Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Khan Academy nails marketing—and your new Flashdance lifestyle

I recently started taking a certification course in digital marketing, and things were going pretty smoothly, until I had to write about a great digital marketing campaign.

Here's the problem: I hate most digital marketing. The last campaign that brought me unbridled joy was for a poop spray, and that was back in 2013.

I'd still totally wear that outfit, though.

I'm also a fan of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, but that campaign's already been discussed to death. I needed something new, at least new to me.

"Astrid," I can already hear you asking, "if you're so bitter about digital marketing, why are you spending your free time and approximately a thousand post-tax dollars learning more about it?"

I've got a few reasons, based mostly on my personal experience:

  • All marketers are expected to be digital gurus now. If you aren't, you're more expendable as an employee.
  • Senior management are now more desperate than ever to have well-informed marketers to recommend digital strategies, since all things digital have gotten so overwhelming.
  • Someone needs to make better digital marketing campaigns, I figure I might as well learn best practices and then try to improve the industry from the inside.

But I was still stuck with the problem of covering a decent marketing campaign. What do I write about? What active campaign resonates with me, and hasn't been covered ad nauseam yet?
Enter Khan Academy's #YouCanLearnAnything, suggested by one of my classmates. This ad only came out about a year after the Poo-Pourri spot, but Khan Academy still seems to be using the same video, slogan, and hashtag today. If you're looking for a rousing, Dead Poets Society / "Seize the day" message, watch this now. I'll wait.

I love the line, "Failure is another word for growth," cheesy as that sounds. I love the POV shots, so you can't help but empathize with each person as they crash and burn before finally triumphing. I love an ad that reminds us that we're part of something larger than ourselves, and the struggle to improve ourselves is part of a greater movement.
Best of all, this ad made me curious about the classes Khan Academy offers. They seem very heavy on the math and science, not that that's a bad thing, but it's not immediately applicable to me as someone who already has an MBA. However, I did find a treasure trove of classes under "Careers," including: Dance! And welding!
Be still, my Flashdance-loving heart.
Anyway, if you're looking to up your digital marketing game, or if you think your team might benefit from becoming digital marketing ninjas, check out the program I'm in: Udacity's Digital Marketing NanoDegree. I'm still in the first half of the course, so I can't give a fully-informed recommendation yet, but I can tell that I've gotten way savvier already. And my heart's a bit less crusty these days, thanks to exposure to heartwarming campaigns from around the world that I'd missed. I'd say it's worth it.

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