‘Should I do Digital?’ – Justin Wilson Perspective

I recently had the opportunity to pitch a 6-month social media strategy plan to a live client whilst on placement at Atelier Studios. The client was Varissa, a car-sourcing website. I pitched my ideas to the client, along with fellow intern Sangeeth, and what was noticeable at the end of the pitch was the lack of knowledge about the power of ‘digital’. The client began asking questions such as, ‘What is Pinterest?’, ‘How can LinkedIn help my business?’, and ‘How will a digital strategy help me gain more customers?’ Justin Wilson, a Digital Marketing Manager working in the automotive industry, blogged about the key elements that business owners should know when it comes to a digital approach, which I found very useful. Here is what he had to say.

6th June 2014 – Should I do Digital?

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Justin Wilson


When people ask what I do for a living, my answer is normally followed by ‘so what is digital and why do people do it?’ Good question eh? So, what if you own a business that does not sell their product or service online – do you need to invest in a digital presence?

Let’s take a company where you would traditionally think that no digital presence was required. What about a company that makes specialist parts for aeroplanes and sells business to business on a face-to-face level. Why should they invest in digital and what should they do?

The conversation needs to be moved away from price: Many companies fall into the trap of leading conversations with price – I have worked with some culprits of this, and when you are the cheapest product, this works great. However, you are training the customer to shop by price, so when you are not the cheapest offering, the customer will buy elsewhere.

Building up the value proposition and moving away from price (a race to the bottom) is not easy, but discussing the value of your products and why you should be the first choice are sections that should be on your website. And these should be the messages that you take out to your audience.

Your reach will grow and (fairly) cheaply: If you think that your audience does not spend time online, there is a 95% chance of you being wrong. That’s not to say that they are easy to find. Maybe LinkedIn would be a good starting point for a specialist B2B product. A simple search for groups linked to the airplane industry shows hundreds of results – or try LinkedIn advertising for a very specific message to an audience that you can segment yourself. The cost of this sort of advertising is very low considering the audience. Or run some small scale advertising on an industry website where your audience spent their time learning about the market place. Or send a communication out to the industry website subscribers?

Differentiate: There are a number of ways in which digital allows you to differentiate your company from the competition. Your tone of voice on your website; running some interesting content of the website which is not just B2B facing, as B2B buyers are consumers too (e.g. videos of planes using your parts); writing about the issues that your customers are facing (e.g. our specialist parts are 20% lighter than they were two years ago, which drives fuel efficiency).

You can tell if it’s working: Traditional methods of reaching out to audiences like these has been a little hit and miss – a mail drop here, attending a conference there, etc. All of these are really hard to measure. But digital is on the whole very transparent – if you have spent money, you will be able to see how many people have viewed that communication, and even if this has resulted in enquiries.

Now, I must confess that I am bias…..I think that digital should play a role in whatever type of marketing your are planning – and don’t let the industry that you operate in be a limiting factor – you may just have to think a little further outside the box.

Image via thesocialmediamonthly.com

‘Introducing, the Atelier Studios Interns!’

I have previously blogged about my time as a Digital Marketing and Public Relations Intern at Atelier Studios, Southampton. After my 3 weeks were over Atelier wrote a blog post that was posted to their website blog all about my time there, along with fellow intern Sangeeth. Here is what they wrote:

Introducing, the Atelier Studios Interns!
By Andy Clayton On June 3rd, 2014

Over the last three weeks, Atelier Studios have been joined by two second year students from Southampton Solent University as part of a work experience programme. Helen Cummings from the Public Relations course, and Sangeeth Gurudas from Marketing, joined in the beginning of May to come and work alongside the digital marketing team.

Atelier Studios

Atelier Studios

The students have been working on a number of clients projects as well as getting involved with some exciting internal projects. This has seen them engaging with content marketing, search engine optimisation, and public relations as well as the delivery of live client pitches and developing campaign strategies for new and existing clients.

Atelier Studios

Atelier Studios

The introduction of work experience placements comes as part of Atelier Studios plans to maintain close links with the local universities, helping the digital professionals of tomorrow, to stay ahead of the latest developments in the industry and gain more professional experience.

