We recently asked our readers for questions they wanted to ask today’s guest, digital producer Veronica Ruiz Villafuertes.
A surprising number of those readers then reached out to us with some great questions that speak to the many requirements and quirks of a career in branded content and communications.
Studying communications and marketing can lead to so many different career paths, and as technology advances and expands its influence in our daily lives, those career paths are only becoming more numerous and ubiquitous.
Out of dozens of reader questions, we were able to narrow it down to just eight that we felt would be most helpful to anyone looking to explore digital production and digital marketing.
Ruiz Villafuertes was kind enough to answer these questions in detail, drawing on her years of experience handling important events and campaigns for a long list of brands and professional organizations.
These answers address many crucial topics, from the importance of interpersonal networking to the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing and targeted marketing that uses social media platforms.
The way we engage with online content is more personal than ever, and digital producers have had to account for this.
If you’re looking to enter the world of digital content creation or you’re just interested to see how it’s changing, read on for more information.
“I’m not much of a people person. How can I step out of my shell and improve my communication skills?”
If you have difficulties making presentations, attending meetings or networking events, one thing you can do is to practice your communication skills with your friends and family. Prepare a small talk or presentation on a topic of your choice. Then perform it in front of them, ask for their feedback, and use the input in your future job-related performances. It will help you improve your skills while having fun, without the stress of work-related interactions!
“Did you make any mistakes during your first or second job as a producer? How did you recover?”
Of course, we are all human! When I was starting my career, due to the lack of experience, sometimes you do not see things coming or do not anticipate risks at the same level as today. What I did when I started, more than eleven years ago, was always ask when I wasn´t sure of a task or when I had doubts about how to proceed. Sometimes I would forget a part of the process, but there was always a peer or a supervisor to guide me to the correct path, so you just have to be humble and be willing to learn. As I said, nobody is perfect.
“Should I be making as many professional contacts as possible? Would this help me out later on?”
Absolutely! A professional network will help you through your career to have assistance if you need advice, a career change, or support for a common action for your business or client. In my experience, maintaining a professional network has opened me to better professional experiences and career paths. To start creating it, go to network events, use social media networks like LinkedIn to stay connected, and publish relevant information about your company or sector.
“How do you feel about targeted social media marketing? Are ethics an important part of this new kind of marketing?”
Targeted social media marketing is a powerful tool available to businesses nowadays. Marketing tactics are more effective if we have a good targeting strategy on social media, and our budget can benefit from it, freeing more resources to address other types of communication, for instance.
There is nothing wrong with companies directing their communication to the target they want to reach, as long as the messages they deliver do not break ethical rules, of course. More than the media or the fact of addressing our advertising to a target, for me, the ethics should stand on the information we deliver. We should follow this rule in all of our communications, not only the ones that are addressed to a specific target on social media. If you are able to accomplish this, you will be more successful and reliable, and your brand will benefit from a healthy corporate image.
“What do you do if a team member hasn’t been pulling their weight?”
There is always a reason when somebody is not at the top of their capacities. The best way to address this is to speak directly to them, instead of making assumptions or listening to others. A calm chat can be very clarifying to see if there is anything that we can improve in the workplace, or help out in the personal aspect. After we know the reasons, we can create a solution. This is also an opportunity to improve the work atmosphere and get closer to our team members.
“Do you like to set long-term career goals for yourself?”
I used to set long-term career goals at the beginning of my career, to see myself in my dream position or to decide my career path. As time went by, and I had my first professional experiences, that changed. I started to experience what the profession and the job actually was and to see more clearly what I actually wanted. I started to set mid-term career goals, and also short-term goals.
For example, thinking about a project or a group of projects and deciding where I wanted to be six months from now or how I saw my role or a promotion in the next year, etc. I find this way of setting goals more productive and, in my opinion, it allows you to actually change results and be proactive in your career growth and evolution.
“What’s your favorite part of your job?”
What I love the most is the possibility of interacting with talented professionals of different fields and skills, creators, art directors, copywriters, developers, tech pros, printers, media, journalists, furnishers, and many more! The human aspect of my profession and the exchange of ideas and disciplines is enriching to me. I learn something from every person, every day, that I am sure it will be useful to me in the future.
“Do you expect to see any big changes in digital marketing over the next ten years?”
Yes indeed. In the last ten years, technology has evolved so much and so has the way we market and advertise. I do not see a technological gap as big as the one we experienced in those past ten years, but what I see in the future is the perfection and customization of the channels we have today. We will probably see two things.
A “back to tradition” communication. In this era surrounded by technology, what will be unique will be the traditional marketing techniques, like customized mailing and experiential marketing. This will make you real instead of virtual, will differentiate your brand, and will give you a place in the consumer mind.
A “one person – one message” communication. The use of technology and tracking techniques has increased in recent years, and it will continue to do so. Big data has endless possibilities and I have no doubt it will be more exploited and perfected in the future. Brands will be able to customize messages to users and deliver a specific message for them only, according to where they have been, what they watch on TV, the groceries they buy, the friends they talk to, their searches online, etc. Then it’s up to society to put limits on personalization and use of data for marketing and promotional purposes.