My name is Nishtha, but everyone calls me Nish. I was the Associate Intern at tbk from May 2021 to August 2021. I thoroughly enjoyed my Marketing Internship at tbk, and I’m so excited to share my experience with you!
“Joining call now” popped on my screen at 8:29 AM on May 3rd, 2021. It was the most nerve-wracking yet exciting three seconds of my life. Moments later, Kylie Maisonneuve’s smiling face filled my screen, and she immediately put my worries to rest. I could tell that this was the positive and supportive working environment I had yearned to be in.
Kylie began my onboarding process by getting me logged on to my tbk email account, and helped me navigate the necessary software. At tbk we toggle between several software programs which was a bit overwhelming at first, but as the week went by it was clear that each software acted as a puzzle piece to the finished product.
On Tuesday morning, I had the opportunity to shadow the tbk team in my first client meeting with Dunsire Developments, where we brainstormed names for their upcoming residential project in Jamaica. Being from the Caribbean myself, this was a very exciting project for me as I could leverage my own experience to help contribute to the project. Melissa McInerney , CEO and Chief Creative Officer at tbk, kicked off the meeting by explaining the importance of the name resonating with the target demographics. It was exciting to see how Melissa presented the concepts to the client; she didn’t just provide the name, but she painted a picture in our minds by displaying each concept’s colour palette and eliciting the associated feelings.
Glen Dimplex Americas, a leading company in electrical and gas heating products, was the next tbk client I attended a meeting with. This company has an extensive brand portfolio, and tbk manages digital advertising for four of these major brands. During this meeting, we tackled their digital marketing strategies and reviewed their advertisements for the upcoming month. However, the team at Glen Dimplex reached a roadblock regarding organic traction and requested tips to attract more visitors to the website’s landing page. One of our digital strategists handed me the baton to craft the first draft of the social media guide. This included distinguishing the various brands’ personalities and voices, followed by exploring the best strategic practices for each social media platform.
Being able to apply my theoretical knowledge on brand profiling to actual existing, successful brands was a surreal experience. I felt as though my marketing voice was being heard.
On Monday, May 10th at 9:00 AM, I joined my first meeting of the week with an account coordinator to get a Jiffy Lube® Ontario account briefing. This meeting began with the account coordinator providing the company background as well as identifying their digital marketing strategies. It was amazing to see how their marketing tactics have evolved to match the current technological era. tbk took the Jiffy Lube® brand to the online sphere by getting all 59 stores under one domain name to work in unison with each other on Google.
Kylie assigned the initial draft of a Jiffy Lube® blog to me. At first, this assignment appeared daunting, as I had full creative direction on the blog’s content. But Kylie did a great job in providing the critical steps to writing the perfect blog post. Being previously enrolled in a research-oriented program I have done similar tasks before; however, it’s nice to know that this time, my work would serve a purpose by informing the public, rather than just ending up in my professor’s desk drawer.
Tuesday was a jam-packed day, to say the least. I began my day being briefed on the new tbk website. I was trained on the basics of WordPress and the functions I would need. The account associate was thorough in her explanation and provided me with a guide for SEO best practices and examples of her work. Once I felt comfortable with the process, I was responsible for creating the title tags, meta descriptions and alt text for all the images and pages on the website. Alt text, also known as alt tags, are written copy that is used to describe an image on a website. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), alt text permits screen-reading tools to describe images on a website for those who may be visually impaired. The rest of the day consisted of me working on the backend of WordPress, getting myself familiar with title tags, and making sure it was between 50-60 characters, the recommended length. This prompted a lot of research, which helped me to learn even more about tbk and our competitors.
It has been two weeks now since I started at tbk, and I would gladly say every day I have learnt something new and experienced a new component of digital marketing.
Week 3 was a short week as tbk’s leadership team surprised us with Friday off. It was great to see that despite it being an extremely busy time at the agency, the well-being of the team was put first. I spent most of my week adding the final touches to the new tbk website, but as the week progressed, I was assigned a new project and invited to shadow client meetings.
I worked with a tbk account manager on the new Cadman Manufacturing Co. website. Cadman was founded in 1932, and it’s known for quality jewellery and extraordinary service. For someone who loves fashion, especially accessorizing with jewellery, it was exciting to be a part of building a brand’s online presence. With current lockdown restrictions, we have all been shopping online; therefore, it’s important now more than ever that companies focus on building or enhancing their e-commerce website.
