See You on the Flipside, China

Exciting news, I accomplished one of my goals!  Specifically, don’t get deported.  Haha, but really, I accomplished many of my goals this summer.  I accomplished more than I thought was in my ability.  I gained a deep understanding about the social media marketing process and learned to view things through the eyes of the clients.  My final two goals, don’t be afraid to interrogate your superiors and don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself, are still works in progress.

My first goal, gaining knowledge about social media marketing, has been a continuous endeavor; I’m not sure one person can ever learn everything.  That being said, I learned about conversion rates, what Chinese consumers want, the behavior of middle class young professionals, the intricacies and pitfalls of translating content from one language to another, and how quickly the market can change.  I feel confident that I could thrive at a digital marketing company.

Along with social media knowledge came something else I never suspected I would be good at: market research.  Those two words have struck fear in my heart since I entered college.  Turns out, it’s actually a blast.  Between browsing websites in the industry, reading news articles, and surfing Weibo with a Chinese coworker to translate, I became interested in things I would have never been exposed to otherwise.  This has been a HUGE milestone for me.  Now when people bring up market research I smile rather than tremble.

The next step after researching the market is always compiling the information, but not just throwing it into a PowerPoint or word document.  No, I had sit and think: what information is relevant to our clients?  How would they want to read it?  What’s our goal, as a company, by giving them this proposal?  Fostering a link between Australian companies entering China and the Chinese consumers is a much more difficult task than I originally thought.  Australians are much like Americans in doing business; they want to the point, no non-sense deals with straight forward wording.  Literally, the complete opposite of what the Chinese market expects.  Chinese people love stories, long-winded explanations, and many different perspectives.  I’ve had to look through the lens of both Australians and Chinese people and create something both groups could relate to.

Unfortunately, not all goals were accomplished.  I am still a little weary when I have to ask my supervisor where he’s at on his projects or when I send an email to a coworker asking him why the licenses weren’t signed yet.  But, I think this has less to do with inability and more to do with my non-confrontational nature.  Either way, I got it done.

Ahhh yes, my last goal, don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself.  You think after 22 years of doing it, I’d be used to it by now.  I’m not and that’s okay.  A small amount of anxiety keeps me in check.

Rain Kump

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