On Tuesday, Waterfall provided an undergraduate with our office backstage pass as part of a job shadow program. We love the two-way learning experience that results from providing budding young professionals with an inside look of what we do. Specifically, here’s what our job shadow participant Jasmine had to say about her experience:
Navigating the business world is hard; there are infinite routes that one can take, and sometimes it’s nice to take time to step back, look at the big future, and ask, “What am I going to do with my college education?”
Thanks to Dartmouth College, I had the fortune of job shadowing at Waterfall Mobile today. As I walked down 6th Street, I was pretty confused when I ended up in front of a locked brown door. But after ringing the mysterious delivery bell and entering the premises (the first startup offices I’ve ever been to), I can easily say that a lot more than just that brown door was unlocked.
I knew that I was shadowing Waterfall’s VP of Marketing; but what else? I received a bit of reading material on what Waterfall Mobile does—the platform they built, Msgme (ever wondered how those text to win competitions pull their stuff off?)—but I still wasn’t sure what someone in marketing actually did.
I first met the staff at Waterfall Mobile. If there’s one thing that I like about tech startups, it’s definitely that community feel. I’ve only been to the corporate world that my parents worked in, and seeing such a tight-knit environment was interesting. It was like work, but with friends, a spiffy Christmas tree made out of lights, and an ample supply of snacks (you know a company’s great when they’ve got the snacks).
Afterwards, we experimented with Waterfall’s platform. We created various mobile flows, and went through the logic of why people would use certain campaigns. Fancy technical business and tech terms filled my ears—metadata, dynamic APIs, A/B testing, demand gen—and although I was confused in the beginning, after walking through the process, it all started to make sense. Marketing? So much more than the textbook definition of product, price, promotion, and placement. It’s about business objectives, product marketing, branding, design, and more; marketing seemingly touches everything.
My perception of what someone in marketing does expanded enormously after today. Since Waterfall Mobile is a startup with a relatively small staff, it was informative seeing how someone can attempt to wear multiple hats. For example, in addition to marketing, people also have to manage HR and recruiting. I got a chance to see the logic behind making hiring decisions, listen to a sales pitch from another firm and understand how various departments interact together.
What strikes me as most interesting after today is really the concept of how marketing touches everything. There was even a point where I saw the deliberation behind the choice of a serif-based font in the Waterfall Mobile typeface. All of a company’s outward facing nuances matter, and that’s something I never realized before. I used to think that marketing was just demand generation, but after today, I’ve realized that there is so much more that goes into launching a successful startup.
There’s also an entire industry of mobile marketing that I never knew even existed. It’s weird. I listen to the radio every day and sometimes I text in and to try to win free concert tickets; I never realized I was using mobile marketing. Another time I texted a keyword to donate money – more forms of mobile marketing. For some reason, I never realized that there had to be some sort of connector between the consumer and the producer; mobile marketing—or more specifically, what Waterfall Mobile builds—is behind the scenes so that I can connect with the brands I love.
In an age where every company tries to pummel teenagers with ads through Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to forget that marketing expands beyond social media. Fifty years ago, a phone was used to make a call from here to there. Ten years ago, a phone sent pictures from here to there. And now? A phone does everything. Your phone is literally your customizable key to the world you want to open. Mobile marketing? Connecting you with the things you love more efficiently than ever.