Digital marketing is a relatively new industry and as such experts in it have generally come from varied and sometimes unexpected backgrounds. We asked Rachel Bilson from London College of Communication to find us someone who would inspire people with their expertise so when she came up with someone who started out studying architecture, we were slightly taken aback. It was the last subject any of us expected a digital expert to have a background in but Adipat Virdi, who now makes his own films for the web, is proof that digital marketing is accessible to anyone willing to put in the graft and show passion for creating original online content, no matter what their previous training has been in. Here’s how she got on…
Having studied architecture at both Oxford and Cambridge as content for the web grew in popularity, Adipat Virdi decided to change his career completely to make films. He set up his own production company – Maaji Productions – to create socially responsible projects in which new talent could be nurtured. He’s also an expert in transmedia production and his project, Searching, got to the finalist stage of the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab. Adipat teaches courses at London College of Communication such as Crowdfunding Campaign and Video, Multiplatform Writing and Production, and Short Film Making on a Mobile Device.
How did you get into digital marketing?
I was a storyteller working with production companies and media brands. I was asked to set up digital strategies and it went from there. The link between the content and the audience is my core strength and I have subsequently worked with various, leading companies and brands to create and nurture these 'activated dialogues'.
Which campaign so you consider your greatest achievement of your career so far?
I worked as part of the Bhopal Disaster team and helped to develop the multiplatform campaign around the anniversary project. It was fulfilling to see a project come alive and people passionately involved with it because of something I had created.
Technical geekery, or strategic overview – which skill is most currently in demand?
At the moment, there are two trends. Technology is being ubiquitous – not just that there’s lots of it around but more that it is a permanent part of the way we live our lives. Concurrently, the amount of control audiences have over the content they consume and how they consume it is changing. As digital experts - the key skill we need is to be able to harness the balance between these two things and provide the most effective 'story' environment around the content. This also means that we need to let go of thinking that we are in overall creative control!
So what do you teach on your course?
I teach multiplatform storytelling as a way of getting creative people to understand the different environments within which to create narratives. I also teach how to build crowdfunding campaigns so that if there is an idea - anyone can build it and raise the funding based on the idea itself. With the amount of tech at our disposal - we have the ability to write, make and distribute content whenever and wherever we like. I also teach how people can pick up their phone and build a campaign with just that tool!
Which current social media campaign do you wish you worked on?
John Lewis Christmas 2014 – how to create powerful emotional engagement to a fluffy toy in two minutes!
It definitely pulled at the heartstrings! What do you think will be the next big thing?
Virtual reality and immersive storytelling. With Google Glass and Oculus Rift the 'augmented reality' of our everyday lives is just around the corner.
Lastly, any advice for people looking for jobs in digital marketing today?
Learn how to tell stories with emotional resonance. It's not about what tech you can use or what course you've done but about how many followers you have on twitter and how many of your YouTube videos went viral.
If Adipat has got you all excited about digital marketing, have a look at the full range of courses on offer and start your journey now.