Hi everyone:) This blog post is a milestone for me it’s my 80th one! To celebrate this, I have decided to flip the script a little and explain to all you readers why marketing for me is my passion. It’s the thing that ignites the fire my belly, the thing that makes me hungry and my blog has been an outlet to show the world and more importantly myself, to never go a day without thinking about something you love and never stop working for it – period.
From an early age, I knew I wanted to work in a creative environment and industry. When I created my own book at age 6 entitled “Emmanuel Kankam All About Me”, I was already developing a creative mindset and had a love of drawing.
There is one thing I saw that resonates with me growing up and helped even add more fuel to being creative and that was watching the ToysRUS advertisement. As cheesy as it might sound, I loved that advert; I wanted to be a part of that ‘magical place’ and I also wanted to create it for others.
Over the years this developed in secondary school as I excelled in subjects such as English, Art – even winning an award for my work.
By the time I was choosing my A-levels I had a more invested interest in media and the process of getting work onto the screen. I chose to do Media Studies, Art and Engish as my subjects of choice to study. All had creative elements and they all kept me motivated. I made the conscious decision to study in subjects where my heart and passion lied. If I wasn’t passionate about it I didn’t want to do it or it would have been a waste of time.
Growing up sometimes we are told to take the ‘safe option’, to do things to please our parents and friends even. But my thing is if you are not happy doing it and have no desire to do it then don’t. It might be me being stubborn but to me, it’s being passionate.
It wasn’t until the second year of university when I was studying Media and Cultural Studies, and I did a module entitled PLM3302 – Marketing and Promotion that I thought to myself “You know what? This is me”. I knew I wanted to pursue something creative career wise but wasn’t entirely sure what, to be honest until I did that module. When I was given assignments for this module, I was buzzing. I was like the child who got excited watching his favourite show, opening his presents on his birthday or Christmas; all of those in one. It reflected in my work and my lecturer was pleased and encouraged me to keep going and I did.
When I broke up for summer holidays, I did an internship. I worked at a local charity called The Croydon Youth Games. I was a Press Officer and had to contact businesses via email and phone. I was given the chance to have creative input by writing a press release and thinking of the ways to promote the charity which centred around getting youths active and into sport. Even though it was unpaid, I didn’t care. To me, it was chance to learn and also be creative. By the time I went into my third and final year at university, it proved pivotal.
To many, the final year at university is all about exams and obviously getting the grades you need to get the job you want or further your education. However, maybe it was naivety, I assumed that it would be plain sailing and it wasn’t. The reality is, the world is very competitive and things do not fall into your lap – you have to fight.
When I finished one of my modules JCM 3501 – Video Work Shop 1, I remember the final words that my lecturer Eddie McCaffrey said. He told all of us “Whatever happens from now, I hope you guys don’t just go for any job and just settle but go into something as a career”.
In 2010, this year was life-changing; I reunited with old school and university friends, I was healthier than ever but one thing was still affecting me. I started hearing those words that Eddie McCaffrey said and they become louder and louder so whilst I was working in a financial institution, I decided to visit the marketing department as this was (and will always be) a passion of mine.
I was very fortunate to meet two marketing managers Craig Child and Jeremy Laight and they gave me more of an understanding of marketing and gave me tasks to do so I was learning. For that, I will always be eternally grateful to them. The following year I decided to push myself more.
With my former lecturer’s words of wisdom still ringing in my ears and the time I spend in the marketing department, I decided to fund my own CIM marketing course. My passion had been reignited. I didn’t want to take life for granted or end up wondering what if.
In the beginning, I was adjusting to managing study and work but managed to find a balance. I was doing well in the course and was able to able to put some practice into action at work. I started doing presentations to boost my confidence, got involved in organising events internally and I just kept thinking to myself that I just cannot give up. It was not easy at times, especially when coming to the end of my course which was stressful but had good friends around such as Petrus and Christine who kept me going.
When I passed my course, it was also the year that I got made redundant. I always believe everything happens for a reason and thought this is my time. I thought this is my time to pursue my dreams as a marketer, to show myself and the world that I am not giving up and it’s something ingrained in me so I started working on my journey.
I started attending marketing exhibitions and also got involved in and created group discussions on LinkedIn – I became a top contributor numerous times. I thought this was a great time for me to learn from people already working in the industry. However, I thought that this was not enough. On the 10th of June 2014, I wrote my first blog post. I created this blog because I wanted to show my passion for marketing and to show that I could and still can think like a marketer.
I remember a phrase I saw before on a t-shirt worn by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson which read: “For those who are truly brave will never live in a fear”. I didn’t want to live in fear of not achieving my dreams and my blog has been and is part of my story in becoming and being a modern day marketer.
My blog and activity on social media platforms helped me secure my first job in marketing and in gaining some experience. I have continued with my blog whilst working because it is something I love to do and no one can take that away from me. I am not doing this for no one but for me. It’s my work and each blog post is part of my marketing story.
I often get asked the question “Why marketing?” My answer is storytelling. From being a child wanting to create a magical place that ToyRus introduced me to, I wanted to be a storyteller; I just didn’t know at the time. Marketing to me is identifying, anticipating and satisfying your customers need. You take them on a journey with your brand and you create their story as well as the companies. The product or service that company provides has to benefit the consumer and the pay off is a return on investment.
I do not do marketing for monetary gain but for a passion and legacy. I want to do something I love for career as many people just settle into a particular job or career because they are comfortable and it is a safe option –, not me. I want to leave a legacy of good work that has made an impact and as cheesy as it may sound if I am fortunate to have children I want to tell them to go for their dreams and achieve them just like I did.
I am not trying to emulate anyone or be the next big thing but the first me. I am working towards finding my way and as challenging as it may be at times, this is my marketing story and no one else can write it for me because I hold the pen.
It goes without saying that I have been fortunate to have people support me along the way of my marketing journey so here is a list and a thank you to people(if I have missed anyone out, apologies and thank you): Craig Child, Jeremy Laight , Petrus, Christine, Ashir, Daniel, Baz, JungJung, Simon, Jonathan Henley, Paul, Tim, David Ross, Carina Claire-Jeppesen.
Four years ago I started this blog and now that I am writing my 80th blog post, I feel a sense of achievement. It may not be a big thing for some but it is to me. So here’s to a few more years to come of my blog and maybe another 80 blog posts and thank you to everyone who has read, liked or commented on my blog.