Travis Dunwell, a year 13 student from Branston Academy, joined the team at eComOne over two periods for five full days. In this blog he outlines his experience at the agency and what he learned from it. These are his own words, unedited by the team. Enjoy!
19 – 21st June
I initially visited the company location the day before to ensure that I was able to find it without any problems. The next morning I made sure to arrive at the appropriate time, although I did initially struggle to find the offices, but I got there in the end.
On the first day I was greeted by Carrianne Dukes who is the Senior Marketing Manager at eComOne who was making sure I’d be okay for the week. She then introduced me to the team, not everyone was there, but I did meet them across the 3 days anyways, so that was fine.
I then took part in an introductory meeting where I had to state three things I hope to work on and what I had done over the weekend. Some of the employees worked abroad and were on a video chat for the morning meeting which I found pretty cool as I had not seen this before.
Carrying on, I then received a brief introduction of marketing and SEO (Search engine optimisation) works, and overall view of digital marketing which Carrianne took me through, she also left me to my own devices to recap myself on things.
Furthermore, I was then introduced to various programmes that the business used which were quite interesting and detailed. I used a programme which allowed the business to send out bulk emails, through the programme specific demographics can be chosen, and the emails would change depending on the business name and owners, but all followed in a similar format. The emails were mainly used for promoting campaigns that businesses are running, as well as a GIF or photo also being included. This gave me a greater understanding and insight into how eComOne took advantage of what’s on offer for them.
I had a small 10 minute break in the morning between me doing the introductory course to digital marketing and my lunch was 12:30 to 1:30.
I was also surprised with the facilities available at first glance, with everybody having really good computer setups for their work and there being up to date technology at hand everywhere, available to everybody which seemed to make the work environment that much easier and run smoothly. I also did notice how the environment was friendly and welcoming and it was not at all like a corporate environment which I also believe made everyone more comfortable about their work
I was then tasked with creating a business event, so that I could brief it on my last day. The aim of this was to deliver a powerpoint slide show to staff to display skills that I have learnt from my present course, and essential skills that the company uses.
I arrived on time again for the following Tuesday, and then greeted Carrianne again who was jokingly delighted to find out that I decided to come back for the following day. The day started with a Valley and Peak catch-up (9am -11:30am), this was a business update which was communicated to staff with all members actively involved.
found this was a good way to relay any issues that business owners may have and gave all members a good oversight of working forward. I manage to take some detailed notes of this call and how things were structured throughout, which gave me an insightful view into how these calls are managed at eComOne, the main thing that i did notice was the transparency between the client and the company, however, i was told not all clients will be transparent, but rather formal.
I continued with planning my business event, which I needed to brief the following day. I attended a meeting with an employee held at a location near to the offices (2pm-3pm). On my return I wrote up notes detailed from the meeting. On this day, I also worked with the person in charge of the META marketing, he helped me in how to use a programme for designing ads and also taught me some important processes to consider. This interested me and gave me a greater insight into the development of programmes.
Furthermore, I also received a brief overview of how a website is generally set out and he showed me some examples, such as; a designer outlet website and a Hiking website.
It was great to use and learn about these programmes as I had never learnt about them in school, and things actually seemed easier and less complicated. Programmes like GA4 helped massively in producing all types of analytical data, like pie charts, graphs, so and so fourth. By the end of the day, I was happy about learning about how all these programmes work and the benefits of it all, by this time the majority of the team was in. It was a pleasure by this point to also have met the majority of the team who were all friendly and accommodating in helping me learn.
In the morning I finalised the details of the event planning that I was tasked with (9am-11am). Following this I attended the “Natural Baby Shower catch-up” (11am-12pm), before having a call with EM regarding sales processes (12pm-12:30pm). In the afternoon I attended a Forbes Burton catch up, before presenting my event to the team 3pm-3:30pm. Following my presentation I met with my mentor and arranged further dates in July, to attend more working experience.
From this, I learned some really valid information on how the client process works. Starting off with, I learned about how eComOne managed clients. The clients would go through a discovery call that is specific to them, and everything would be centered around them.
In addition, I learned about how the client would be placed on a 6 month rolling retainer, the retainer in short ensuring that money is guaranteed from work that is done. Carrying on, I also learned about how through this period the client would be subject to update calls on how things are going, and shown analytical data which tracks progress.
Through this, the client can also see the comparison between months, as well as a prediction of how following months will follow. Some good information I learned also was the importance of matching your clients energy, and being transparent with them. Taking advantage of this would make calls easier and more free – flowing making the business – client relationship good. Skye, who works with data analysis, practically made it all look easy as she just pulled the data from the programmes she had used and presented it on a powerpoint for the client.
When I asked about the 2 days they were completely fine with it, and immediately wanted to know when I was available and easily made dates and times convenient for me. In fact, they didn’t mind how many days I did and seemed happy to take me back anytime in case I wanted to learn even more.
