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Life as a Digital Marketing Intern in 2020

Life as a Digital Marketing Intern in 2020

Intro from John (MD)

I remember starting my career, trying to understand this strange new world and pick up on the culture: What were my colleagues like? What behaviours were expected from me? What was the context of my work compared with that of the wider agency?

It wasn’t easy; but looking back, there were many touchpoints to help me understand this new environment and my position within it. I was sat with a great team who gave me an example, and context. I learned a lot by watching them and listening to them at work. Also, the regular kind words and smiles helped settle me down, something I’ll always be grateful for.

Fast forward to today and graduates of 2020 are starting their careers during a much harder time.

In that context, it is even more inspiring to have seen how well our interns, Jasmine and Emily have made this work. They have contributed to our culture immediately, have shown a real aptitude for digital marketing and have demonstrated outstanding focus and professionalism too. Wow, we have been fortunate!

I look forward to when they can enjoy a live company event; also to when they can experience the usual buzz of the office for the first time, – or when they are able to join us in a champagne moment after winning a new client! Hopefully, all of that won’t be too long – the champagne is already on ice.

This blog is not just sharing what life is like as a digital Intern. It can be read as an insightful look at the views of two exceptionally talented digital marketeers, new to their careers, but who have overcome the significant hurdles of these times – and thrived.




Life as a Digital Marketing Intern in 2020


Zoom Call

Ever wanted to know what life is like as an intern at an award-winning digital media agency?

We’ve caught up with our interns, Emily and Jasmine, to hear about their experiences as interns at Uprise Up.


First things first, introduce yourself and give an insight into why you’re interested in digital marketing.

Emily: I studied Chinese and International Business at the University of Leeds. Digital marketing appealed to me because of its capacity to measure all aspects of the marketing journey and understand how a user found your product/service. Also, I love a good spreadsheet!

Jasmine: I graduated from the University of Birmingham in June 2020 with a First Class honours degree in History. I was interested in beginning a career in digital marketing throughout university, particularly after completing work experience at a social media marketing agency.


What does your role entail?

Emily: My role is Paid Media Assistant. I work with a variety of clients, setting up new campaigns, ad groups and optimising current campaigns. Typically, each day is different, but I am consistently reviewing campaigns and tweaking them to improve performance.

Jasmine: As a digital marketing assistant, I support my team with implementation for paid search campaigns. This primarily involves continually optimising campaigns on Google Ads, through updating ad copy, keywords and monitoring performance. I also provide support for Uprise Up’s own marketing, including scheduling content for our TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn and publishing content on our website.



Tell us a bit about the team that you work with.

Emily: The Paid Media team works to reach audiences at the exact moment when they are looking for your product/ service. The team works closely with clients to clearly define the goal of each campaign and works to achieve that. A lot of the time our goals are oriented around increasing conversion rates.

Jasmine: I work alongside the Strategy & Client Services team, who have all been extremely supportive with regards to sharing their expertise with me and helping me to learn new skills. We have a daily team catch up, which I value being a part of to keep up to date on work within the team.


What do you enjoy the most about your role?

Emily: I love having the ability to work on such a wide range of socially responsible clients, all with different digital marketing objectives. Having the scope of clients at an agency, like Uprise Up, allows you to learn a lot quicker about different marketing strategies.

Jasmine: In terms of account work, I find working with charities really rewarding. Knowing that our work can lead to a charity receiving a donation or volunteer sign up is amazing! I also love supporting with marketing tasks and contributing to Uprise Up’s constant expansion and growth.


What have you found to be the most challenging aspect?

Emily: The most challenging aspect I found was getting used to navigating around the different interfaces. During the first week, it was all a bit of a shock to the system, but over time it has become a lot easier!

Jasmine: Learning how to use completely new platforms, such as Google Ads and Google Data Studio, has definitely been challenging. I’m lucky to have such helpful and patient colleagues who are more than willing to help me out!


What has it been like starting a new job from home and having limited time in the office?

Emily: It has been a challenge, but the team have been incredible at consistent communication and checking in on my work. Going into the office for the odd few days has been great to meet the team face-to-face.

Jasmine: Starting a role “virtually” isn’t how I imagined my first job after graduation to look like, but I’ve grown to enjoy working from home. I feel as though I’ve still had a chance to get to know the Uprise Up team even though we’re not in the office, as we have weekly catch ups and socials that often involve quizzes (which I’m unfortunately yet to win).


