Learning on the job – Marketing Executive Aisling, tells us why she’s boosting her digital skills through an apprenticeship

Hi Aisling, can you tell me about your job and how you got started in marketing?

I work for Formbar as their Marketing Executive. We sell shopping trolleys for supermarkets, garden centres and convenience stores, and the odd orders for personal use. The job is varied and involves talking to customers and marketing both on and offline. It’s a brand new position for the company as Formbar aims to get more digitally savvy especially on social media – we hope by building a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we’ll reach more customers.

I’ve always been interested in marketing but only realised it a year ago. I love the idea of creating a piece of work that attracts someone enough for them to make a purchase, or at least remember the brand name. When I was younger, I’d even make up fictional products and create all the associated marketing to present to my family!

When I realised that marketing was something I wanted to do, I started job hunting but soon realised that the jobs I wanted required years of experience and/or degrees which I didn’t have. Then I found this job which came with the Working Knowledge Digital Marketing Apprenticeship and it opened the door…

What is the best thing about this apprenticeship?

The best thing about this course is that I can still work full-time while I study. Everything I learn makes more sense as I grow with the business and I end up applying the knowledge without even realising it! There is a lot of coursework but it’s easily completed because the things I do as coursework actually help me in my job.

How have you found the Watertight Marketing Methodology?

The Watertight methodology really helps with seeing your marketing the same way your customer does. It has been great to point out what we don’t have in place at the moment in the business. For us, it’s forgotten customers – we were not great with keeping in touch with people after they had made a purchase. It is a great methodology that makes you think every time you produce a piece of marketing ‘How would my customer view this and interpret this?’

You’re still at the beginning of your journey but what interesting insights have you learned so far?

I’ve found Google Analytics fascinating. I never really thought about how businesses find out who’s visiting their website, so it never occurred to me that something like this existed – now I use it daily! I have done a lot of work on our website, so it’s been interesting to see how my changes have affected the amount of people who now go onto the website and browse.

When I started our page views were only reaching about 10 views a week, now I’ve seen it as high at 1000.

I’ve also found it interesting learning about how much time a customer will give you. I have never thought about it before, so it was great to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and see how long you would give your own business.

The apprentices all gather together for the monthly masterclasses – how has this group learning experience helped you?

I really enjoy the monthly classes as it’s great to hear about how others are doing and bounce ideas off each other. It’s a small class and we all get on really well – it’s great to hear about each other’s achievements and draw inspiration and ideas. The other apprentices have helped me with many things –  I’m a marketing beginner but some of the others have been doing it a while, so it’s been good to get their feedback.

How have you applied your learning to your business?

The course has helped me to see the importance of social media marketing and I’ve started to create a content plan for our social media platforms that we don’t have yet but will do soon.  I have also re-written all content for a new website which will hopefully be launching in the next couple months.

Would you recommend this training to others?

Yes! If marketing is something you want to get into or even broaden your knowledge on, then this course is 100% for you. It’s a great way to apply your knowledge as you learn.

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Interested in the apprenticeship?

Click here to find out how a digital marketing apprentice can help your business.

Click here to watch a two-minute animation which explains how our our Digital Marketing Apprenticeship works.