Our Digital Marketing Manager, Matt Treviss, had this to say:

“I’m aware of how difficult it is to study and gain relevant work experience that will land you a job when you graduate. Introducing students to the working agency environment is our way of giving an insight to life after graduation, as well as the opportunity to get involved in real projects where they can use the knowledge and skills they have learnt so far. These interns mark Atelier’s first step into the offering of work experience placements, and it is something we will definitely be continuing with in the future.”

Atelier placement comes to an end, temporarily

I previously posted about the first half of an internship that I was completing at Atelier Studios in Southampton.  Well, last Wednesday was my final day as a PR and Digital Marketing intern with them. The 3 weeks went by quicker than I imagined they would and I’m going to put that down to how much fun I had whilst I was there.

The final half of my time with the agency was spent writing content briefs for a number of different industries, blog post scheduling, and modelling for the new Atelier website (which was more funny than anything else). I also had the opportunity to work on some link building, where I scanned through websites within the industry and aimed to generate back-links to the site. This was a new skill that I learnt during my placement and one that I’m sure will be a desirable skill required by future employers.

As a thank you gesture from the team we all went out to Mangos for tapas followed with Orange Rooms for cocktails. It was a lovely way to end my placement and I’m happy to be able to return  in July to further my placement with Atelier. A huge thanks to everyone that helped me throughout the placement, Dave, Matt, Rachal, Monika, and Sangeeth.

Entering the PR world one baby-intern step at a time

Now that second year is done and dusted I have started my first of two work placements. I started as a Public Relations and Digital Marketing Intern at Atelier Studios, a digital marketing agency in Southampton, on Friday 9th May ’14.

The first day I was thrown right in at the deep end byWhiteboard ideas being given a client brief to work on. I had to generate a 6 month social media strategy plan for Varissa, a car sourcing website. I spent the day working with a fellow intern coming up with ideas. Atelier is a very chilled environment and they have a whiteboard wall where we could note down all of our tactics. It was a fun day getting to know everyone and putting together our ideas. We had to put everything we had come up with into a presentation to pitch to the client on the following Monday.

Day 2 was the client pitch which went really well. I wasn’t too nervous as I have previously pitched for a live client for an assignment on my course, so I was able to relax and pitch confidently. We received positive feedback and praise for our ideas.

For the next 3 days I worked on a number of different projects for clients, which I found very interesting. I started by doing some social media critique for a 3D printing company local to the agency in Southampton called isodo3D. This was fun as I could look into what they could do to enhance their social media presence. I also did some Copy Writing editing for a flooring company, which gave me the chance to show my writing skills. I then moved on to writing content briefs for a number of different websites, such as SPS International; a headhunting company that wanted a content brief about headhunting within the fashion industry. I am not massively knowledgeable about the fashion industry so this gave me the opportunity to research and challenge myself with a new topic. I also wrote briefs for iac acoustics, which is a sound proofing construction company, giving me a chance to research into the building development industry. So far I am enjoying being able to work on many different projects within a range of industry’s as it allows me to see what I am really interested in.

On day 4 I worked on SEO development of a website called Mr Nutcase and it’s adjoining blog called The Real Mr Nutcase. I created meta title tags, meta descriptions, and blog content updates. Meta titles and descriptions is a skill I have learnt from the placement and it was very useful to be able to use what I had learnt with a real project. Atelier is a digital marketing agency, which is giving me the opportunity to stem away from just PR projects and learn more about website development and SEO. The next day I used SproutSocial to schedule content updates to a range of social media platforms for a company called Associated Pallets. Associated Pallets sell wooden and plastic pallets, so I found industry-specific content that could be published. I also did this with the flooring company previously mentioned and researched for content within the flooring industry to be posted. I had never used SproutSocial before so again this is a new skill I have learnt. During the day I also wrote some more content briefs for Associated Pallets.

And that brings us to today… I began the day by learning the basics of running a website health-check audit. This is completely new to me so it is a chance to learn new skills. This afternoon I will go over the health-check in more detail and learn more about SEO development.

I’m half way through my placement now and so far I am really enjoying my time with Atelier Studios and I look forward to working on more projects. Stay tuned for a follow up post about the second half of my placement.