E-Marketing: A reflection

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By Stephanie Melinda Gomes
(MBA Class of 2014-2015)
Published: September 3, 2015

Think.Create.Engage.Optimize has been the theme that the class has abided to throughout the E-Marketing course. And it has been successful to assist us in understanding E-Marketing better. This reflection is also written having the same theme in mind but in a more personal touch and interpretation of the phrase.

T.H.I.N.K

Albert Einstein once said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Being part of the e-marketing class made me see this quote with a little twist. We cannot solve an issue without thinking differently. And we surely could not be repeating the same process over and over again, expecting different results. Therefore, being a part of a consultant team for a company made me realise that the thinking process is just the “tip of the iceberg”. In many instances, we perceive that thinking is good enough. But thinking itself doesn’t solve problems. Thinking differently does. Thinking critically does and taking action determines the outcome of it. What I learnt in this class is basically the power of applying what we studied. Reading something doesn’t promote quality thinking, but applying it does. For that reason, I came to realise that I learn and remember better. And thinking is definitely the process that ties it all together. For example, during class activities like brainstorming or even coming up with strategies, we were forced to think critically and out the box. Putting different ideas and adopting different perspectives. Thinking is something abstract. One moment it is there, the next moment it is shadowed and overwhelmed by other thoughts. Although an idea is abstract, the outcome is concrete. Therefore this process has taught me that a good idea accompanied by no action (sharing, putting into practise, even just writing down thoughts) is just as good as no idea at all.

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C.R.E.A.T.E

Everything we see, touch and use once existed in someone’s head. As much as thinking is important, a creation either big or small is the “concrete”, translation of the idea. To create something is to leave a part of us in it. It is beautiful and personal at the same time. In E-marketing class, I often enjoy activities of this element. To come up with something new, to create something out of nothing or very less has always been something I am very fond of doing. It challenges my thoughts and it allows me to learn new things. This is one of the reasons that I was very much excited when it came to activities that promote thinking and creating. Helping out with the website was indeed a great experience. To see something being created out of nothing (in this case, a website) to me is like leaving fingerprints in the digital world. Once it was non-existent but now it is there along with the trillions of information in the internet.

The video production is also a very interesting and eye opening experience. I have always been fascinated with advertisements. I appreciate the “heart” in things and I am more concern about capturing the “soul” in a story. The video production was a good opportunity to put what I have observed into action. And most importantly it also thought me a really great lesson on perseverance. All these years watching and being part of theatre production teams, observing and helping out with small shootings and being involved in script writing and editing during my degree years and also part of my personal projects, it was indeed a great opportunity to be able to create something. When everyone started to get worried, discouraged and scared when they realised the current idea we agreed upon is not workable and that we were back to square one, I could still remember the tensed up look of my group members slowly turn to relief smiles when I expressed that I have some ideas and experience in this field. I did not know exactly what I was doing and not much confidence if I could pull it off since it was my first time handling a camera for the purpose of directing an advertisement. And when I articulated my worries that this is my first time doing such a thing, they replied, “don’t worry, we have confidence in you and will support you”. Their confidence in me scared me a little bit, but I knew my confidence shouldn’t be on myself but on God who is my creator and the source of all I am and His promise that I could do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4.13). Seeing my group members enjoying themselves, laughing and having fun without any worries during the shooting because they believe I got it covered was truly something rewarding to me personally because it made me really happy to see them happy. Some of them even expressed that this video production is the best assignment in the whole of MBA course. And truly the journey of making the video was a really smooth one, of which I owe it all to my amazing God and my great group members who believed in me. The video is a reflection of good teamwork, hard work, commitment and chemistry in the team. Our ability to create and execute the video is birth from the sincere yearning to create something genuine, honest, truthful and of a certain quality. The video was not perfect, because we were all amateurs and only did what we knew. But looking at the final product of the video, I did not see the main actor Fadhil as our course mate.

