My name is Manuel and I come from Colombia. As you might already know, I am one of the Marketing Directors at 180DC Lund. But what you might not know is that I am an engineer, a chemical engineer to be precise, and I am studying my master's in Biotechnology. Engineering everywhere!
So, how do I manage to do marketing for a social enterprise with no formal education in marketing? I will tell you!
ENGINEERING OFFERS A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Having a formal engineering education can help to gain that ‘outsider view’ and to come up with different ideas. We engineers are very good at approaching problems logically. Putting it simply, we usually tackle the problem using the “scientific method”.
First, we observe in order to get a picture of what is happening and formulate a hypothesis on why this is happening. Then we make an experiment to solve the problem and lastly, we analyze the results of the experiment. If the results give evidence that the experiment does not work, we adopt a better hypothesis and make another experiment. This goes on until we see good results.
Taken to the context of my Marketing Director position, I develop a marketing strategy and evaluate the effectiveness of it. If it does not work as expected, I change what is considered to be the problem and do it again until the strategy works nicely and effectively. The most appropriate expression for this approach might be “learn from your mistakes”. As a result you will create something amazing!
In a marketing position it really helps to be someone that likes to socialize with other people. Being outgoing and having it easy expressing yourself is handy when communicating your ideas. I have noticed that when writing or creating visual content, there is always a piece of my personality in the result.
Why does it help to be social? Doing marketing is about constantly communicating ideas to people, appealing to their interests, and trying to catch their attention. Making an image or a text ”‘scream” to catch people’s attention is a really interesting and elaborate activity. If you are outgoing and feel comfortable communicating with others, this might come more naturally.
The hard and key aspect for me is expressing something as simple as possible but yet in an attractive and meaningful way. You probably have heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” – well, it is very accurate when it comes to marketing.
TEAMWORK IS THE KEY
Working in a team is the best way to get good results, and currently I work along with Anna. She is a really good writer, read her last post here, and her expertise is in communication. Having someone with this background and experience in the team helps me to spot those undetected mistakes. The so-called cross-checking is crucial when striving for nice content.
A team is essential especially when producing content that represents the values and ideas of an enterprise. People will remember 180DC Lund partially from the way we market this organization, and it is essential that everyone working in it can stand behind our communication. In a team it is easier to come up with new and creative ideas, to innovate.
Going out of your comfort zone and area of expertise might be scary at first but it is the best thing you can do. You will get valuable experience and knowledge while also being able to bring new ideas to the table. It will help you tackle any situation that might come up in the future. Applying to be part of 180 DC Lund and developing my skills in different positions has been one of the most enriching experiences for me so far.
Manuel Alejandro Ruiz Mejia
Master student of Biotechnology at Lund University. The author holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Manuel is one of the Marketing Directors and was a former Consultant at 180 Degrees Consulting Lund.