Filming our online course – Shoot the HiPPO: how to be a killer Digital Marketing Manager

Published on October 2, 2020 by Alex Eade

If you know anyone at Footprint Digital, then you’ll know that aside from doing technical stuff, our passion lies in teaching technical stuff. We’ll sort your canonicals, update your schema and set up PPC campaigns – but we also want to teach you how these things work and support you to feel confident enough to try things out for yourself. In short, we’re educators looking for sponges who are interested in soaking up all our lovely digital information!

Education has always been a core value, and when Footprint was first conceptualised over a cuppa at a kitchen table in Colchester, our Directors decided that they didn’t want to ‘keep clients quiet’. Lots of agencies have treated clients like this, but we wanted to educate our clients, and teach them everything they could about digital so they knew which questions to ask and could understand the results they were getting.

The passion to educate clients continues, and alongside this we have spent five years teaching a Digital Marketing Executive Course (the Footprint Academy) every summer to businesses and university graduates. This is a 22 day course, covering everything from SEO, PPC and Conversion Rate Optimisation, all the way through to writing great content, project management and digital strategy. It has evolved and improved every year and our team all put a huge amount of time and energy into planning and presenting.

2020 changed all of that. We had planned our course, advertised it and had some incredibly talented graduates from the University of Essex and Greenwich University ready to take part, and then Coronavirus stopped us in our tracks. We were disappointed. Frustrated that we wouldn’t be able to give these people the education that we knew would help them in their future careers as marketers. We genuinely love having participants come into the office for training and we’ve missed the energy they bring!

Instead of feeling beaten, we regrouped and thought to ourselves – ‘maybe it’s time to take it to the next level’. Our Directors, Tom B and Tom J, have always wanted to help every business in the world achieve more, and one way to achieve that ambitious goal is with an online course. An accumulation of our years of digital marketing knowledge, accessible to everybody.

We have been writing the script for our online course ‘Shoot the HiPPO: how to be a killer Digital Marketing Manager’ for nearly a year, and if we’re honest we could have gone on tweaking it for another. But it was time to put down the pen and commit ourselves to getting the course on film – which is what we achieved this week!

We were incredibly lucky to work with Aura Films, who are a local, award winning, film and video production company and we were given permission to use Essex Business School at the University of Essex as our backdrop. However, we only had a week before students would start arriving back for Autumn term – so we had to be quick!

Filming so much content in normal circumstances would be daunting, but it is even more so when the world’s in the middle of a pandemic. Our team had slowly been returning to the office in small bubbles, but preparation for filming had to take place virtually or alone. We devised a filming schedule to make sure there were never more than a safe amount of us in the building, we were socially distant, and masks were worn at all times (apart from by the person presenting).

It turned out that we had no need to worry! Every single team member who delivered a section was the ultimate professional, Aura Films made sure to make the most of our location, and cut filming every time a plane went by or a lorry reversed. We ended up filming a lot more content than we thought we’d be able to, plus we made time for chicken-pizza lunch breaks.

It feels amazing to have filmed what (we think) is a course that will help Digital Marketing Managers manage their workload more effectively, think differently about what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing, and ultimately use data to challenge the highest paid person’s opinion – the HiPPO. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything a Digital Marketing Manager could be doing (that could go on forever) but it is full of insight, information and activities that we have found useful in or careers. We hope you’ll find it useful too!

Our footage is now off to the editing room where it will be transformed into bitesize chunks, more in depth sessions, and a sizeable blooper reel! We’ll be sharing some of it with you soon, but for now, get out there and #ShootTheHiPPO.