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Five Things I’ve Learned Interning at a Digital Marketing Agency

By Colton Curtner –

This week marks my first month completed interning at Lever, and I must say the experiences have exceeded my expectations. After only one month, I understand the industry much more and how it works with clients. I am also learning valuable hard skills that apply directly to the services Lever, and many other agencies, provide. Among the many things I’ve learned about digital marketing and the agency experience so far, I found these five to stand out:

1. Marketing is evolving exponentially

Almost everyone will get an ad that seems unusually similar to their past search history, recent purchases, or even interests. Most YouTube videos start with ads directly related to the content of the video, or are tailored to the viewer based on previous viewing data. Consumer behavior has quickly transferred from traditional brick and mortar stores to online, and the same is true for advertising. This has forced marketers to develop new skills, adopt new mediums for advertising, and embrace new strategies.

2. Schooling alone won’t cut it

As much as I hate to say it, school does not always provide all the tools and knowledge necessary to jumpstart your career. Many colleges and universities are not updated when it comes to certain degrees and industry trends, especially when it comes to business. For a large portion of schools, digital marketing is barely mentioned, let alone offering full courses on the subject. For me personally, by the time I graduate, I will have only taken one class that encompasses online marketing. This is insufficient. Schools should be more proactive in keeping their programs updated, especially with fundamental changes within the industry those programs are designed for. Unfortunately, there is little a student can do to change how a program is run, but they can get outside experience that is necessary to fully understand how the world of marketing operates today.

3. Tech skills aren’t just for “nerds” anymore

There is this common stereotype that if you work heavily with computers, you are probably a geek. Well, I am here to tell you that this is not always the case. For digital marketers, competency in advertising programs, social media, and coding is fundamental. As time goes on and the internet becomes even more prevalent for businesses, these skills will become even more in demand. Yes—strategy, creativity, and innovation still reign supreme in marketing, but the channels these pillars flow through has drastically changed, and it only makes sense to follow that flow.

4. Google is big

Before I came into this internship, I thought I knew how powerful and influential Google was. However, working at Lever Interactive has only increased my awareness of this. Google accounts for about 75% of all the internet’s search volume, which is a tremendous reach for any company looking to spread awareness and drive conversions. If you are looking to expand your business and expand more traffic to your website, then using Google’s advertising services might be your best bet.

5. Teamwork is integral, not optional

It may be cliché to say, “teamwork makes the dream work”, but it is true! This is especially true in the realm of digital marketing. At Lever, there are two main sides: the account team and the media team. The account team is the liaison between the media team and the client, where they develop overall strategies and facilitate communication. The media team does the behind-the-scenes work, implementing the strategy and making optimizations to the ad campaigns. To bridge the two departments, there must be clear, constant, and open communication between the teams to provide good results for the client. This is perhaps the most important thing I have learned thus far, for it is the effective communication that has driven this company and many other agencies to thrive.

I realize that I am a rookie with much to learn. I am also aware that I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with what I have presented. My colleagues have been working in this industry for years, doing their best work and keeping up with the current trends. The good news is that learning is continual, and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge even more as my program progresses.

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