develop a lot more than they have and i really enjoy doing it.
So I want to take this time to thank both my lecturers Colette and Catherine for running such an interesting module, this has truly changed how I view so much in life from my career path to how companies should do their marketing. Online is the way forward and online is the way I shall continue to go. However I leave you with this advert, it shows how the power of TV advertising is just as effective as ever and shouldn’t be removed for digital marketing but done alongside digital marketing.