I was responsible for taking the SEO category content and loading it on the backend of WordPress. Our of tbk’s senior developers guided me through this process and explained heading tags, which are HTML markup, that are used to differentiate headings and subheadings from the rest of the content. The developer showed me how the various teams at tbk (creative, accounts, digital, and developers) work together to create a website. Their insight and guidance made me realize that each team has their area of expertise, and producing a custom website is really about teamwork. I started loading the content that very same day, but as I was inputting the content, I noticed that some of the categories were missing on the backend. Fortunately, our dev team was quick to help, and someone hopped on a call with me and guided me once again. They explained the importance of attaching the new category to the parent category and creating a specific slug, to keep the website organized and help with SEO. A slug is the part of a URL, after the domain name, which identifies the type of content on a website. The parent category is used to set products in a hierarchy.
After a long weekend (with Friday off and Monday being Victoria Day) it was nice to be recharged and ready to work. My week started with a Glen Dimplex Americas weekly status meeting; we reviewed our paid media strategies and monthly reports and then presented our recommendations to the client. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Dimplex brand network, our clients, and their primary, ancillary and brand-specific goals. Kylie gave me the opportunity to draft this week’s summary email, usually sent to the client after the meeting. The meeting was so well-organized, it was easy to take notes. The summary email consists of three sections: the meeting summary, the clients’ to-dos and then our to-dos. After the to-do list was compiled, I transferred the tasks to our Asana platform, assigning an individual to a specific task. Asana is a great project management tool that we use at tbk, as it helps our team track, organize, and manage our work.
The next day I had a meeting with Kylie, which involved brainstorming names for one of our clients’ new housing developments and keyword planning for their new website. This client, who we had met with the previous week for a discovery meeting, is the owner of Pahal Developments. This was our internal team follow-up meeting to track our progress and see what our next steps were. Naming projects that involve brainstorming brand names were always something I wanted to be a part of. I knew that creativity was an element of it, but I assumed that the name must have some logic in it as well. I always wondered how one puts logic behind creativity, but Kylie unveiled this. The starting point is the logical component, such as locating themes, the location, surroundings, audience, and aesthetic, while the final touch is coming up with the creative element. This experience was invigorating, as we pitched our ideas to the Head of the Creative department, Melissa, and she narrowed down our choices.
By the end of week 4, our team had brainstormed names and narrowed down our choices for the Woodstock Naming Project. However, now it was time for the heavy lifting. This meant writing the concept document, which was how I started my Monday morning.
The first thing I had to do was a Google search on the chosen name to see if any other organization was using it within Canada. We do this to make sure our developments won’t be competing for the limelight when being searched on any search engine. After confirming that they the names were didn’t have any competition, I went to “who.is.com” to identify if there was a URL available for the developments. This would be selected as the vanity URL and it is a pointer to another URL, also known as a redirect. When a user types in the vanity URL you have created, they will be redirected to the landing page that you want them to go to. Therefore, if users search the specific developments’ name, the vanity URL will take the viewer to the Pahal Developments’ website. If the vanity URL is available, that name becomes a viable option.
Later in the week, Glen Dimplex Americas reached out to us to do some research on social media management tools/agency software that can be implemented at their organization. Therefore, my Tuesday morning consisted of a deep dive on suitable platforms. Interestingly enough, during my Post-Graduate Marketing Program at Western, I did a similar assignment where I researched and presented social media management tools to a non-profit organization. However, this was different as GDA’s key focus was finding software that could manage multi-platforms and was still user-friendly.
When I started doing my research, it was difficult to distinguish which software or tool was better, as they all had similar basic features for scheduling, analytics, and reporting. This prompted me to start focussing on the user experience by gauging consumer reviews, which allowed me to distinguish the limitations within each tool. I shifted my focus on searching how well each tool could do something, instead of whether it could do it or not. For example, the tool would claim to have the ability to manage comments on social media platforms, but then I noticed it was done for all platforms except Instagram, which is a drawback. After completing my research, I whipped up a table comparing the platforms and I made a recommendation to consider using Agora Pulse, as I believed it appeared as one of the most well-rounded tools. A key feature that helped distinguish platforms was their willingness to provide their consumers with quick and helpful support. In such a saturated market, I believe that prioritizing the consumer is the way to stand out in this consumer-driven society.
