We all do social media
Interview with lecturer Warren Laine-Naida
Translated from the German, and interview with CBM Bremen (link to article)
As a lecturer, consultant and networker, Warren teaches online marketing to the people who are furthest away from digital technology: senior citizens. A target group-oriented approach is indispensable. At CBM, he passes on his know-how and his wealth of experience to participants.
Warren studied marketing, but at that time it was completely “offline”. When he worked in Japan in the 1980s, fax marketing was just being presented as a trend-setting innovation and the mobile fax machine attracted a lot of attention.
Cooking up a marketing soup
After college, Warren worked in the restaurant and catering business, like most of his university friends. In his work as a cook he learned everything you need to keep a small restaurant alive. Delicious food in a good atmosphere is indispensable, but waitering, accounting and of course marketing are also essential elements without which the business won’t work. It was obvious to combine both areas and do marketing for the restaurant where he worked. This is how he financed his studies and helped them to greater success.
In his opinion, online marketing is similar to the restaurant business: just like in the restaurant business, there is a product, i.e. the good food, which you want to bring to people. Therefore it must be served in such a way that the eye “eats” – and the same applies to a website. An analysis of what tastes your target group has, when they feel good and what they react to is just as important in whetting the appetite for the restaurant as it is in SEA and SEO activities.
Structuring learning by doing
Warren’s first and, according to him, most important statement about online marketing: “You have to throw everything you know so far over the top. Think outside the box and not in the usual marketing categories.” Online marketing in the form of social media is something everyone does today: as most people are active on different channels, everyone markets themselves with their life story, preferences and interests. Thus, the contents of the course are not foreign to anyone, but are based on the world of life. “We all use these possibilities today without ever having learned how to use it in the formal sense,” explains Warren. “Most of us use the tools without understanding what they can actually do.”
He compares it to learning a language: when you’re abroad and you just chat away without having built up grammar and a word stem of vocabulary beforehand: “It works, but it has limits. If you then attend a course, you are amazed at the structures and rules that exist and how you can use them to your advantage”. Again, he speaks from experience, because his mother tongue is English.
Specialising and setting goals
Warren advises people to calmly take half a year’s time for a course in e-commerce in order to get an overview and to then think about specializing in an area that suits you and that you enjoy. Since the CBM course is held part-time, a lot of practical work can be tried out and the first orders can be implemented during this time. The development of a good network is indispensable for this, and he is also there to help participants. The course also includes job application training as well as business fundamentals, without which it is not possible, because marketing always has a certain budget.
The last course ended at the beginning of the Corona period and Warren was thrilled that participants were able to continue lessons via Zoom right away so that the jump into the digital world went smoothly.
Good prospects in the digital world
There are many different career prospects: from self-employment to project work to permanent employment. Webshops have to be supported and advertised online. Many companies are constantly expanding their online presence. This includes making websites appealing, putting themselves in the customer’s view in order to make them easy to use and the design appealing. Dealing with content management systems such as WordPress or Joomla is just as much a part of this as design software such as InDesign.
Not everything has to be learned at the same time, but the course offers the opportunity to gain insight into all facets of online marketing. This is also demonstrated by the range of subjects in the last class: the age range was from 22 to 60 years, across all languages and cultures. In addition to the interest in online marketing, where everyone wanted to take a look behind the scenes, there were career changers from other professions or marketing specialists who wanted to expand their know-how with online skills.
Warren’s book on online marketing, in which he has compiled his blog posts from the last 5 years, is available on amazon. In his spare time he pursues a sweet occupation for which we would also like to engage him: He makes works of art out of chocolate. Until we have saved the necessary money, we will hire him again as a lecturer for our next e-commerce class in November.