2020 the year of change. My entry into the world of Digital and Tech.

Last year was marked by many global events, but also personal ones. We started the year with forest fires in Australia, much of the biodiversity was threatened, it was at the same time a great realization, that global warming was not something we could underestimate.

Simultaneously we saw a small virus appear in China with an unpronounceable name! We were far from thinking that a pandemic on a global scale was going to destroy the economy. I live in Singapore in South East Asia, and I saw this virus arriving and starting to cause damage and infect more and more people, the serious things then began. So, we started talking about closing the borders, people started to change their lifestyle by wearing masks, and then we ended up in confinement for three months. I also learned that a friend fell seriously ill during this time. So, it made me aware of many things, and allowed me to question myself.

In parallel, as I was living the period of confinement my profession as a photographer was getting affected as photo shoots, events like weddings were all cancelled one by one and then my work suddenly stopped. I thought to myself I must find a solution to my stalling career and equip myself with another skill which I have a passion for, and I could surely come out a winner in a world which is busy fighting a much more dreadful virus.

I have always had a passion for technology and social media. So, I started looking for online schools teaching digital marketing. I still wondered and asked a lot of questions to myself- if it was the right thing to do, the right career shift? After a lot of introspection, I was ready for the change. I made the jump and I finally found a school where I could study Digital marketing and embrace the world of Tech and Digital. I graduated in 3 months! I was super proud of myself.

But then I became very impatient to put into practice everything I had learnt. A new challenge was going to be imposed on me, that of finding an agency with whom I could start working. I needed an agency who had a similar outlook to work and culture like me- Tech savvy, Agile, Risk Taking.

I found JOLT Digital. I thought this will be the perfect agency for me as it was also setup to change and jolt the age-old model. To jolt the industry. To find ways to maximize media budget – harnessing the power of both strong strategy and, precisely where needed, a vast array of tech innovations without which in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape brands would be left increasingly vulnerable.

As I started working with JOLT, I started to learn how you could build a digital advertising campaign from start to finish by understanding the marketing funnel, build strategies, target audiences. I began eating and sleeping the Digital terminology! I realized I wanted to first get hands on experience with search, I shared this with Seb Lepez, our Founder. He understood my passion for Tech and entrusted me with creating, optimizing, executing, and reporting search campaigns for some of our prestigious clients like Uniqgift, Rtistiq and Ateliers AME.

What blew me away was, when I figured I could optimize search using AdTech for some of our clients and quickly get some conversions, something which my degree did not teach me, and I was happy I could do this at JOLT.

But I wanted to not just do what I was taught and told to do. I wanted to excel and master. I gave myself six months to learn how to become and master SEM on Google, from that moment I started taking courses on Google Skill shop. Yes, this was not easy again, but I had learnt I could jolt myself with effort and hard work. So again, I did not give up and took this challenge. I graduated with a couple of courses by Google Ads Search Certification and now I am totally hands on and independent on the platform.

The team at JOLT comprises of Media planning stalwarts and Digital natives, I undertook upon myself to motivate the team take their Google certifications. JOLT is now a Google Badge Partner. This builds more confidence, credibility to our clients and I can say proudly we know search better than the best in the industry to give best ROI to our clients.

I still have a lot to learn, it’s just the beginning…Now I am ready to deep dive into Programmatic, CDPs, Social, eCommerce and any channels and techs which come my way. I am looking forward to my growth along with that of JOLT as it looks to expand its horizons in the SEA region.

The year 2020-21 has finally brought a lot of change, and now I know in a good way. Do not be afraid to question yourself, accept new challenges, life is made of obstacles that we can all surely overcome!

Gregory Vanlerberghe
Digital Marketing Executive at JOLT Digital

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