Life at a Digital Marketing Agency: RM101: Week 15
As my term at Honeypot comes to a close, I thought it would be useful for other students to hear about what life has been like as a Digital Marketing Intern.
I’ve been at Honeypot for four months now and am reluctant to return to school. This has easily been the most valuable term in my university career due to how much I’ve learned. For anyone reading this that is considering the agency life, I’d say, Go for it.
Within this blog, I’ll not only try to share my experience but also attempt to share what life is like in general, for a typical employee at a small marketing agency. Let’s jump into it.
Obviously, as an intern, I have been given a limited amount of work and pressure. However, I was asked to work on different campaigns where deliverables had to be prepared as soon as possible and everyone working on the project had to be accountable.
Those who have been working the agency life for years can testify that sometimes their days at the office are hectic and stressful. With clients, you’ll inevitably run into major roadblocks and have to put out fires on a regular basis. Regardless of your degree of due diligence, sometimes things just go wrong.
Although it wasn’t very stressful in my position, this type of work can be a great challenge.
At the end of the day, however, it’s easy to feel a sense of relief and accomplishment for having a crazy, yet productive day.
In addition to a sense of productivity and accomplishment, agency life is also quite rewarding. From small victories such as creating a client’s first successful lead gen campaign, to larger ones, like breaking their weekly sales record, this type of work can feel great.
It’s easy to see that the longer you work at a job like this, the better you become at it, thus, the larger your accomplishments are. It’s motivating to think that after three or five years of working at this job, I could potentially transform a company through an intuitive marketing strategy.
A marketing agency role can be very rewarding if you work on your skills every day.
Similar to most jobs, there are busy times and slower times. As an intern, it’s been a fairly relaxed term for me. When I have little to do, I can turn to this blog, the Marketer Knows project, or long-term SEO tasks to fill my days.
This is productive (but not time-sensitive) work that waits for me when I need a break from more intense tasks. I also have a great deal autonomy, and that in itself is quite relaxing.
In addition to my daily schedule being fairly relaxed, the culture is too. We wear casual weekend clothes, can work remotely on occasion, and everyone gets along well. There's no yelling or office drama when you're working on your own projects (sometimes because we need to be productive for tight deadlines).
Often there are three to six people working on their own specific tasks, all within a large project for a client. There are numerous large projects per client and numerous clients in Honeypot’s portfolio. It’s easy to see how campaigns and workflows become complex, but that's why we have project management tools like Basecamp.
I fully expected this but thought that the strategy would be to have everyone sit down and finish each major project together. Sometimes this happens, though it’s usually quite difficult to bring everyone together at once, due to competing obligations and schedules.
This leads to projects being completed sporadically over a period of time, though always being completed before the deadline. This process entails a lot of updates through Basecamp and Skype and, sometimes, what seems like a never-ending series of roadblocks. New projects lead to new tools uncover new problems that need solving (and they always get solved, one way or another).
Therefore, coordination and communication have proven to be extremely important in order to finish tasks efficiently. I wish all of my future group partners in university would coordinate as well as my coworkers. Frankly, it only takes good software and a bit of diligence to keep everything in order.
I’ve saved the best for last.
Lately, I’ve been a little frustrated with the university education system. This term at Honeypot has amplified that frustration to a new level. Let me explain.
I learned more about digital marketing in the first week at Honeypot than I have in three years of my Bachelor of Business Administration. I’ve determined that this primarily comes down to the number of practical things that we’re taught in school vs in a job.
School, while informative, is not practical. It’s all about concepts, theories, and macro-level decision making.
Meanwhile, Dan likes to say we’re “in the trenches” at Honeypot, doing the dirty work on the ground level. This practical work has shown me what's possible in practice (not just theory) as well as how to actually execute on digital marketing strategy.
For those of you who’d like to learn all about digital marketing, an agency is a perfect way to do that. It's like an accelerated growth program.
If you’re eager to learn, excited by the power of digital marketing, and want to get your hands dirty in the trenches, then join a small marketing agency.
If you’d like to hear about the main takeaways from my term at Honeypot, check out next week’s blog.
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