Week 6 started with an account coordinator sending me an invite to a reporting training session where we pulled data and populated it into an Excel sheet. During this session, they showed me step by step how to gather the data from various platforms such as LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook. They were thorough and made the experience as engaging as possible. At the beginning of every month, we create data reports for all our clients for whom we manage their paid media. This information consists of analytics such as click-through rates, conversions, and return on ad spend. This analytical data is primarily to show our client the results of their paid media efforts and give them findings-based recommendations on how to improve the following month’s results. This is a tedious task and is usually reviewed by at least three team members before it’s presented to the client. This truly shows that tbk takes pride in being accurate. I have always enjoyed reporting and have a bit of experience with Excel, so I’m excited for the opportunity to get started on my first report next month.
Another big landmark of my week was getting started on building the buyer personas for tbk. This involved doing a deep dive on our current clients, which included gathering information on their locations, the size of the company, and the industry sector they fall under. Then, using Excel functions, I organized them into groups based on the number of employees. I then imported this data into Google My Maps to create a visual depiction that highlights the geographical locations of our clients. This was an exciting project because I have previous experience with Google My Maps, and I was excited to implement this tool at tbk. Leadership can now analyze this information to get a better understanding of who our clients are and how we can better serve them.
On Monday morning at 9:25 AM, I grabbed my coffee and began my check-in meeting with Kylie. We had tackled the majority of the items on the new tbk website pre-launch checklist, so my schedule had opened up for new tasks. Since it was the 14th of June, tbk’s team had to complete their mid-month check-ins. This is when the digital team completes a mid-month digital advertising spend check, which was assigned to me this month. We do this check-in to ensure that we remain within the client’s set digital media budget. We expect to have spent roughly 50% of our designated budget for each campaign. This task included gauging the set budget for each media campaign and comparing it to the current spend amount. If the spend didn’t appear to be within those parameters, I flagged it and created an asana task to let the digital account representative know that it needed to be reviewed.
The next exciting part of my week was my training session on Website Maintenance Packages (WMP). tbk’s number one priority is supporting their clients; therefore, we don’t just stop at creating a website and handing it off to the client. We have quarterly or biannual website audits where we complete an entire analysis of the website to gauge its performance, security, and compliance to suggest improvements. This audit includes compiling a comprehensive report that includes an SEO review, CASL compliance, AODA compliance, website performance and a review of organic traffic. This report is extensively reviewed and updated by the developers, designers, accounts, and digital team. In addition to pinpointing the areas of improvement, our team brainstorms solutions to improve the website’s overall performance. In addition to providing solutions, our team gives rough time estimates to complete each website enhancement.
Learning about website performance was a fun experience as I truly enjoy reporting: from compiling data to analyzing, and providing suggestions. Today is Friday June 16th, 2021, and I’ve officially completed my first initial draft of a Website Maintenance Package for one of our long-standing clients, Eckler. I’m excited to get feedback and improve my reporting techniques.
I can’t believe it has been 2 months since I started at tbk; time has really flown by! It’s amazing to see the progress of all the projects and accounts that I’ve been shadowing and see them reach several milestones. When I first started at tbk, we had just signed a Service Agreement with Pahal Developments, and now we have finished a mock-up of the webpage to present to the client. This week I saw the development, design and accounts team come together, taking the vision of the site and get the coding and design all assembled into one webpage.
Our goal this week was to have the community page ready to present to our client. This page is almost like a prototype version of a website, as it allows the client to get a sense of what the final product will look like. Although it may be easier just to show the client the outline or the base of the website, we take it a step further by populating their brand images and content. We take this extra step as we want to give our client the best opportunity to visualize the prototype website as their own.
Lucky for me, I was assigned the content brief document for the community page, which is a detailed document of where each image, piece of text, and heading will be placed on the website. This is a reiteration of what the webpage will contain but in a word document. The very next day, the accounts team, Kylie and I, reviewed the webpage design and reached out to the front-end developers to make any necessary revisions. Then I began the content loading process. It was interesting to see the content come to life on the website. I’m excited to hear feedback from the client next week; I hope he is as excited to see the final product as I am.
Week 9 was a short week; Thursday was Canada Day, and Friday was the beginning of tbk’s Paid Fridays Off Program. This program is such a great way for a company to say ‘thank you’ to their dedicated and hard-working team. In this short week, I got onboarded on to a research project for One Ironshore, a Dunsire Developments’ residential project in Jamaica. Interestingly, during my first week at tbk I was part of the naming process for this same development, and it was great to see how much this project progressed since then. By now the name and logo have been finalized and we are conducting competitive analysis and writing creative briefs. I got started on the first draft of the competitive analysis.
