General Assembly is a private educational organization founded in 2011. They teach in demand skills for people who are trying to start a career or advance professionally. I saw an ad on Facebook for a free event about Digital Marketing they were having in the city. I decided to give it a try since it was actually free, and I needed a networking event. It was hold in their office located in the city at 6pm. The speaker’s name is Aaron J. Slmek, and he is the Director of Digital Marketing at Canary. However, he told us he was moving to another state to join other company.

The speaker started talking about the field in general, and why it is important nowadays. He asked everyone about our background and why we were in the event. Apparently people had different reasons to be there; some were entrepreneurs and needed those skills for their business, some were marketers and needed to advance in their skills, and some like me wanted to get in the field. You can benefit from learning these skills even if you don’t end up working in digital marketing.

He explained that in the digital marketing field we have to wear different hats, including user experience. There are many components we have to be aware of; segmentation, optimization, testing, value proposition, customer empathy, compelling content, and more. There are also certain skills we need to acquire, including the foundations of marketing, web analytics, social media, learning automation software, etc. Overall the workshop was very dynamic, informative and engaging.

He taught us a framework that helps us when we are creating marketing campaigns, it’s the Objective First Framework.  Which is an iterative process of first setting a goal, define KPIs which are things we measure to see if our campaigns are working or not, execute campaign, measure data and optimize campaign based on the data. He also taught us that when we are setting goals, we could use the SMART approach. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound. Aaron also emphasized the importance of really knowing your customers and your business. Learn the customer’s pain points, what they do, where they go, their interests, etc. And understand the business you work for pretty well, including how they make their money and what is important for the company.

The event was a very basic introduction. Digital Marketing is very broad and as I said before, there’s lots of skills to learn. It also changes as technology changes, so we need to learn to adapt quickly. We had an exercise where we joined in groups and he gave us something to work on. That was the only time I could engage with the others, since most of the time it was the speaker talking. People in my group were nice and friendly, I wish I had more time to engage with them and make more connections. I will totally be coming back for more events in the future.

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