Posted by: KristenM. | Posted on: May 13th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Each quarter, Marketing Works looks for candidates to join our full-time, hands-on internship program. I started my internship in February and had a lot of questions about my new role with this new company. To get a better idea of my role, I was able to look over insights and advice from previous interns. These letters were personal accounts of each individual’s experience, containing what they learned and what they wanted to pass on to the next person who would be in their shoes.
Reading about these experiences gave me a better idea of the projects I was going to work on and provided insight on how to get the most out of my experience. Since the advice helped me, I wanted to share it with other interns who are just getting started in their roles. Here are some tips that helped me:
- Always ask questions. Ask questions about everything and anything. From projects, to past jobs, to personal interests, to hobbies and pastimes. There is nothing that you will learn that will prove to be a waste.
- Put your best foot forward. Really use your time to grow and learn. Be as involved as you can, and make yourself indispensable to the company. Everything you do here as an intern is greatly appreciated!
- Take notes. Keep track of your projects and the tasks you are given by taking thorough notes. These notes will help manage your tasks and serve as a reference to give you a better idea of what you are doing and how you should be doing it.
- Don’t treat the position as an internship. Treat the position as if it were a full-time job. Take advantage of the opportunity to show the company what you are capable of.
- Internships are what you make them. Be a go getter and seek out as many opportunities as you can. If you find yourself in a lull, ask around and see how you can help. Show the team that you are willing to learn.
My piece of advice: Get to know the team individually. Each team member has a different skill set that has gotten them to where they are today. Getting to know them better will help you learn and develop some of those skills yourself to take you wherever you may go.
Do you have additional advice for new interns? Leave them below in the comments.
Posted by: Sandy Fekete | Posted on: May 9th, 2013 | 0 Comments
The most effective way a child learns about the world around them is asking “why?” We’ve all been party to a “why” session with (or as) a child, which not only taxes our intelligence, but also our sanity. Perhaps that is what prompted Sakichi Toyoda to develop the 5 Whys problem solving technique, which is now a part of the famous Toyota Production System and Six Sigma processes. Ask Why? enough times, and the root cause of the problem is revealed. Here’s an example:
Let’s apply this concept to marketing. Every great copywriter answers the consumer’s “why should I care” question in headlines, ads and blogs. And, every great strategy is based on solving a problem. So, using the 5 Whys is a perfect way to make our messaging about the customer rather than about us.
Here’s a great example from the Content Marketing Institute’s Robert Rose:
Ask your group (or just you by yourself) to come up with ideas for content marketing. Chances are the ideas will look something like this:
- Launch a blog that informs users on how to use the kind of product we sell.
- Create a white paper series on the business benefits of the kind of service we provide.
- Use a blog platform to curate news from our industry to position ourselves as thought leaders.
Now, all of these are fun and interesting content marketing ideas. But let’s take one of these — the “curate news” idea — as an example and run it through our “Whys” to get to the true purpose of that idea and how (if at all) it fits into our larger story. (By the way, this is from an actual workshop for a B2B company.):
Idea: Use a blog platform to curate news from our industry to position us as thought leaders.
- Why: Why is curating news to position us as thought leaders important to our customers? Answer: Because our customers will see that we have our fingers on the pulse of our business and have a point of view on the industry.
- Why: Why is it important that people see that we have our fingers on the pulse and have a point of view on the industry? Answer: Because then our customers and prospects will have more trust in what we say.
- Why: Why is it important to our customers and prospects to have more trust in what we say? Answer: Because developments in our industry are changing really quickly and our customers need a trusted partner to keep them on top of what’s going on.
- Why: Why do our customers need a trusted partner to keep them on top of what’s going on in our industry? Answer: Because they are really busy trying to be successful and a trusted partner can help them be informed.
- Why: Why is it important for our customers’ success to be informed? Answer: Because if they’re informed about the industry from a trusted source, they will be more competitive — and can then be more successful.
Within five “whys” we go from a blog that’s focused on “positioning us as thought leaders” to a blog platform that “helps our customers be more competitive and successful.” Go back and read those “why” answers in reverse and you have a pretty well formed mission statement for that blog.
Download Marketing Works’ 5 Why Worksheet to give it a try. Do you have additional ways to get to the root cause? Leave them below in the comments.