What skills do you think are necessary to succeed as a digital marketing intern?

Emily: I think there are 3 main skills necessary: having a curiosity and willingness to learn, being able to read and interpret data, being able to adapt quickly and react.

Jasmine: Communication, a willingness to learn and adapt, and a keen eye for detail are all skills that are essential upon entering the world of digital marketing.


Emily, what do you listen to whilst you’re working?

Emily: I often listen to my Morning Coffee playlist first thing, whilst enjoying far too many cups of coffee! By the afternoon I tend to prefer silence or listening to the radio.


Jasmine, what’s your ultimate hack for being productive whilst working from home?

Jasmine: I find being that being surrounded by an abundance of iced coffee and my personalised ‘guilty pleasures’ playlist on Spotify playing in the background is unquestionably the ultimate working environment for high levels of productivity.


If you would like to know more about our award-winning agency, tweet us at @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.


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    A letter and offer of support during the Covid-19 outbreak

    A Letter from John, Uprise Up MD

    Dear Friends,

    I hope everyone reading this is safe, and also your family, friends, colleagues and the organisations you work at. This is a message to let you know where Uprise Up is at and possibly how we could help if you need it.


    The ‘business has changed a bit, but we are still able to deliver’ message

    It is business as (almost) usual for us. We had plans to increase flexible and home working already. Not this quickly, not on this scale, but we have the technology in place and we’re rolling with it. We’re also loving the increased video conferencing with pets, partners and children often making a cameo!


    Uprise Up are good

    Financially speaking, we are OK. The company is stable and has an emergency float kept aside. We are also extremely fortunate as many of the organisations that we work with still have a big role during this time. This includes several charity and health-based organisations who have had to increase some of their marketing, communications and fundraising activities to support their efforts in dealing with the crisis.


    Many clients are also on a stable footing and are using marketing to support the short-term changes they are making to their business model, or they are taking the long-term view and are strengthening their brand for when the recovery comes. (Marketing strategies during these odd times can be found on my recent blog).


    Some clients are scaling back activity, and from our perspective we can accommodate that, and provide some extra support.


    We’ve got your back

    We are grateful that Uprise Up is still able to operate and work with clients right now. This is enabling us to keep the lights on and ensure our staff are still fully employed, which is brilliant as we’ve built an amazing team. If you are one of our clients experiencing income and cash flow issues and need to ‘hibernate’ or some other help right now, we’ve got your back.


    Let us know what you need: Reduce services during this time? Put campaigns on complete hold (outside of contractual commitments)? If you need digital marketing to get through this (and be in a strong position on the other side), but now have cash-flow issues, tell us how we can help.


    We can look at reviewing terms, maybe we need to give you a bit extra to get you over this hump. As I say, we are in a fortunate position and as such can support you during this time.


    We’d very much like to too; let us know what you need.


    Thanks for taking the time to read this. Stay safe.




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      Following Covid-19, good marketing is needed now more than ever

      Marketing during coronavirus empty office

      Marketing pivots needed in an economic crisis


      The situation we face


      Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had an unprecedented impact, on our health, social habits and on our economy. But we need to keep the lights on. During an economic crisis we need to adapt effectively and quickly to survive and to do this, effective marketing is crucial.


      We need to adapt in the short term and plan for the long term. Turning the marketing tap off to save cash now is not an option. Even if the whole organisation is able to go into a cost-free hibernation, when that time ends, the brand will be in tatters.


      Conversely, companies that are able to adapt and continue their marketing will find that these moments offer the brave the most potential for developing the brand and increasing market share at relatively little cost. Communication, awareness and demand generation are crucial.


      It’s not just about self-interest. Society is built on commerce, to keep people employed and fed. Many of the industries (and charities) we support now have a vital function in getting information and essential supplies to people that need them. Some of the organisations Uprise Up work with are really coming into their own, helping communities through volunteer recruitment, raising money for highly vulnerable people such as the homeless or people with a specific illnesses. These organisations and others rely on the wheels to keep turning. Marketers must step-up.