When my work experience came to the end and Carrianne walked me downstairs she even mentioned about getting me involved with other placements in the area to further my knowledge and offered to get into touch with people if I was interested, making use of her connections for me, which I felt was very kind of her. They were extremely positive about on the job training and benefits of work experience as some of them had to be university and still hadn’t learnt as much as opposed to actually being on the job. This made me feel so much more comfortable in pursuing an apprenticeship.
9th – 10th August
Before arriving I had to remember that eComOne had recently moved into new offices, so I had to remind myself. The times would be the same as last time, so I made sure to arrive on time. When I arrived, I surprisingly saw Richard (eComOne CEO). I greeted him and then we made our way to the new offices, which I was looking forward to seeing.
Once we got there, he opened the door and I was greeted by an aesthetically pleasing sign and then he took me through the office where he showed me an all new board room which would be used for important meetings and business practice. He then showed me his office, but it was not yet all sorted out as he was waiting on a few things to arrive.
However, the rest of the office seemed to be all set up with everybody having their own equipment all setup, with the inclusion of their all new gaming lab chairs, which is a major upgrade from what everyone was using last time. I personally found this cool as I had ever sat in one before. Also, I met some new members of the team and some members that I had not had the chance to greet last time I was on placement which was nice.
I had begun to source guests for an upcoming podcast, which would take place on a mountain. We were put in charge of sorting this as a favour for the client. I began looking for influential people who would be able to help with the podcast and give it some exposure, as well as people who would be a good fit for the podcast.
Furthermore, we also looked at ways we could fund the podcast, so we began looking into eligibility, and learning how the process works. The main stump in the way was the fact that the business is not based in Lincoln, so may not be open to the funding, so we looked for ways we could work around this to see if there is a possible chance they could open an office or have a desk here. We did have some questions regarding the extent of the funding and how it works, so we emailed ‘Lincolnbesmarter’ and hoped we would get a reply for the following day.
I was then generously offered the opportunity to witness one of Richard’s podcasts which I was really excited about, as I had never seen a podcast up close and in person before. Beforehand, I helped Richard with setting up the greenscreen and he showed me what he used for the podcast such as the audio equipment, zoom and his handy green screen. Richard also said he would prompt me in case the lights turned off, as they respond to motion and it would be disastrous if they went off half way through which I found amusing to think about.
In addition, prior to the podcast Richard let me in with a little information about the person he was going to be doing the podcast with. He was an American Lawyer who worked for a firm that specifically works with ecommerce businesses, and offered many services. I found this even more interesting because I had never heard of this before, and this further uplifted my curiosity.
During the meeting, he talked about himself & his background, his profession, laws related around the US court and justice system and how his main focus was around working with taxation, whilst also discussing the topic of trade mark issues. I also gained an insight of Richard’s past, when he mentioned how years ago, he managed to sell an ecommerce store in under a month for six figures, but emphasised the fact that it wouldn’t be as straightforward now to do that.
Although most of the information he gave wasn’t necessarily relevant to us as he is based in the US, but on the other hand was insightful and further added to my knowledge of being aware of the fact that the United States is strict about other countries are not part of their trading Bloc coming over attempting to operate over there. I got quite immersed in the podcast, that I almost forgot to acknowledge Richard’s finger prompt to wave for the lights to come back on as they had started dimming, but luckily all went smoothly.
What I also noticed was how Richard used his experience to guide the conversation effectively and smoothly, and see how he gradually moved onto other topics he had written down for the Lawyer to explain about. The lawyer at times did go off at times, but Richard dealt with it well and made sure to stay on time and stick to time prompts. He also made sure to be transparent with the client from the very start, to get everything settled and comfortable, which helped make the conversation more free flowing.
The podcast lasted 50 minutes, but we had a good time. At the end Richard showed me how he would upload the podcast afterwards and put into his folder with all his podcasts, whilst also telling me that he would edit if need be, but all his podcasts are genuine and unedited. I also said about how they are extremely useful for opening up our knowledge and the business’ knowledge as they can easily access this information by having the podcasts stored, whilst also offering useful information for curious listeners, something which is also unique at the same time.
Then I finished off with more guest sourcing for the podcast with Valley & Peak which wasn’t too hard, but not many of the influencers had emails, so a lot of them will have to be personally messaged. All in all, i was delighted to see everyone again and things hadn’t changed, everyone was as friendly and as welcoming as before
I arrived to be greeted by Carrianne who told me about writing my blog and the day’s schedule. Firstly, was the meeting where everyone updated each other on their tasks and what they were doing, it seemed everybody was on track and knew exactly what needed doing, so the meeting didn’t take too long. I then carried on with my blog and also asked about one of their new clients, from what I’ve seen: they seem very promising. The business is large, and has agreed to work with us for 3 months, but because there is so much potential and services that can be offered, I’m sure they will become permanent. I also found the company interesting in general as they specifically focus on older car parts, which also can prove profitable.