Discovering Marketing Through Real World Experience

Ian Sherk, paid media director at Career Now Brands, will be speaking at the Digital Marketing Workshop on November 17 on the “Sales on Steroids,” and “The Ask the Experts Lunch ” panels. When asking Sherk what the most important aspects of communications that marketing students should focus on he was happy to share his thoughts.

Ian Sherk, paid media director at Career Now Brands

“Possessing writing skills, expressing yourself clearly, having a strong vocabulary, and an affinity for the analytics are important. Also, being creative will allow you to come up with fresh ideas to contribute,” said Sherk. 
Sherk had taken marketing classes at EMU from 2010-2012, when digital marketing was experiencing rapid growth. While attending EMU, Sherk thought that the most valuable experience he had was having the opportunity to manage a Google Adwords account for a real client. “Being able to make adjustments to their account based on their performance was a real world experience. Those experiences make all the difference with your education,” said Sherk. 
Sherk went on to explain that having real world experiences in the classroom will significantly help students down the line. “Breaking into digital marketing is tough because to get any sort of real experience you need people to trust you with money,” said Sherk. In EMU’s AdWords classes, students work with non-profits who possess Google AdWords grants. Within well-defined restrictions, Google effectively funds the non-profits’ advertising, allowing them to test different appeals without having to dip into their own source of funds.
Throughout his career, Sherk has noted that that the field of digital marketing experiences significant changes every few years. These changes include the creation of new popular social media platforms, which, Sherk said, can be a challenge to keep up with at times. 
“The hardest part is learning new platforms because it is important to not only understand how it works, but also to understand what sort of audience and context is on that platform. Learning the mechanics of how to target users at the right time with the right ad is difficult at times,” said Sherk. 
Sherk is happy to come back to EMU for the Digital Marketing Workshop. He said he is, “…excited to talk to new people and hear about new ideas and strategies.” 

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