Making the Switch from Traditional Media to Digital Media
by Deb Mitchell
More and more advertisers are starting to ask themselves: Can I—should I—make the switch from a career in traditional media after 20-some years to a career in digital media? Recently I did make the change, and I’m loving it!
Why Make the Change?
I got my degree in Advertising from the College of Communications at U of I and have worked in the field ever since. In traditional media—newspaper, TV, radio, direct mail, billboards, etc.—I knew my stuff. I was the girl with all the answers. Why would I want to step outside my comfort zone into the scary world of digital media—websites, email blasts, phone apps, SEO, SEM, PPC—and become the girl with all the questions? The simple answer is: because digital media is where it’s at! Look around—is it even possible to fully escape our phones, iPads, and laptops? People on the train used to have the newspaper in front of them—now they have their screens. Walking down the street, sitting in restaurants… everywhere you look it’s become a digital world.
Challenges of Moving Into Digital Marketing
Yes, it has been scary going from being the girl with all the answers to the girl with all the questions. Making sure you have a supportive environment when making the switch to predominantly digital advertising is important, and I couldn’t have come into a more helpful, friendly atmosphere than we have at Launch Digital Marketing/Dealer Inspire. Ask a question and 10 people will answer you. We are a crazy-busy bunch of people, but any one of us will stop what we’re doing to help out a co-worker.
Plus, an experienced team ensures that I don’t need to have all the answers. As a project manager, I don’t need to know how to code a website (although it is fun learning little fixes here and there)—all of us can pitch in and “get geeky on the backend” once in a while, because we’re a team. I’m here to keep projects on track, on task, and on time (the most challenging one). I’m here to communicate, motivate, and keep everything organized. Sometimes it feels like a shell game—shuffling projects and to-dos and due dates—but ultimately, we’re making great things happen. The websites we’re creating are amazing, and to be a little part of that makes me feel amazing.
As a fellow project manager recently shared with me, “many days I feel like a kid with a box of Legos, frustrated as get-out that I can’t figure these things out, but I laugh and make it look fun to see if I can get other kids to help and play. Like Tom Sawyer and whitewashing the fence.” That was fabulous advice! A positive attitude, a can-do mentality, teamwork—these things go a long way… even if you don’t have all the answers.
Bottom line, I am so glad I made the switch from traditional to digital media, and Launch Digital Marketing is an amazing place to work. We work hard, we play hard, and we make things happen. When my boss, Joe Chura, offered me the job he said, “Get ready for a wild ride!” That it is!