Introductions with a little marketing analysis thrown in…

Hi, my name is Taylor Franks. I am a senior at Western Washington University. I am double concentrating in Marketing and Management Information Systems. To pay for college I work as a cashier at Albertsons and as the Assistant Business Director for the Associated Students. In my free time  I am involved in the IT Leadership program, where we spend the school year planning the annual WISC event and improving the MIS department. I am also the VP of Membership for the Student Marketing Association. I will not graduate  until Fall 2015, which gives me the opportunity to look for internships for the summer. When I grow up and join the real world I am unsure about what I want to do. I like to take opportunities as they are presented to me. . I would like to work in some sort of management position, either in Marketing or IT. I would love to work for Microsoft or Amazon. Maybe one day I will do some sort of consulting.

I am taking this Digital Marketing class mainly because of the feedback I have heard from other students. There has been raving reviews, which is hard to come by with some of the marketing classes at Western.  Also in this society having knowledge of technology and useful resources is the key to survival. This class will hopefully help me advance in my already known skills and teach me new ones. I also am very excited to obtain a Google Analytics Certificate. I heard that there is an opportunity to take the qualification exam at the end of the quarter. I have been meaning to get this certification but have lacked the  motivation.

The main thing I hope to learn and improve upon in this class is what I am attempting to do right now; blogging. I’ve never felt that I had anything to say that was interesting enough for someone to want to read. Being able to share my insights about the marketing world is going to be challenging but fun and I’m very excited.

Well I do believe I have shared enough about myself and it is time to move on to the marketing aspect of this blog post.  I was instructed to read three articles before the start of this class.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century*

This article was  written by Regina Pefanis Schlee and Katrin R. Harich.  This is  a study about the skills and knowledge required for different levels of marketing positions and how marketing courses need to better prepare their students. The study was done using The requirements and skills were compared for jobs starting at entry-level positions all the way to upper-level positions. Five metropolitan areas ( Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle) were used as a comparison as well. Before going into the conclusions that were generated from this study I would like to say that colleges do need to better prepare their students for the real world. As a college student myself I have had many experiences hunting for jobs that I wished I had been better prepared for. Reading textbooks and writing papers is not the adequate amount of knowledge or skill needed for the real world. A student needs to be placed in a real life situation and marketing classes, like this one, should target toward these skills.

The article mentions that advisory boards  are a crucial element of  business schools and that is defiantly what most of the departments at Western are missing. . Currently I am in the process of creating an advisory board for the MIS department. I feel that these are important because advisory boards allow for students to find mentors in their field of interest and learn the skills that may not be taught in the classroom. This article gives a fair share of data and information about skills and knowledge needed. I am only going to share a few that interest me but I have provided the link, below, in case you are interested in reading more about the findings from this study.

On Table 3 I found it interesting how little the concept of ethics matters in the business world. It is at it’s highest of 13.1% in the entry level jobs but lowers to 4.7% by the time someone advances to management.


With the dog eat dog world we live in now I wouldn’t find this interesting except for the fact that I will be paying money  to sit in a business ethics class this quarter. If ethics have little importance, when moving up the food chain,  than why am I wasting my hard-earned money to take this class? This is supportive in my earlier opinion that marketing classes need to target more towards the skills and knowledge needed in the real world. I’m not saying ethics are not important, they are especially important to me, but students shouldn’t be sitting in a quarter long class about the topic if it has little importance when finding a marketing position. This finding also says a lot about our society and the business world in general but that will have to be saved for another time.

Another finding that was presented in this article was that entry-level job’s require more technical skills than management positions. I agree with this finding and have always been told this from my professors. A book that I read recently,  Haunting The CEO, has a quote in it that says “Early in our careers, we use our technical skills the most, and our management and people skills only a little. When we move into management ranks, our use of technical skills drops while our use of people skills increases. When we move into executive ranks, as a CIO or CEO, for example, our use of technical skills is minimized and even our use of management skills drops.”Hughes, John. (Haunting the CEO. Seattle, WA: Spotless Books, 2011. eBook.)  This supports the findings in the article because the farther we move up in rank the more we deal with people and customer satisfaction. No longer are we coding or working through analytics but instead making sure the customer is satisfied and the employees are completing their work in time.

 US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016**

This article, written by Shar VanBoskirk,  states that by 2016 interactive marketing will be at the same level as television, at least the money spent will be equal. There were many factors stated  about why interactive marketing would increase but the most interesting reason to me was customer obsession. It is stated in the article that firms “Will invest to create customized experiences across their customers’ preferred touch points.” We as a society are becoming obsessed with having personalized items. For example we choose what apps and programs are put on our smartphones. We choose which ones we support and which ones work for us best.  A company can do all the advertisement they want but until they have an obsessed consumer base, like Apple, they will never be successful.  I like that it is all about the customer and the experience they will have with the product.