I saw a “father” who worked hard for his family and loved his family so much. I did not see Charles as a friend, but a son who loved his father a lot and wants to be like him and Suzanne as a woman who relives the memory of her loving husband through his son. Having seen and felt that, I knew we had created something that carried a piece of our heart and soul in it. We created something without short-changing ourselves, our product, the business we represented or our values. And I think that is the most crucial thing when it comes to “create”. It might be difficult initially to start, might even go through insecurities, doubts and some bumps along the way. But if we do not quit and keep on going, we might end up creating something beautiful and worthwhile. What we put in is what we get. It is a mirror effect… what we create reflects and carries a part of whom we actually are. And E-Marketing, in its own subtle way somewhat reminded us of that fact as well.

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E.N.G.A.G.E

Throughout the E-Marketing classes, we have learnt how to engage our customers, clients and so on. As much as “engage” in the marketing context means to capture and attract people to participate, and to constantly be in touch and involved in our marketing efforts, the word “engage” kept reminding me of the engage-ment ring. Yes it is unrelated, and yes it’s absurd. But it got me thinking. With all the “hu-ha” going around about grasping the concept of engaging, how we should engage our customers, how we should make them feel and how far should we go into engaging a customer or potential customer, what is the essence of it, really? An engagement ring is a ring presented by a guy to a girl to show his intention/promise of marrying her. A promise of a better future, a promise of a more meaningful relationship, a promise to be loyal and truthful to them and a symbol of commitment. Could “engage” translate into the e-marketing perspective be as easy as being “committed” to a customer by serving them, to be loyal and truthful marketers that only wants the best for their customers, to be honest to them about their business and shortcomings, to promise to keep serving them for a better tomorrow, to work towards establish a long lasting and meaningful relationship with the customers? As short, maybe inaccurate or not by-the-book this observation might be, it made me understand a little more about engaging a customer in my own bizarre, personal point of view. It is not a touch-and-go, once in a blue moon effort. It takes persistence, commitment and a whole lot of time, sincerity and effort to keep it going.

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O.P.T.I.M.I.Z.E

Optimize is a big word to me. Optimize is to use something to its fullest of potential. But in life, anything that is used way below its fullest of potential could be like “throwing it into the sea”. It’s like owning the most advanced smartphone and only using it to make calls. Nothing is more disappointing than having the potential to greatness in our hands but is too ignorant to recognise its worth. My pastor once said, when I show you a seed what do you see? It was very long ago but I remember it really clearly because it changed my perspective is so many things. Some people see a seed as a small seed, and some people see a forest. In every seed contains the potential of a forest. I learnt to see the “forest” in things and to work towards it. To not just see what it is, but what it could be. I do not always succeed in doing so, but I am still learning through experience. And in E-Marketing class, it shifted my perspective a little bit more. In every tool we use, no matter Facebook, twitter, website or even videos, there is a potential of greatness in every one of these tools. And although I myself am not truly sure what is the optimisation of those tools are exactly, but I am hoping to one day explore it further. E-Marketing class prepared a platform to further promote the realization of these tools and to learn, explore and grasp it would definitely take longer than 4 months.

T.H.A.N.K Y.O.U

My 4 months journey has been a good one. And I thank my lecturer for her genuine help, guidance and sincerity towards the class and my amazing classmates for all the love. When I was small I saw teachers as someone who teach, carrying the “identity” of a teacher and that was it. I’ve accounted good teachers, not so good ones and ones that do not care one bit about their students. As I grew older, having many friends who are lecturers and teachers just made me realise that teachers/lecturers are mothers, fathers, wife, husband, son, daughter and friends to somebody. It made me rethink of all those teachers who have impacted me throughout the years. Made me realise it is very easy not to be a good teacher and being overwhelmed with so many other commitments. It’s easy to just come to class, teach and leave. But it takes extra effort, sacrifice and sincerity to go the extra mile, to give more than what they could ever get back. And it takes really dedicated ones to impact lives. It’s not simply a job, it is a calling.

Therefore, thank you Dr Haliyana for not treating us as just part of a job. Thank you for showing us that we are part of your calling. We appreciate you. The 4 months “dance” have come to the end, but the friendship and experience made is life changing. And to end this reflection, I quote the words of a famous choreographer, Columbus Short “I can say with full sincerity that I am happy. I’m happy because I’m doing what I love and I’m not selling out”.

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