Tanner Butler is part of a six-month rotational internship with Carson. The internship was established through a partnership with Carson and the Heider College of Business at Creighton University, focusing on providing students a full picture of the financial services profession. Tanner, a financial analysis and business intelligence & analytics major, will spend six weeks working in four areas of our business. This column outlines his first rotation: Marketing.

Going into the marketing rotation, I’m not really sure what I expected. I sort of knew what marketing was about from a few required classes I took in school. I understood what targeted advertisements and social media marketing looked like from growing up in the era of the digital consumer. But for me, spending six weeks in marketing opened my eyes to all that really goes into it.

The rotation started with lots of little tasks within the content team. I helped write emails for campaigns or a drip series, I made interactive digital quizzes, and scripted talking points for a video series.

At first, being at a new company in an area outside of my major, I wasn’t quite sure how my work was helping the overall marketing team or how it fit into what another person was doing. But through the first few weeks, I gained a foothold on my work, why I was doing it, and how it all fit into the larger picture.

I sat in on team meetings and began shadowing people on each team – content, advertising, design, and web development. I grasped how things move through marketing, and I learned how much of marketing is truly a combination of art and science. Marketing is often targeted on lead-generation and relies heavily on ROI, but it’s also a process of careful curation. It takes time, energy and intentional thought.

Looking back, I can see that clearly: My first week coincided with the Carson brand relaunch and new website. It was an exciting time for marketing and the culmination of months of hard work. But I learned this would be an iterative, consistent process of molding, transforming and deploying the brand.

It’s easy to see a brand from a general sense – Apple, Amazon, Nike, Disney. These are the heavyweights. But really understanding the purpose of certain stylistic decisions or content related pieces is so important. Looking at Apple, people take for granted how clean, simple and easy to use their products and stores are designed to be.

But each individual product – from the iPhone to the AirPods to the Apple Store – is perfectly curated to present their message, even down to the advertisements and packaging. I was able to gain a greater appreciation of the thought and energy it takes for each piece of marketing, and the process of seeing how everything reflects on the overall brand.

My time with marketing was educational in a way that’s so much richer than what a simple class teaches or maybe even a traditional marketing internship. Because for me, in a limited time with marketing, I was able to really step back and understand at the macro-level just how important what I was doing was at the micro-level. Marketing truly is a process of hard work that requires thought, energy, time, and a lot of fun and creativity.

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