During my postgraduate program in Marketing at Western, I learnt and conducted several competitive analyses for several fictitious companies. This was a great opportunity to transfer my theoretical knowledge into a practical setting by applying what I learnt to the One Ironshore business model. This process began with me pinpointing the top competitors in the industry, analyzing their online presence, and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The primary target market for these developments is Diasporic Jamaicans and being from a neighbouring island myself, I felt as though I could offer a unique perspective. Diasporic Jamaicans are those who have left Jamaica in pursuit of employment opportunities. I was easily able to put myself in the shoes of the buyer persona, which helped me better gauge what might catch their eye. Being from Barbados myself, this account always makes me excited because I love nothing more than talking about the Caribbean and its crystal blue waters with sandy shores.
Another highlight from my week was setting up my first email marketing campaign for Jiffy Lube® Ontario. During my program, I had the opportunity to learn about email marketing and its effectiveness as a marketing tool, but until now, I never had an opportunity to set up the campaign on MailChimp. In the previous week, I compiled a UTM tracking guide, and now I had the opportunity to put that into practice by creating them for the email campaign. This included adding a snippet of simple code to the end of a website’s URL. UTM, which stands for Urchin Traffic Monitor, tracks clicks and the performance of marketing campaigns and content. Therefore, this code gives us the ability to track if someone had reached the website using the links provided in the email. Overall, this helps us gauge the effectiveness of our email marketing campaign.
Week 10 began with a Jiffy Lube Location Google My Business listing audit. A new location with not many reviews had a relatively low ranking. Therefore, I was assigned the task of completing an in-depth audit to better gauge and identify areas that we can optimize to improve our ranking. When beginning this assignment, I took a quick scan at Google My Business listings for other Jiffy Lube locations that currently rank high and compared them to this specific location. This way, I had a holistic view of the issue and was able to see right off the bat where we may have missed out on something in this location’s listing content. After completing this quick scan, I started researching ways to improve the ranking. I started creating a list of all the possible additions or changes we could make, and then with a fine-tooth comb, I picked the ones that were feasible for Jiffy Lube’s current business model. I then narrowed down my list by selecting the best opportunities for optimization, and I created a document that was presented to Kylie. Her and the client both revised the document and gave me the green light to create an implementation plan.
As I mentioned in previous weeks, Kylie and I have had several reporting training sessions. But this month, Kylie gave me the opportunity to take off my training wheels and complete the initial draft of the monthly digital paid media report from scratch. At first, I was a bit nervous because Google Analytics can be a bit intimidating if you aren’t accustomed to navigating through the back end. However, I knew I had the training and notes to help me through this process, and of course, Kylie was just a message away if I had any questions. I started by gauging the campaigns, ad groups and writing down the conversions, clicks, cost per click, and calculating the return on ad spend. I expected to get my first report done in 45 mins; however, it took me 1 hr and 20 mins. I thought I knew a lot about retrieving stats and interpreting data but this made me realize that sometimes the only way you can truly understand how to do something is to do it.
In week 10, I completed an in-depth audit of the Jiffy Lube® Mississauga Google My Business listing and suggested how we can improve its Google ranking. Kylie reviewed these suggestions, and then I created an implementation plan explaining how to execute these recommendations. This included creating an order to implement these and putting together the content that needed to be posted by drafting copy and sourcing images. Once Kylie had reviewed these, I started implementing these changes to the Google My Business profile. We will continue to monitor the profile to see if this has enhanced the ranking and increased website traffic.
Another highlight of my week was my onboarding meeting for the tbk managed services account. Amanda Worlfe, the Director of Digital Operations, and has recently returned from her maternity leave. I’m really excited to work with Amanda on our own account as I know there is a lot I can learn from her. We treat the tbk managed services account as if it was a client account, meaning we strategize, execute, measure, and optimize tbk’s own marketing programs.
Amanda gave me the opportunity to provide hashtags for the next social media post. Using a hashtag generator and reviewing previous posts, I selected six hashtags that were trending to increase traction to the post. I’m looking forward to further building and enhancing our online presence as one of the top marketing agencies in Canada!
