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5 Key takeaways from my internship at LUON

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Laurence VerbistSix weeks ago, uncertain what to expect, I joined the LUON team for my first day as an intern. My goal was to get an idea of what marketing is like in real life. Looking back today, I feel like the past six weeks flew by, and my internship met my expectations by far. Over the weeks, I got the chance to take part in various projects, in which I contributed to sales pitches, assisted in research, participated in brainstorms and meetings, attended clients’ and internal briefings, and much more.

Thanks to these opportunities, I got a glimpse of how marketing works in practice and acquired valuable real-life insights.

Here are my top five takeaways:

1. Variety is king
Just like two clients are never the same, no two jobs are identical. Every week holds a variety of jobs, and every job consists of a diversity of stages, assignments and challenges. Simply put, you’ll never get bored: every day in a marketing agency is different!

2. Customer marketing is much more than meets the eye
As a consumer, for example, coming across appealing and engaging Facebook Pages seems evident. It is only now that I see that remarkable Pages and websites require strong supporting teams with valuable insights, skills and creativity, in addition to a flawless planning and an exceptional overall strategy, to become truly noteworthy.

3. Stay up-to-date: the (marketing) world is quickly changing
Don’t forget about the future and take new developments into account. Changing policies and the launch of new apps and devices are day-to-day reality. At the start of my internship, I took a closer look at Facebook’s best practices. Now, six weeks later, a bunch of things have already been changed. Also think about Google Glass, smart watches and all sorts of devices concerning the Internet of Things and Quantified Self. It’s essential to take these new trends into account as soon as possible, as they provide new marketing opportunities and challenges. Make sure you are ahead of your competitors and not lagging behind…

4. Work with attention to detail, while always keeping the bigger picture in mind
Something that seems like a minor detail at first sight, can make the difference between a catchy or an unappealing idea. Paying attention to small things and trying to take everything into account from the end user’s viewpoint is central. But at the same time, no matter what project you’re working on, it is essential not to lose sight of the bigger picture: the client’s overall strategy, the brand image, the corporate culture, …. Every detail has to fit perfectly into the context.

5. Marketing should be tailored to the customer’s needs and reality
Even more important than coming up with great ideas and insights, and taking new developments into account, is to tailor the insights and advice exactly to the customer’s needs. It is crucial to clearly state what the customer’s priorities are. Some key questions should be asked and answered. What is the most beneficial and helpful advice for the client? Is the proposition realistic in terms of the necessary means? What is the best way to present the proposal? There isn’t always one “correct” solution or approach to these questions. Sometimes trade-off decisions are required and choices have to be made.

Last but not least, I want to thank the LUON team for all the advice, the insights and the truly enriching opportunities and experiences, combined with a great working atmosphere. It was a pleasure being part of your team!

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