It is not surprising to read that ” A portion of marketers’ search budgets will move to mobile and social networks as users rely more on non-PC devices and nontraditional search engines like YouTube or Facebook for finding.”  This finding is supported by a study done by ComScore.  Below is a table showing the usage of different sites from 2011 to 2012.

portal use(Mcgee)

As you can see the portal sites raise from 57%, in 2011, to 69%, in 2012. This is a 12% difference. I agree with these findings. Most days I find myself looking up websites on my phone because of the locations I am in. Though this study was done in 2012 it can only be assumed that searches on phones will keep increasing, especially since phones are becoming better computers than PCs.

One point made in this article that excites me is “Marketers will create more relevant mobile ads.”  Every time I have a chance to talk about the ads on my phone it is never in a positive light. I do believe this will increase the level of positive outlook toward interactive marketing. When I am searching something or playing a game I am more likely to click on an ad if it actually pertains to anything going on in my life. If ads were more relevant to each person than we wouldn’t feel like this:


There were many more forecasts in this article, but I only shared a few. If you are interested and would like to read more I have inserted the link to the article in the Bibliography section. I am now going to move on to the last but most important article.

Another Game of Thrones***

game of thrones(Parkins)

Just to make this clear I have never watched Game of Thrones and so there will be no references to the show in this section. Sorry if I disappointed anyone :(.  There are four main companies that are fighting for the power over the consumer internet: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.  This article was written in 2012 and there have been many changes to the four companies and their strategies. I have included the link to the article in case you would like to read about what happened in 2012. Here I will just be talking about the changes in each company.

Google has been very busy changing up their strategy so that people will focus on their “authority, semantic relevance, and the user experience” (Enge). This strategy change has some positives and negatives. One negative is that the ability to obtain keyword data for users who arrived at websites from a Google search has been taken away. This causes problems for the owner of websites because they are losing the understanding of how users got to their website and the thought process. This can affect the advertising that websites do because they will have a harder time knowing what attracts their consumers.

A positive for Google is the strengthening of their  platform by launching the Hummingbird Algorithm in September.  This allows for Google to understand conversational search queries instead of just putting in keywords. I love this new aspect of Google because I feel more comfortable putting in sentences when searching instead of keywords. Keywords can be tricky sometimes and cause irrelevant results. There is still some work that needs to be done with this algorithm but this has had quite a substantial impact for Google already. Another positive  is that  the Androids for Google has helped their  shares rise over the $1,000 mark. They have not struggled with the advertising switching over to mobile and this has been a great gain for them with the pay-per-click. Here is a link to a video that goes into more depth about the Google achievement.

Apple has had a quite a year when it comes to phones. They have released the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. The iOS 7 operating system has had some mixed reviews. I have an iPhone but have yet to make the jump to iOS 7 because I do not like change and I’m very stubborn. I have heard mixed reviews about the new system.  Everything has been changed. The fonts, sounds, icons, etc… have all been changed. When the system was first launched there was criticism because of the bold, bright colors but it has since been accepted and pleases their users. Siri has also been updated to be more “human”.  They have added new  data sources for Siri like Bing, notice not Google… Below is a link that will show you all the new changes with iOS 7:

Facebook has not gained the most positive feedback from its users lately. If you haven’t checked your privacy settings lately you better. They have removed the privacy settings of making you unsearchable. Your friends are not the only people who can look for you and the new Graph Search can lead anyone to your profile.


Another tweak that Facebook has made is the Facebook brand pages are getting less traffic and free advertisement is becoming less available. This is “screwing over the social media marketers.” (Carlson) The number of people who are seeing these posts are declining. I can see why Facebook is making this change because it builds up revenue but they cause brands to lose customers and risk angering them.

Moving to the last company is Amazon. They seem to have little changes since 2012. They have been talking about having drones deliver packages to your house, called Amazon Prime Air. I would have to say this is taking stalking to a whole new level! I would not let a drone come to my house because who knows what else that drone could be used for.


Also let’s think about the jobs that will be taken away if packages are not needed to be delivered by UPS or FedEx. Don’t freak out yet though because these drones are not going to be ready for roughly four to  five years.

A rumor that I have read about is the Amazon phone to be created by HTC. This is likely to happen in 2014 but has yet to be reported on with much detail. I am excited to see what Amazon comes up with.

If you have made it to here I would like to say thank you for reading my first blog post. It was a bit long but I hoped you learned at least one interesting thing. May my blog posts only get more interesting and not as long in the future. 🙂



Rothschild, Evelyn. The Thing About Ethics Is, I Have None. N.d. MEME. diylol.comWeb. 6 Jan 2014. <;.


Mcgee, Matt. Search On Smartphones Up 26 Percent, On Tablets Up 19 Percent In 2012 [Study]. 2013. Photograph. n.p. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <;.

Joe, Bobby. Mandatory Pre-video Advertising. 2013. MEME. cheezburger.comWeb. 6 Jan 2014. <;.


Parkins, David. 2012. Photograph. The EconomistWeb. 6 Jan 2014. .

Enge, Eric. “6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO.” Search Engine Watch. N.p., 30 Dec 2013. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <;.

Carlson, Nicholas. “Facebook Slightly Tweaked How The Site Works — And It Screwed An Entire Profession Read more:


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