Learning Digital Marketing the ideal way – Through Practise!
Update: This is a pre post, we will be updating the learnings and takeaways like a series of blog post, stay tuned for the next post with the step 1.
It was a hot Thursday afternoon yesterday, 19th March 2015, when we decided to do something fun, something adventurous, and something that will remain in our memories for a very long time. We were about to experience something absolutely new, we were about to learn the intricacies of running a restaurant business.
More importantly we were about to help create an online presence for their business– from scratch. How cool is that?
Unlike other customary projects that are done for namesake with no real learning or value addition, we knew right from the start that this was going to be different. This was going to be a real project, based on a real business. This meant hands-on experience of what we’ve learnt so far at WMA!
Live Digital Marketing Project @ WMA
Our team of 8 students were accompanied by our trainer Mansi and Mr. Suresh Babu, Founder and CEO of WMA to 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen, located at Marathahalli, Bangalore. While 4 of us travelled with him in the car, the rest chose to ride the bike.
45 Minute Drive, 200 Rupees – Team Bonding, Priceless!
It’s interesting how much we can learn from our conversations with batch-mates and trainers. It was a 45 minute drive to Marathahalli from WMA. During the commute we were able to discuss personal interests, family backgrounds and goals with the fellow-passengers a.k.a – batchmates, trainer, and the CEO himself – it was a great bonding experience. Understanding where the person’s coming from always sets up for a cordial relationship. So, this car drive to Marathahalli was in itself a learning experience.
Our batch of 8 students is not only from different backgrounds, but from different parts of the country – including Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Imagine how varied and interesting would our experiences be and sharing snippets of those during a car journey made it worth the while.
Suffice to say, this is a bonding experience that will serve us well during the business project.
Lost and Found
While the bonding was happening in the car, our batch-mates on the bike were lost. Since they weren’t sure about the location of the restaurant, we had to communicate, coordinate to reach the destination which we did eventually. Boy, were we happy to see each other after the 45-minute drive!
Background about the 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen
Suresh and Rajarajan Paul, the restaurant owner of Kings Kafe & Kitchen were long lost friends from late 90s. One fine day, Suresh found Paul in Indiranagar and they reunited. Rajarajan Paul was Executive Sous Chef The Leela Palace Bangalore. With the renewed relationship came an opportunity for helping a friend create online presence for his business. Suresh being a wise man used this opportunity not just to help his friend but also provide the trainees of the WMA Digital Marketing course an opportunity to apply what they’d learned in the course. He realized that this project could provide exposure to the students of the course. This would not only look good on resume, but once successfully done, a real business project like this can change the way students think about Digital Marketing.
The best and the most ideal way to learn Digital Marketing is through practise. – Notice the spelling of the word “practise” – that’s a verb – an action word.
Finally at the Doorstep of 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen!
At around 2 pm, we reached 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen, our feelings after we reached the place were of excitement, for two main reasons:
- We were about to learn how to take a business online, practically. And to overcome some of the challenges that might arise doing that.
- More importantly, the delicious food that we were about to consume!
Rajarajan Paul, the owner
One of the things that grabbed our attention was Paul, the restaurant owner. Without a doubt he was one of the best things that happened to us. He was filled with energy, and his words were truly motivating. He spoke extensively about the history of 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen, the way business operates as on date, the challenges faced, the successes he’s had and so on.
It was a joy for us students to meet Paul, who exuded that kind of energy and we were even more motivated to do something of value.
Imagine the amount of positive impact this exposure to real business and entrepreneurs have on a fresher who is just stepping into the world of Digital Marketing. Truly incredible!
Post the delicious lunch and conversation with Paul, we had a fair idea of how 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen operated. We asked questions, clarified and made efforts to understand as much as we could.
We realized the importance of understanding the various aspects of this business before we could provide solutions. Understanding was the key to our success and we did our best.
After learning about the history, the operations of 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen, we moved to understand the menu. This was important because we would be able to promote products that were unique to this restaurant effectively.
And then there was Brainstorming
Our brainstorming session was interesting. The amount of knowledge shared not only by the trainer Mansi, and Suresh but also within us trainees was commendable. Everyone was expressive of how to approach the online marketing for 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen. And getting those different perspectives is worth the weight in gold.
As Digital Marketing practitioners now, we are more confident than someone who knows Digital Marketing in theory or just practised with a dummy website. We already are a step above in the ladder and our resumes will reflect that.
There were a number of takeaways from our visit to 3 Kings Kafe & Kitchen, here are just a few:
- Our biggest learning was that, as a team we could be stronger if we communicated and understood each other’s perspectives
- Before offering solutions/approaches/strategies to solve problems, we should understand the business objectives, as well as its challenges
- The importance of communication cannot be stressed enough here, not just with your team members but also with your Clients. We were lucky to have interacted with Paul.
- Sharing views, expressing your ideas in a group setting is important, so when we were brainstorming in the conference room, it got the best out of us.
These may be just a few takeaways, but from a newbie perspective WMA arranging a real business to use our skills and learning is truly special. A potential trainee should consider this question before joining any training, especially Digital Marketing: will I be able to handle a real business with the skills I’ve learned during training. Is there a way my training institute will help me practise that?
Because, the ideal way to learn digital marketing is through practise and WMA offers opportunities to do that.
I Personally like to thank everyone being part of this live project. The journey was amazing for me too, one side seeing my old friend and the other side my students learning from each other, great feeling ! The batch as a team will be posting the progress and key takeaways from the participants perspective in the upcoming blog, Stay Tuned, you dont wanna miss that. Best of Luck Team. Thanks Manjunath walking us through the entire journey as you were present with us -- Suresh Babu
About the author:
CM Manjunath is currently a trainee at Web Marketing Academy. He is a Digital Marketing Enthusiast who has a flair for providing value through writing.
You may check out his blog at: www.luvwhatyoudo.com