During 2021, learners from across Guernsey enrolled for Squared Online: a Digital Marketing and Leadership course developed with Google and delivered through the Digital Greenhouse.
The fully funded places for Guernsey residents were made possible through the Committee for Economic Development’s SMART Guernsey programme, which seeks to support islanders and local businesses to develop the skills needed to succeed in a digital world.
Megan Thoume, Account Manager at Orchard PR, shares how undertaking Squared Online is not only helping her progress her career, but is also bringing benefits to her customers.
Halfway through 2021, I graduated from the Squared Online digital marketing and leadership course. The six-month programme, guided by industry experts, covered five key modules: Embracing Change, Customer Centricity, Digital Channels and Technologies, Data, Analytics and Insights, and Creating Change.
Without a doubt, this learning experience has been hugely beneficial to my career. I’ve been able to put into practice what I have learnt – and in turn, I’ve helped to enhance our offering for our clients, supported our new online training platform, and implemented new digital marketing tools and technologies.
But more than that, I have also developed the confidence and leadership skills necessary to truly champion a digital-first, customer-centric marketing strategy. Below, I’ve detailed three ways in which Squared Online has impacted my career as a Communications professional.
1. Mastering Customer Centricity
For me, customer centricity is perhaps the most valuable learning of the course. It’s not just about the importance of putting the customer first – it’s also about having the right models, frameworks, and tools to truly enhance the customer experience. That’s something that has really stuck with me in the months since completing the programme.
One memorable example is See – Think – Do – Care: a digital marketing framework created by Avinash Kaushik, a Google executive and global thought leader in communications and analytics.
Source: Think with Google
The course really encourages its learners to use this framework to consider how our strategies should target customers throughout their purchasing journey – and how our content can best meet their needs at each consideration stage.
Since completing Squared Online, our team at Orchard now regularly uses the framework to demonstrate how we plan to engage customers according to their intent and interest level, and which channels are the most effective to do so.
This is just one way in which the course has enabled me to champion digital leadership at Orchard. However, as client and customer demands evolve, I’ve had a chance to help build a digital culture and drive digital strategy and execution.
2. Developing new service offerings
This year, Orchard launched three new branches: digital, social and PR. This new model puts a bigger focus on digital – and building a digital culture within our own team, too.
I’ve always been someone on the lookout for new and innovative ways to leverage digital channels to engage new audiences. I believe this digital-first mindset paired with my learnings and experiences from the course has really enabled me to play an active role in contributing to Orchard’s enhanced digital offerings.
One of our big projects this year has been developing the Orchard Academy. For years, we’ve delivered a range of face-to-face training courses for our clients – from social media and internal communications to crisis communications, media training, and more.
In 2021, it was our aim to grow our training programme and to make our courses as accessible and flexible as possible for our customers. As a result, the Orchard Academy was born: an online platform where you can undertake our training courses – whenever and wherever suits you.
Last year, we also introduced a new Orchard newsletter, The Apple Press. This digital channel provided another way for us to communicate directly with our clients, and to share insights, inspiration, and information. We now create newsletters for our clients too.
And finally, in a recent campaign, we used a digital solution to be more environmentally friendly. Instead of handing out pieces of paper, we used QR codes – which worked really well and provided an easier, more hygienic way for customers to engage.
We are also now setting up Google Ads and helping our clients with SEO. Devising and delivering an effective search campaign is a key area in Squared Online’s Digital Channels and Technologies module – and it’s hugely exciting to leverage these tools to support our clients to reach potential customers across a variety of touchpoints.
3. Growing my career
I believe that my greater understanding of digital marketing channels and frameworks, paired with my enhanced digital leadership and digital strategy capabilities, has had a significant influence on my career in the months since graduating.
Since completing Squared Online, I have provided internal digital marketing training sessions to upskill my colleagues - and I’ve also written a blog series on digital marketing to showcase my skills and demonstrate my leadership capabilities.
In June, I was promoted to Account Manager – and I believe my learning experience played a big part in my promotion, and building my confidence to take on these new challenges.
I’d highly recommend anyone looking to learn more about digital marketing to apply for Squared Online. It’s an in-depth course with lots to learn – but as well as gaining knowledge, it will also give you the confidence and skills to drive change.
Megan Thoume is an Account Manager at Orchard PR, where she combines her video production and communications expertise to help Orchard’s clients’ campaigns to stand out on multiple channels. An early adopter, Megan is always looking for new and innovative ways to leverage digital channels to engage new audiences.
She has a First-Class Honours degree in Media Production from the University of Winchester and is also a CIPR Professional PR Certificate holder.
To learn more about the Squared Online digital marketing course and other opportunities available under the Committee for Economic Development’s SMART Guernsey programme, visit Digital Greenhouse.