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My First Year In Digital Marketing + Tips For Getting Started

By Hannah Theurer, Marketing Analyst, Metric Digital

Advertising veterans probably can’t even remember the time before they knew everything they know now about digital marketing.

But as a recent college graduate who has spent the last year working at an agency, it’s quite a different experience. In fact, getting your start in digital marketing can be very overwhelming and full of worry.

Fortunately, you pick up things piece by piece.

Last week I wrote about digital marketing misconceptions, and now I’m going to share several experiences from my first year in digital marketing, what I’ve learned that’s helped me most to date, along with tips to help you get started in your journey. Enjoy!

Channel your fear to create value

As an agency, our clients are successful because we know their products as well as they do. That’s what we do here. We use empathy and curiosity to approach advertising from their specific angle.

In the beginning, it was scary. Looking back to a year ago when I first started, I was actually scared to build a Facebook campaign for a company! But that energy was channeled into doing great work. Through testing, trial and error, plus some great senior marketing mentors at Metric who showed me the ropes, now building campaigns is one of my top skills. And I’m able to use it to help our clients grow their businesses. Which is awesome for them, and for me.

Whatever digital marketing fears are holding you back, use that energy to drive your curiosity, and you will drive revenue.

Merge your right and left brain

Digital marketing is a highly analytical job. Especially at Metric, where there is nothing we don’t test or measure. Our work is the perfect blend of getting to be creative and also flexing our analytical muscles. Both skills are extremely valuable and allow us to think differently about many business areas.

As a person in general, I even think differently now about business. Outside of work, I find myself wondering what a brand’s margins are. I’m also aware of brands that build social meaning behind their company. I’m even more appreciative of marketing done well.

At the same time, I’m also wondering about ads, figuring out if they are marketing ploys, or if the company is really about what they say they’re about.

If you want to thrive at your new digital marketing job, keep your radar on. Always walk through the world wondering how everything you see ties back to marketing.

Prepare yourself to become a different customer

Working in digital marketing affects me a consumer too. I no longer like ads that are trying to trick me. I'm hyper aware of that now. Before working at Metric, I might have fallen for the bait and switch, but now I can tell when they’re trying to trick me.

Sometimes I will click on an ad for a product I don’t want, just to admire it! Personally, I think the best marketing is when they look like they belong on your Instagram feed, for example. Smart marketing seamlessly integrates the things you like or the people you follow.

But it goes both ways. Sometimes I browse on mobile but purchase on desktop. And I will feel guilty because I’m not giving the brand credit for their add. My thought is, oh no, there is some other account manager just like me who isn’t getting attribution! Put that on the list of, “You Know You’re A Digital Marketer When.”

Next time you engage with an advertisement, double down on empathy. Think about how that ad might affect a customer’s level of brand awareness. Think about the person who made the ad, and who set up the campaign.

Here’s a toast to year number one in digital marketing, and wishing you many more to come along your journey!

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Hannah Theurer Marketing Analyst, Metric Digital The Metric Digital Blog A Blog on All Things Digital Marketing