Confessions of a Digital Media Trainee

Post by Kayla Mueller, Associate Media Manager

“I’m in digital marketing.” As soon as I utter these words, I often see eyes widen with the belief that I am solely responsible for every Facebook ad they have ever seen. When I follow with, “I’m an intern,” their expression seems to assume that I take daily Starbucks runs or sit at a computer completing meaningless assignments. In reality, my summer as a Digital Media Trainee at Performics was completely the opposite.

When considering post-graduation employment, I spent countless hours in local coffee shops on my computer trying to find the right fit for me. I learned about Performics because it had earned recognition as one of the “Top 11 Chicago Companies You Want to Intern With” on a tech website I frequently visit. The Digital Media Trainee position description resonated with me; fast-forward to a few months later, and I was walking out of my in-person interviews for the program. When I left the building and joined a busy crowd on Michigan Avenue, I couldn’t help but smile when looking back up at the huge skyscraper that I just left.

For the past three months, five of us have been a part of the digital media training program at Performics. The program has served as an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, recognize our interests, see where our skills fit and guide our transition into the working world. Performics provided many tools to help us succeed in the industry. For example, a representative from Instagram visited to introduce the platform’s advertising updates. I participated in a workshop and brainstormed for one of the country’s largest retailers, designed a landing page, crafted ad and body copy, managed budget pacing for live campaigns and developed an interactive online quiz. I never once felt like I was “just an intern,” except maybe the one time I helped my mentor carry her coffee to a client call.

Performics has shown me the value of personalizing online advertising to optimize for engagement. Consumers are exposed to so many advertisements daily, and they’re often critical of how companies market to them: Are ads too intrusive? Relevant? Too pushy? Marketers must recognize key audience characteristics so they can develop and execute a campaign where consumers are greeted with not only relevant products and services but an overall positive brand experience. At Performics, we strive to genuinely deliver upon consumer intent.

Throughout my time as a Digital Media Trainee, I not only fell in love with digital marketing, but also with the company culture. My summer was filled with Performics intramural leagues, volunteer days, group fitness classes, improv sessions, book clubs, women-focused career navigation discussions, and of course the donut Fridays. I played violin in our company band “Paid Search and Destroy” at our summer party, which was pretty awesome. People are friendly at Performics, even when you’re just going into the kitchen to pour one (or two) cups of coffee. There’s always someone who will ask you about your weekend or sometimes an unfamiliar face will say hi. I would describe the Performics environment as having the energy of a young, energetic startup with the knowledge, experience, structure and values of an industry-leading agency.

Digital marketing encompasses so many things and there will always be more to learn, as long as you have a curious spirit. The team at Performics has taught me that once you become an expert in a particular aspect of digital marketing, there’s always something more to learn and new information to be shared. If this is the age of building foundations, I thank Performics for a good one. As a result of the Digital Media Training Program, I’m looking forward to my future in digital marketing…and the Friday donuts too.

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