Now that the summer is coming to an end, it’s sad to see my internship slowly come to a close. Every week I continue to learn a new process and procedure, as well as add new skills to my skill set. This week Kylie reached out to me to support her with “client connect” requests. Client connect is a procedure meant to help us provide our clients with the best service even after their website/digital marketing project has been launched. It’s meant to pool together our internal resources to best address client issues as promptly and efficiently as possible. The way this process works is that a client would send an email with a request, and it would show up as a ticket on our client connect board on Asana. There are four columns to this board, and they are labeled “unassigned”, “in progress”, “waiting on client approval” and “complete”. This way we can easily identify the status of the ticket and we can make sure all our requests are being handled. I really enjoyed processing these requests because I got to see the ticket through from start to finish. For example, one of the requests was a picture that needed to be updated on the client’s website. Lucky for me, I’ve had so much training and practice with content loading that I was easily able to make the update and provide the client with steps to make this change themselves in the future.
The next highlight of my week was another project I supported on, which was the Next Level U Sports meeting. This meeting was meant to show the client how to add athlete profiles to their e-commerce page. I had no prior knowledge on this account, but the main purpose of my presence at this meeting was to support with writing meeting notes. This meeting actually became one of my favourite client meetings as it was great to see, yet again, a tbk member completely rock the meeting. The clients were completely blown away by the presentation. The best part of this experience was that I went into this meeting with little to no knowledge, but I left it with an in-depth understanding of the client’s goals and hopes for their new website.
This was one of the most exciting weeks I’ve had at tbk. As I mentioned earlier, I was recently assigned to support Amanda on the tbk account and thus far, it has been such a great experience learning the internal processes. This week, I was given the opportunity to take the lead on the social media content calendar, which meant planning and coordinating the design and copy for the posts. Amanda allowed me to take full control of organizing the content calendar for our organic posts. She gave me the opportunity to find a process that worked for me to coordinate the moving parts to getting a post out. The process started with an idea for the post, then getting the idea approved, creating a creative brief, assigning the design team to write copy and design the imagery, and then finally getting the leadership team to review and approve the post. The most exciting part of this week was that I posted my first social post on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. I loved that I got the opportunity to be creative and spearhead the organic posts process.
Another highlight of my week was managing the Pahal website content fixes. I thoroughly enjoy working on this account as it’s one of the first accounts I have ever worked on at tbk. The website design is now coming to its final stages, and we are now in the beta review phase. This beta review consists of a thorough scan by our team, which includes an in-depth review of the content, design, and format. One of the team members creates tickets on Gitlab, then assigns the changes to a specific team member based on their area of expertise, and tags whether it would be a content, front-end, or back-end change. This way the tickets can easily be organized. I enjoy making these content changes as it’s always satisfying to solve simple content or styling issues.
My Monday morning began with a regroup call with our senior brand copywriter. She had only started only a month ago, and it’s amazing to see how well she has integrated into our team. She’s so talented, and I’m excited to continue to learn from her. We worked together on a case study for our newly-launched tbk website. This case study is on PSD Citywide, a provider of enterprise asset management consulting and software. tbk helped build their brand, website, and digital launch strategy that is meant to set the stage for global expansion. When putting together a case study, there are several moving parts: the design needs to be approved, resources need to be compiled so that copy can be written, and the final piece needs to be approved by the leadership team. We brainstormed a way to streamline the process of completing the case study. Our copywriter provided me with a template of steps she usually takes to write the copy, and this way, I was able to help put together the final product that was presented to the team.
Also, this week I received Jiffy Lube® Ontario (JLO) reporting training. The account coordinator was so well-versed in the Jiffy Lube® material that she was well-prepared to train me on the various reports we present. We manage not only JLO’s website but their paid ads, and their email marketing. tbk prepares in-depth reports that include a summary of their digital efforts as well as a detailed report of each tactic. For example, for the email marketing campaign, we provide the data on open rates, bounces, and conversions for each location. This way, we can better gauge which efforts were successful, and we can best strategize the creative direction or copy for the upcoming month.
This comes to the end of my internship at tbk, and I hope you enjoyed following on my journey as an intern. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to do my internship, and the amount of support I have received here is unmatched to anything I could have hoped for. In fact, I am lucky enough to be offered full-time employment as an Account Coordinator starting next week! tbk is always looking for opportunities to pass on knowledge to the next generation, so make sure you apply to be the next tbk intern.