      Office cactus delivering digital marketing training

      At times like this our office cactus provides useful training (via video)



      Dust ourselves off and review where we are at. It’s time for a new strategy


      Organisations are going to make changes, and marketing needs to support that. There are a few considerations that need to be made:


      The operating environment


      Thousands of companies need to make significant changes to their business model, for the short term at least. Others may still be able to focus on the same core products or services, but will find that their audiences and the nature of their environment (see the PESTAL model for external influences) have changed significantly.



      The organisation’s position


      Organisations need a swift team SWOT analysis on the new situation and a plan based on the SOSTAC model is an excellent place to start. When devising that, this is where I see the answers as to future success likely to be.



      Changing audiences and markets


      Now is a good time to review target audiences, as their current circumstances are likely to have changed significantly. At the same time your proposition may have changed altogether, which might open up a whole new audience. Revised personas relating to current conditions would be very useful about now and when we are through the bulk of coronavirus shut-down, audiences will need to be revised again. From economics through to patterns of behaviour, the world is going to be a different place.


      An important thing to mention here – if your business model is changing, unless that change is going to be permanent, don’t neglect your traditional audience. If you had a training business with a limited sphere of influence (say Manchester), and are now temporarily providing online training where you can target nationally (or further), keep your brand going strong in Manchester for when your business gets back to normal.



      The long-term strategy


      The instinct is to think short term – cut costs or throw everything into increase sales. However, companies that are going to survive beyond this crisis need a longer-term strategy, and there are opportunities to doing so.


      If customers or clients aren’t buying right now it might be wise to reduce paid advertising that focuses on short-term sales. However, there is high demand for content around how the world is changing as a result of COVID-19, and what people and organisations can and should do. Any content created should be genuine and helpful, serving your audience in this way will keep exposure levels high in the short term, at reduced cost. Beyond the crisis the brand awareness and continued SEO will benefit from the links and interest your new content has generated could see you in a much better place when we come out of this.


      Also, as immediate demand has dropped, inventory (ad space, especially digital ad space including display and video), is very cost effective right now. If you are focused on long-term market growth through driving brand awareness, there is now an opportunity to do so at a far reduced cost. Any campaign should be sympathetic to current times, should be carefully worded and demonstrate warmth and positive social values. But get this right and you will be well-regarded when things pick-up.




      office orange tree with low hanging fruit

      Any business should still have some low-hanging fruit



      A new approach


      Pivoting needs to be quick. The competition is going to be setting themselves up in a similar way. There is significant early mover advantage here as markets and industries are shifting and new marketing opportunities are opening up, ready to be owned. Develop your channels with your audiences now, when they need you the most, and it will build a relationship. As time goes on your audiences will start to feel inundated, and it will be much harder to break through.


      Priority areas I think all organisations should be considering are:



      A lot of this represents a speeding up of best practice initiatives. That’s what this crisis will do to us: compel us to trim off the fat and propel our marketing practices into where they needed to be, only much faster. Those that can adapt quickly will benefit – and be in a better place when this is all over too. Here’s a rundown of each point.



      Focus on digital


      I manage a digital marketing agency, so I have a vested interest in this sector. I didn’t start in digital; I began media planning and buying across print and outdoor, TV, radio and ‘ambient’. I moved into digital once I realised just what it could do: rich messaging, high engagement, significant reach. But the superpower advantages are pinpoint targeting, and full transparency (data, analytics and attribution modelling), which allow strategies to be effectively honed and optimised.


      Where businesses are stretched and every advertising pound needs to hit the mark, you know exactly what digital is achieving, which elements are working and which aren’t. In times of tight cash-flow, targeting the bottom of the funnel can keep the lights on.


      In 2019 digital accounted for over 50% of media spend for the first time. It was already predicted that this would grow in 2020, and now, (following coronavirus), more than ever. Out-Of-Home (including tube advertising, busses and billboards) are going to see a big reduction as ‘out-door’ and commute time is almost halted. Similarly, magazine and newspaper sales will slump significantly. But the real rise in digital (in-home) will be because marketing budgets are going to be forced to be more accountable; better targeted and with better data, and the sooner organisations adapt, the further ahead they will be.



      Make sure that tracking and Analytics is perfectly set up


      Organisations are going to need to make every penny count, and that means having Analytics set up to clearly record web traffic and activity. From our experience, most organisations are far from this point. We review the Analytics accounts for every one of our clients on commencement of engagement. 95% of the time we are able to make setup improvement recommendations that will significantly improve the quality of the data being reported.


