I thought I was pretty ‘square’ before I embarked on Google’s Squared Online digital marketing course, but I’ve since concluded that I was more ‘rounded corners.’
I’ve worked in Google docs from way back. I was an early adopter of social, dabbled in analytics and have always valued customer insights as a critical underlying foundation of any strategy, but everything is always moving forward in exponential leaps and bounds, making adaptation such a critical part of our self development.
That’s why I chose squared. I was looking for a flexible course that would help me to develop thought processes that will underpin my approach no matter what the challenge. I was looking for a bit of future proofing, an adaptable digital and social mindset. And I must confess the certificate was quite attractive too.
In seven months I worked my way through five modules
- A connected world
- Think commercial
- Think like a brand
- Think optimized
- The ongoing revolution
Not on my own though, far from it. I particularly loved the learning style of Squared Online, though demanding at the time, the online sessions themselves were fun and we broke out into teams, to develop project submissions. Coming up with new disruptive business ideas, brand stories, campaigns and delving into analytics. Coordinating diaries with a team of busy individuals with time barriers across the globe was challenging and exhilarating! I spent many a late night with my fellow squares on Google Hangouts, undertaking research, strategizing and brainstorming up to the wire. And I quite literally felt wired! I met some great people on my Squared journey, bringing about an entire new community to tap into.
I’m responsible for a marketing team of four at Ferrier Pearce Creative Group and work more widely as Strategic Director with a team of 50 across across property and destination marketing, employee communications, branding and digital solutions. My self-development is not entirely about self. It’s so important to be able to inspire your team and really encourage them to be able to think differently, push boundaries and not to be afraid to challenge for better outcomes.
I’m already putting my main takeaways to good effect, having taken the lead on our 2020 vision for Ferrier Pearce Creative Group. As a more established company, we are still on our transformative journey and it’s essential to join everything up from overarching objectives through to KPI’s for the team. We’ve also set review milestones at which to review and adjust our strategy as we respond to the ever changing and disrupted agency landscape. We don’t want to just follow, we want to lead the way and to do some disrupting of our own! This often means saying ‘no’ more. Not just a flat outright no, but really seeking to define why it is being suggested that we do something in a certain way. Asking if it really fits with our vision, or a client's overarching objectives and does it meet the needs of the user. Are we moving forwards, or are we moving backwards?
A critical part of our 2020 thinking is ensuring that we are customer-centric and that means reducing friction at every customer touch point along the way. I’m looking forward to working with our clients to ensure that their strategies are equally customer-centric and joined up across all of the touchpoints. All in all, I’m enjoying my pointy corners!