Marketing Education in the Real World

By: Juliet Nabinger

I remember making my Instagram account in seventh grade. I was at my friend’s house and she was showing me this new app, “like Facebook, but only pictures”. She helped me create my account and post my first picture - I’m fairly certain it was a photo of the pancakes we were having for breakfast. Since that day when my twelve-year-old self discovered Instagram, social media has become an integral part of my life. 

When I was younger, I knew these social media platforms had some sort of influence on me; however, I didn’t understand exactly what the influence was or how strong it could be. When I got older, I began to understand how influential social media platforms are to everyone. For me, I loved seeing how creative other people could be on their accounts. This interest in how social media could be a creative outlet eventually transformed into how companies could use social media as a marketing platform.  

When I first started my college search, I thought I wanted to be a business major. However, in the future, I knew I wanted a career that fostered creativity. So I decided to be a communication major, I was fascinated by the psychology behind marketing messages and throughout my classes, I learned how to craft messages to appeal to different types of audiences. That’s probably one of the most important things I learned. Each message is created with an audience in mind, and you need to know who your audience is and how to make audience-specific messages. 

Throughout my internship experiences and education, I’ve learned that knowledge of your audience is only the cornerstone of marketing strategies. It’s not just about making eye-catching content, but inspiring your audience to take action. Whether that action is double-tapping the screen, conducting their own research, purchasing a product, or maybe you want your audience to feel a certain way. Making content that tells a story and has a purpose is one of the most important aspects of a social media marketing strategy. Purpose is what changes a beautiful photograph into a campaign.  

As odd as it might seem, I’ve found some valuable life lessons from marketing. Do everything with purpose, never stop learning and adapting, plan ahead, and leave an impact. 

Although I’ve loved my time at the University at Buffalo, I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life and to see what opportunities are out there for me in the world of marketing, advertising, and public relations.