Our journey started way back in October 2014 when mso account director Sarah Pooley and myself decided to venture back into studying upon hearing good things about a digital marketing course developed with Google and endorsed by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and the IPA. An advanced digital marketing course, Google Squared would give us insights into how companies and brands are having to adapt their digital strategies to meet the needs of today’s always connected audience.
And so began our Google Squared journey. The course consisted of a weekly online tutorial, with some great (and occasionally not so great) tutors, and pre- and post-class activities to do each week. With the course being split into five modules, there was also a group project to submit for each module which required us to pass before being allowed to continue. The online campus indicated around 15 hours or work for each project, but both myself and Sarah found this a rather unrealistic target, with the actual effort required to complete the projects requiring quite a few late nights and lost weekends to study! What was great however, was to work with virtual teams comprised of people from all over the world despite time differences proving to be challenging on occasion. There should also be a quick mention to the tutor we saw the most frequently, Aiden Carroll (@AidenSee) who provided us all with some entertaining and thoughtful classes throughout.
So what did we learn? The first module, ‘A Connected World’, was all about how the rapid technological advances of today are impacting on us, the end user, and how companies can now engage with their audiences and stay relevant. Module 2 then introduced us to the concept of ‘digital disruption’ and how emerging companies like Uber and Evernote are using the digital landscape to disrupt more traditional companies. We studied their innovative digital marketing techniques, throwing out the old guard and adopting more agile approaches to business commerciality.
‘Think Like a Brand’ was the title to Module 3, and had us looking at multiple touchpoints across many different mediums like search, display and content from beginning to end of the customer journey. We learnt how brands need to deliver an integrated marketing strategy to drive awareness, sales and brand advocacy.
For me personally, Module 4’s ‘Think Optimised’ was the most interesting module. We looked further into Google Analytics, analysing the data and gleaning insights to see how we could use data to optimise and improve an organisation’s digital presence.
Finally, to round off the course, Module 5 was putting all the pieces we have learnt in the first four modules to look at ‘The Ongoing Revolution’. The project was a group collaborative effort, devising a white paper to consider how digital is going to affect the future in many industries (our group was given the insurance industry whilst Sarah’s was the food and drink industry) as well as considering how we now need to take into account legal and ethical issues in such a fast moving environment such as digital.
So was the course worthwhile? A most definite yes!! We have consolidated what we already knew about digital and used the course to inform us still further, gaining key insights into the future as well as what the future holds for our switched on children! To be agile and adaptive is fundamentally the overriding message.
At mso our Squared experience has given us some great insights into how we can offer more advice and consultancy in helping to grow your business in all things digital, so please feel free to contact us to discuss any future projects you may have coming up.
PS – I am pleased to say that we both passed the final module last Friday (15 May 2015) with an online graduation to follow in June although I’m not sure if a virtual mortar board and gown will be obligatory!
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