The Direct Network

Being a 'Marketer' is Just a Label [Series]

Posted by Erica Martin on Sep 17, 2015 5:00:00 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, mbs direct, K-12

Web Developer Erica Martin doesn’t consider herself a marketer, but she thinks you are! Read the start of our series to see how authenticity is the key to reaching your students.

Do you Inbound?

This year Inbound brought together 14,000 like-minded marketers with the goal of inspiring them to create compelling content. Inspiration came in the form of daily keynote speakers such as Seth Godin, Brené Brown and Chelsea Clinton. Inspiration also manifested during breakout sessions presented by leaders in marketing, design and storytelling. And if somehow you weren't inspired by these fascinating guests, HubSpot went all out with their decor.

It also brought together a lot of people who love selfies and #hashtags.

Welcome to Inbound 2015

I may not consider myself to be a marketer, but I think you're a marketer.

You market to students. You market textbooks to help them succeed and apparel to promote school pride. I'm a web developer, not a marketer, but that's OK because I don't need that label to be inspired to want to help build something that inspires you. (To be fair, the co-founder of HubSpot doesn't consider himself to be a marketer, either!)

While at Inbound, I attended sessions about social media, the psychology of content and design, how to unleash your creativity, and Seven Reasons Even Your Mom Would Ignore Your Email (one of my personal favorites!) My goal is to use this newfound knowledge to inspire my coworkers and in turn, inspire you. It's no secret that we market to your school, but that's because we truly want to provide you with great content you can use and share with your coworkers.

One of my key takeaways from all of these sessions is that you have to be authentic.

I understand it's hard to be authentic when you're trying to sell something. Maybe you host a flash sale on spirit wear to drum-up excitement the week before the big game because you want your school’s football team to win this Saturday just as much as your students do. Or you host a special event to give all of those test-takers a break during finals week because you remember what it was like when you were in school. Either way, you want to show your customers you really do care even if your goal is to get them to buy.

Another session I attended was The Neuroscience of Memorable Content, presented by Dr. Carmen Simon of REXI Media, which discussed how we should create content that connects with our audience, rather than simply blasting messages without meaning. How many times have you posted an update on your store's Facebook page that you thought was wickedly clever and would definitely make any millennial laugh, only to get one like from your mom? (At least she's looking at your posts, even if she's not reading your emails!) Students might have read it but they didn't connect with it. Just know we really do want to help you solve that problem.

So why did I attend the conference?

Four days, three keynote presentations and 15 sessions later, I still don't consider myself a marketer. But you are! And by working together, I know our team will continue to help you get the most out of its marketing efforts no matter what you're promoting or how you're promoting it. We created the Direct Network to be a resource for you, not with the intent to increase the quantity of social shares. Our goal is similar to that of Inbound's: to help and inspire you.

And if you're still not inspired...

Then hopefully one of these 25 Powerful Quotes From #INBOUND15 Speakers will do the trick.

About Erica Martin

Erica was our former web developer who worked on both front-end web sites (like this blog!) and back-end applications to ensure your experience with our content is as intuitive as possible. Although she no longer works at MBS, web development still plays an important role in her life.

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