      Unless your organisation has a real expert in Analytics setup, get your account reviewed.


      Remarketing lists should be getting generated. A view should be created to filter out internal and agency traffic, and spam. There should be a clear process for labelling links, from all emails and also social media. Tag manager should be used – in a sophisticated way, tracking all important activity, mouse movements and engagements.


      Conversions also need to be tracked. Financial ecommerce transactions or B2B service lead contacts. Now is the time to know exactly what is working and its impact. This will help significantly through the hard times, and when normality finally returns, your organisation will be in a very good position.


      Finally, this is the perfect opportunity to work on CRO (conversion rate optimisation) developments on your site. Run user A/B testing through Google Experiments, analyse site usage through Crazy Egg or run live user-testing programs against your target audience. We find that CRO is typically underperforming for many organisations, and where that is the case it represents a huge opportunity.



      Go Big on Content and SEO


      Content relating to coronavirus is important right now, whatever your industry: Investors need to know how the crisis will affect their portfolio. Health conscious people need to know how to keep fit at home. Many parents are desperate to improve their home-schooling abilities. We might all be looking for optimal strategies with toilet paper…


      It might be that your industry has been flattened by this. You might have shut the doors completely, but utilising whatever spare time you now have to provide useful content for your audiences will keep the brand alive and continue the conversation with your consumer. If you do it in an effective way, there are considerable long-term benefits. Conceivably, a fifth page keyword placement could be on the first page within three months. In addition to providing ‘free click’ traffic in the short term, an effective content / SEO strategy now will see your organisation fly when the normal world resumes:


        • The media is crying out for content about how coronavirus and resulting disruption is going to impact on their audiences. People’s media consumption on all of this has increased hugely.
        • There is an opportunity for high quality, genuine content to generate coverage – in news and on social media. This is time to serve. In time of crisis, content must be caring, understanding and helpful. The audience needs to be at the centre of any communications.
        • When done well, thought-leadership exposure will generate traffic from link clicks and SEO rankings. Such an opportunity for climbing SEO rankings so quickly (as now) will not come again for a long time – if ever.
        • This could reduce the impact on their business over this difficult time, particularly if done in conjunction with new products, services or an appeal related to Covid-19 and the resulting shut-down. For some organisations this content will be very effective at delivering traffic in significant volumes.
        • When we start to come out of this, organisations which have delivered useful content for their audiences will have leap-frogged several positions in search.


      It is the same for all organisations. Marketing needs to continue, but it needs to adapt, and it needs to be effective. Even more so with content marketing – but those that get it right quickly will be in a much better place compared to the competition.



      Get into video


      Digital video has been growing for some time. The demand for professional quality clips has dropped, and organically video is used often, self-shot, giving the human, authentic touch to marketing communications. Platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have brought this sophisticated media within reach of all advertisers.


      In terms of video advertising, the amount of video content Organisations have available to show does not match the inventory (advertising space) available. This means (considering what video ads can do) that right now promoting video ads is exceptionally cheap.


      It’s also a channel that’s growing and worth investing in. Last year spend for non-video digital display grew by 8%, whereas spend for video grew by 27% to a total of £1.32 bn. This growth means video now almost accounts for the same as non-video display (£1.45 bn).


      In an organic context, with the current crisis and subsequent isolation, video is poised to go insane – and the landscape will never be the same again. Video will be used in training (professional skills, fitness, home schooling). Businesses and individuals who haven’t been using it will become full adopters within a few weeks.


      Organisations and consumers may re-evaluate themselves after this. Once society has made it work, I don’t think things will go back to how they were. Consumers will get used to intangible video products and organisations will be keen to keep some of the efficiencies that video offers.



      the upriseUP team together

      A still from our upcoming video, Uprise Up is sticking together (but not too close)


      We are in this together


      There is a genuine togetherness that current conditions have brought to the marketing community. There is plenty of support out there, and some great advice (it seems that many in marketing have realised the importance of adding to this debate!). Among some of the great pieces I have read, Mark Ritson’s Marketing in the time of Covid-19 serves well as an inspiring call-to -arms, and Smart Insights have Creating a Marketing action plan for a recession.


      If anyone reading this would like to talk through their thoughts for our industry – or their organisation specifically during these times, I’d love to hear from you. It seems an odd thing to say under these circumstances, but I think our way through this will come from much closer collaboration.


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