Henley Webinar: Digital Bootcamp

On Monday I went to another Henley Careers Event with guest speaker Frederic Kalinke. The previous event run by Frederic sold out in 2 hours and promised to teach practical insider tips and tricks on how to get to the top of Google, as well as interview and on-the-job confidence for the digital world.

A bit about Frederic?

He joined Google’s graduate program in sales and marketing then moved to work in commercial roles at digital businesses ranging from large to small. He then set up Exactimo as a passion side project that delivers practical and efficient digital bootcamps to business students. Exactimo has partnered with 19 of Europe’s top ranked business schools.

The Importance of Understanding the Digital World?

Frederic opened the bootcamp with a warm-up exercise where he asked the students to vote on what terms they thought were more searched for on Google this year. For example, have more people searched for the term “global warming” or “Kim Kardashian”? Whilst many of us would like to think the world cares more about the issue of global warming, it turned out that Google trends data showed that people were more interested in the life of a reality star. By using Google trends data, Frederic demonstrated to us just how much public information is out there and why it’s valuable to understanding your consumers.

Why should you bother understanding the digital world? Digital is disrupting every industry; you can’t get away from it! Digital has also proven to be pandemic proof; the past 12 months have shown us that the companies that are digital have sustained themselves during the pandemic. Their shares have largely risen while the rest of the stock market has dropped. More importantly, a large proportion of the worlds business leaders don’t understand the internet, but you can! Practical digital skills will always be valuable and can give you a way to stand out in interviews.

Frederic said that “being a great digital person is about creativity, but also through appreciating the analytical part to it…you don’t need to be a maths wizard, but its useful to be data driven”.

Google

Google is at the core of everything, so by understanding their foundational principles you can include, what Frederic calls, “sit up statements” which will immediately make a huge difference to the interviewer to show you are engaged and knowable. There 4 foundation principles to this:

  1. Google is the gateway to the internet. Google is still where we go to when we want answers. Other businesses must understand Google because it’s the gateway to customers, clients and information. Therefore, competitors who do understand google will always win.
  2. Understanding the history of Googles founding. Their mission statement is to organise the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google has never changed this statement, whereas other big tech companies have changed their statements. This proves how important informational access is.
  3. Its all about relevance. The more relevant the information/company, the more users it gets to its platform, and then the more advertising Google makes. Then, the more money Google makes, the more relevant companies can make themselves, and the cycle starts again. This is Googles business model, but it can be manipulated into other companies’ business models, e.g. Amazons model is more sellers, mean more products, which generate more users and more revenue.
  4. Demand Generation vs Demand Fulfilment. More advertising and marketing is about generating demand to convince the consumer that they need a product. Google fulfils a demand that you already want because you are already searching. For example, when you Google car insurance and then it places an add for car insurance straight in front of you, there’s more success in gaining customers.

Frederic also spoke about the up and coming threat of Amazon. Google knows this threat is looming for products and shopping so they have made it their aim to increase their game with the Google shopping tab.   

Google Results

The Google results page is split into organic listings (not paid advertising) and paid searches (the adverts that come up first). But how can you get your company to the top of the results page? There is generally a saying that people don’t ever go onto the second page of Google, and I think we can all agree that this is true. Therefore, there is huge competition to get to the top for relevant search queries.  

Optimising your webpage can be done through off-page implementations or on-page additions. Off-page optimisation works on the basis of academic citation. This means that when an expert academic has links from other people referencing their own work, they are deemed top of their game. This applies to websites. When a webpage has lots of backlinks from reputable sources, it tells Google that your webpage is valid. The best backlinks to gain are largely from newspaper websites or University websites as Google considers them to be most valuable.

On-page optimisation will signal to Google that you care about your user experience. You want users to stay on your page for the most amount of time, so Google knows it’s a worthy page. Using video is a good way to really help keep people on your page for longer. If you have a high average time for time spent on your page it shows Google you are offering the user what they want and will be rated higher. Frederic also made us all aware that Google hates plagiarism and generally prefers text structured in a Q&A format.

Cognitive Bias

Behavioural economics harness cognitive biases to get web visitors to do exactly as you want them to do. Frederic went to go on to say that there are certain ways out brains are wired that make us do certain things, and people have found ways to digitally analyse this.

Examples of these biases:

  1. The Social Proof Effect – we place higher value on things that other people are buying e.g. when EasyJet tells you there are 23 other people looking at this holiday.
  2. The Ikea Effect – we place higher value on things that we helped create e.g. literal Ikea furniture.
  3. The Anchor Effect – we are disproportionately influenced by the first piece of information we see. Therefore, websites will deliberately lead with a higher price on their site so that everything the user sees subsequently seems to be cheaper.
  4. The Time Discount Effect – we prefer to get things now rather than later, even if it comes at a cost. The newest version of this is Klarna which means you can buy the products when you want them and pay later.

Using this Information

If you can reference any of this, you will be in the top 5% of interviewees.

“Getting a job is all about convincing an employer that you are interested in their business and interesting as a person. One way to doing this is to perform a digital audit, i.e. evaluate the hiring company beforehand and come up with ideas for improving the company. Exactimo’s digital bootcamps and online training courses provide practical digital knowledge that give students the tools, frameworks and skills to do this” – Frederic.

Head to Exactimo to find out more about the resources they have to offer and the digital bootcamps you can sign on too.

On behalf of the Henley Careers Team we would like to thank Frederic for his insights and tips!