I am going to try to make this a weekly theme. We will see how long that lasts. Here are some of the things I learned this week about marketing and life in general.
1. Facebook actually launched something brands should be excited about:
In case you missed it, Facebook launched an advanced targeting feature for brand pages. Now, instead of a wall post everyone sees, brands can customize the message so it is only seen by certain demographic profiles. As noted here, you will soon be able to tag you wall posts to these demographics that are fans of your page:
And a few more. This is a pretty good opportunity for brands to create customized messages to their fans. A clothing company, for example, could target college age males with their back to school deals, or a car company could tailor messages and models around gender or education, etc.
This is a pretty exciting development to watch. Social Media continues to transform into a very targeted medium, with marketers able to almost talk 1:1 with their desired audiences.
2. High School Kids are Paperless:
I met a great kid this week who job shadowed me because he was interested in a career in marketing. He told me that as a junior in high school, he does not use books. He does not turn in papers. Everything is done on an in-class netbook, and turned in over email or a blackboard type interface.
Wow. This blew my mind. It blew everyone’s mind I told. For the first time in my life, I felt old. The way children are learning is changing, and as a college instructor, I need to be ready for this change. Every college needs to be ready for this change, as well as employers down the road. What amazes me is that this kid is going to go to college, and be handed a book, and be required to learn all over again.
I give this student a lot of credit, as when I was in high school, the last thing I was worried about was a career choice. He was driven and very mature, and I have no doubt he will be a success in whatever he chooses to do. Part of his assignment was to ask me a bunch of questions. While I answered them yesterday, some I put a little more thought to:
What do you like most about your job? I work with a very talented team of innovators. I work with people who push me to do my best everyday. I also feel that the product I work on helps people become better people. It helps them manage, and helps them save. It can help them pay off debt, and save for things they really want. Or in some cases things they need. I truly love what I do, and I thank the student for reminding me.
Did I know in high school I wanted to work in marketing? No. In high school, I only knew one thing. I wanted out. I wanted out of poverty. I wanted to be far away from the drugs and violence that I was surrounded by. I did not know anything about my future, except there was only one path to reaching my goals, and that is working as hard as I can every day. Proving people wrong. I have never looked back. While it was a much harder path – I need to take a step back every once in awhile and remember where I came from, and where I have come. Sort of reminds me of one of my favorite commercials of all time.
Basically, a kid half my age reminded me where I came from, and how far I have gotten. And gave me a little motivation to go even further. That is one of the reasons I love teaching. I end up learning more than I ever will be able to teach.