Purpol Marketing Placement – Ray Vandyck

As a student recently completing first year of a Business Management course, during the summer of 2020 I was looking to get some experience in the realm of digital marketing and business operations. Unfortunately, I narrowly missed out on the Purpol Marketing internship, however the brand’s founder Denise generously offered myself and some others a shorter unpaid placement scheme to develop our skills in marketing and promoting an online brand.

I found the initial stage of the course, in which we completed the online courses “Magnificent Marketing” and “Digital Marketing for Recovery”, a useful and refreshing process. The former course is aimed at business owners of all levels and uses a 4-step plan to build a holistic business marketing strategy, which encompasses elements from assessment of existing strategy and resource distribution, to considering the customer base with a  view to market segmentation, to implementing direct marketing, landing pages and social media outreach. I had studied a few modules on marketing during my first year which contained some similar content however it was an interesting look at how these techniques were taught to real business owners. The second course is more recent and targets SME owners affected by the recent Covid-19 disruption to trade. This had a keener focus on online tools, which are my particular interest, and I enjoyed the portrayal of each avenue a brand could pursue to improve their network and customer intake with a limited budget. The course will only increase in relevance in coming years as the average consumer becomes more fluent in purchasing not only tangible products but services and tools online.

After completing these courses, we participated in a 3-hour video conference, where Denise talked through the key ideology of the courses and their features, before discussing our own perspectives on each topic. We were then set a task to develop elements of a marketing strategy for both the Digital Marketing for Recovery online course, and Denise’s new book, How to Win Business Awards. I chose to take the opportunity to learn more about a specific part of online promotion, a direct email campaign with an A/B test. I explored how two different tones could be used in an initial email posting showing the online course, and how the current pandemic could be used as inspiration for the urgency of businesses to review their online marketing strategy. The process also involved getting to know my way around Mailchimp and Google Analytics to generate both the emails themselves and feedback statistics, with reference to Purpol guidelines for advertisement included.

The following week we presented our ideas for both projects in another video conference, and it was an exciting opportunity to discuss strategy with a group of like-minded individuals that a university course does not always offer. I enjoyed explaining my own take on how a feedback testing method could produce a strong email campaign, and received feedback and thoughts from the other interns on their own ideas, and Denise spoke about her own experiences with such an approach, which was insightful and engaging to my own work.

Overall the process was an intriguing and fun one which broadened my understanding of what marketing means in a modern context. It was an invaluable experience speaking with Denise due to her extensive knowledge of the field, and a great gesture to be offered the placement for no charge as a student.