No.1: Beware, here comes the foreigner..

Introducing myself.

Let’s start with something stereotypical: Germans are tall, blonde, have blue eyes, wear Lederhosen and house shoes, eat a lot and drink even more. Exactly two of mentioned stereotypes appeal to me and you’ll know which exactly ones as soon as you see me in course. In fact, by looking at me you wouldn’t know who of the guys it is, but as soon as I open my mouth.. my accent (I tried so bad to hide it) will hit you.. like a truck.. with flashing lights.. 4:00 am in the middle of the night. This is the moment you’ll know: Aah, that’s Karl.

“So fa’ ‘way from home cowboy, what gottya heah?” – random stranger, recognizing I was from abroad. Well, I’m doing an one year exchange program here at Western since Fall Term. Actually I grew up in Asia (Japan & South Korea) and lived there the first half of my life before moving to Germany. Now, I’m from Frankfurt am Main, but I study in Dortmund which is about 150 miles apart from FFM. At the Techinische Universitaet Dortmund I am a Logistics Student with focus on Supply Chain Management and Retail. Here in Bellingham I’m studying different but somewhat complementary subjects which will allow me to have a look over the ‘Tellerrand’ (plate corner; basically a saying for ‘widening my horizon’). Last quarter I studied International Laws and Human Rights, Greening Business Policies and Practices. This quarter I will attend IBUS 372/Cross-Cultural Management and MKTG474/Marketing Strategies for Sustainability along with this course.

Few personal details: Besides studies I’m an active type/I like to go outside with friends, I’m touring a lot on my motorcycle (saw a yellow 2005 SV650 somewhere in Bellingham? Then it was probably me!) I cook like a young god.. I need to, because I like to eat and I eat about twice as much as others. I live together with four other guys in a house we call the embassy, since we come from different places around the world. People tell me I’m German because I am organized, always keep an eye on the watch (I get so stressed when people or I get late to an appointment, I just can’t help it) and mostly because I do a serious face when not pulling one of my lame and super-dry jokes.

Karl, why Digital Marketing?

Not knowing Digital Marketing equals having no mouth to talk to the people.

Digital Marketing attracted me mostly because I saw the potential of using the knowledge I would gain in the course in my future work-life. The reason why I want to expand my qualifications and attend additional courses to my Supply Chain Management degree back in Deutschland is because I plan on leaving the industry after a while in order to start my own thing. I don’t see myself working in a company, working for the goal to make this company bigger than it is. Briefly, I dream of establishing my own little entrepreneurship which serves the people, like an NGO but in an all-profit principle/an self-sustaining way which benefits economic, ecological and social interests.

Digital Marketing seems important to me, because it is the best/most efficient way to reach and address people nowadays. I need to know how to rise awareness and interest for my idea. For this, I need to know how Digital Marketing really works. There are so many ways to address people. Which addresses people of all ages, which is the most cost-efficient, how is Digital Marketing developing? But mostly: How do I use it properly?

I would like to learn..

.. how to use Digital Marketing. I would like to know its framework and its boundaries with what is possible today & in three years and how is it possible (hardware and software). I would like to be able to build up my own Marketing tool if I wished to. I would like to learn what the indicators of good Digital Marketing methods are and I would like to develop a sense for what hits the Zeitgeist/a sense for knowing what is the temporary best way to address/inform people. Anyways, I’m super curious!

I must admit, since I’m no real Marketing student it will probably just be like having someone in the room who is from the 19th century.

Cheers everyone, I’m stoked for this course!

The three articles.

It’s the same situation in different fields, talking from the view of the logistics sector. It is the same situation in different countries, talking from the view of a German. The industry wants the young Bachelor/Master with the double degree, who made a social service besides his studies and speaks not only English, but also Chinese and French. Several stays abroad. Oh yeah, he/she should have at least 10 years work experience which also include leadership tasks. He/she should know how to use the most basic software programs and applications, how to build a rocket and land it on the moon.

Job entry-levels & expectations from the industry-side and degree preparation & certifications from university-side don’t match in most cases. But which side is wrong? Does industry demand to much or do universities lack the ability to catch up with the ‘real world’ and adapt their programs to it? Today, too less technical skills are thought in university and there is always the question “What am I actually able to do?” once to former student wants to enter work-life. But why? We students have heard about most tools but never actually learned how to use them. Many students struggle already with the basics of MS-office when it comes to Excel, Note and Access.

On one hand I think universities should adapt more to the expectations of the industry and train their students for the “real world” by teaching skills which will be useful in their future. But one must note, that the industry today develops too fast for universities, which can impossibly catch up with their degrees and programs. (Many marketing programs are still from a time where twitter and similar didn’t existed…) This explains why students think “The abilities I gained are so out of date!” if they don’t think “What am I actually able to do?”

On the other hand I think that it is not good to follow whatever industry demands. Studying does not only mean to prepare a person for future work but also to provide a certain amount of theoretical knowledge and stimulate thinking. It is hard to find the balance.

Also, regarding to marketing companies and their employees there seems to be a so called “talent gap”. According to the reading students lack analytic and mobile skills, which seem to form the two huge parts of modern marketing. Personally, I think that there will always be a on the job training once a person finds a job where he/she learns how to use the required tools on job.

No.1: Beware, here comes the foreigner..

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