“Design Prodigy’s internship brings about invaluable experiences like countless interactions with “human libraries”. The real learning comes when you put complex theory into practice. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience this at least once in their lifetime.”
By Seah Shao Xuan
National University of Singapore
Looking Back at Marketing Orchestration
If anything, the truth is that operationalising any big and complex ideas is seriously difficult. Marketing orchestration in principle sounds like a really easy concept, because it draws on existing literature and schools of thought that already exist independently in current marketing efforts. The difficulty lies with the integration and sense-making of the data that comes out of the other end.
The New Buyer’s Journey
The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists. We recognised that the buyer’s journey is no longer a direct path, with customers potentially streaming in from different entry points and taking unique paths. This is the inconvenient truth: that current methods of marketing from a single starting point to the finishing line is simply too inefficient.
We had one goal in mind at the end of the day: to maximise conversions using as little resources as possible through precision marketing. Profiling sounds easy, right? Coming up with a set of metrics to judge a customer based on what he’s doing?
In reality, we had to revise the criteria multiple times because it’s not easy to map out a buyer’s mental model. Furthermore, to stay true to our word, we made sure that we didn’t fall into the same trap of responding directly to the customer’s actions, but rather on how these actions create valuable data that help us shape the customer’s mental model.
The hardest things to conceptualize are sometimes best summarized in an idiomatic phrase. With a touch of creativity and ingenuity, we drew parallels between typical customer mindsets with English idiomatic phrases that best encapsulated the mental model behind each unique and individual customer.
We here at Design Prodigy really believe in the child-like mindset of solving problems. Complex problems can’t defeat us, because the toughest problems can be easily solved once you pick the right lens and look from the right perspective. Children are filled with curiosity, and burst with imagination, and it is this spirit that sees us through the Ungoogleable Challenge to completion.
You Don’t Do It Alone
Design Prodigy’s internship brought with it many invaluable experiences, one of which were the countless interactions with “human libraries”, experienced marketers who were in the field. We were quite surprised at the sheer amount of exposure we had as we came face-to-face with prominent professionals in their own right. We were humbled that they took the time and effort to share their stories and advice with (initially clueless) interns. In particular, at the beginning of our internship, with little to nil marketing background, they still shared their problems with us, expecting us to solve them. Throughout our journey, some of them even took time out of their busy work schedules to review our ideas and theories, coaching us along the way. We count ourselves very fortunate that we are amongst those that these professionals extended a hand to.
Learning at Light Speed
The speed at which we were required to learn was quite demanding, but also thrilling. All of us entered this internship with almost no marketing knowledge. Even for those of us that did, we realised it was vastly different from the kind of theory that was taught in a university or any educational institution. At Design Prodigy, marketing is very progressive, especially with Marc constantly pushing us to dream big. We learnt to become the sponge, absorbing every knowledge that comes in the way. We had to first pick up the fundamentals of basic, traditional marketing before understanding what new tools were available to us out there. Along the way, we interacted with software like Marketo and Google Display Ad Networks. We even dabbled with content generation. Of course, we are not professing mastery over any of these skills, merely that we were glad to have the chance to interact with all of these technologies.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
However overly cliched this phrase is, it really summed up much of our working experiences. Our team was able to make the “jump” because we constantly communicated with one another. This helped us get out of ruts faster, as we bounce ideas off one another. We also developed a healthy workflow and rhythm as the weeks went by, and we are lucky that our group chemistry really worked in our favour. COVID-19 itself posed an interesting obstacle, as we had to maintain group workflow entirely online. Yet, despite not meeting physically, we could still spend hours collaborating on Miro boards, and producing and refining frameworks. Aside from within the team, we also received much help from other staff. Many thanks to Marc, Hafiz and Ivan for patiently entertaining our questions and developing detailed tutorials for us. Indeed, in this internship, everyone is supporting each other, rooting for everyone’s successes.