From apprentices to retirement

marketing keeps changingWelcoming tomorrow’s marketing professionals.

This week has been a really diverse one for me; starting with training a new cohort of Marketing apprentices and finishing with a retirement party for a former colleague I worked with at the start of my career.

Today’s marketing professionals are starting out with the digital world being at the centre of how they operate, both personally as they’ve grown up and then also how they carry out their business.

As part of working with apprentices, I encourage them to consider not just the opportunities which social media and online marketing offer, but also the consequences of developing relationships with customers online.

For businesses who are using Twitter, or Facebook, what does ‘amplification’ mean for them?  Spreading the message to a much bigger audience, quickly and perhaps globally, can have disadvantages too.  Mistakes can be hard to delete once in the public domain.  A key message of mine then: make sure you check your work and your use of grammar and spelling is first class.

Another topic I taught on this week was reputation management and crisis management.

At the start of my marketing career I worked for a railway company and unfortunately during this time there were two serious rail accidents which had a huge impact on our marketing.  In 2000/2001 the way that our management team learned of these incidents (via their pagers) and how our marketing team and station staff responded, was different to how this would be tackled now.

Prior to social media, we relied more on printing off large posters to give passengers revised timetable information and when it was time to run marketing campaigns to encourage people to travel by rail again, we put weeks of planning in place.  How much quicker the online world and social media allow us to move now.

I’ve enjoyed my time working in marketing.  I wonder what changes those who are starting their careers now will experience over the next fifteen years?


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