It’s not easy for recent college graduates these days.
You’re bright. You’re eager. You feel like you’ve served your time in the classroom and you’re ready to take on the working world of adulthood. As graduation approaches, 20-somethings celebrate job acceptances with friends and prepare for the next stage of life. You're thrilled to finally make it out into the workforce until you suddenly realize, “I have zero clue what I’m doing.”
A slight vibration on your arm wrests you from a night of sleep. You wake up feeling groggy, a little less than well rested. As you make your way out of bed and into the kitchen, a notification catches your eye. You open up your personal display as you’re making your morning commute to the coffee maker, only to see an entire list of tips and advice for coping with sleep deprivation. Coffee at 7:30 a.m. isn’t one of them.
Instead, you opt for a breakfast of mixed fruits and whole grains. While you’re eating, that same display mentions a few ways to keep your energy up during the rest of your day: how long to sit, when to take breaks, how much water you should drink and what afternoon snack will make or break your workday.
This may sound like the beginning of a classic dystopian novel, but it’s not. It’s a world we’re quickly approaching, and paid media is helping to make it happen.
When I first started in Paid Media at Nebo, the digital industry was as fresh as I was out of college. The opportunity and potential was thrilling, but came with a set of challenges that many undefined industries face: lack of historical user data.
Many times I’d feverishly sort through dozens of market research previews and summaries from huge research firms, hoping that the one I eventually picked (and convinced Nebo to pay for) would offer some insight into online behaviors.
More often than not, I’d reach the end of a report with a solid understanding of how affluent males ages 24-45 make offline decisions about buying a luxury car, for example, but nothing of how these users engage with online mediums throughout their buyer journey.
Today, however, the data we need to help guide our digital strategies is more widely available than ever. We still have the option of buying comprehensive data packages from mega researchers, but are also dozens of amazing free tools available that help us get insight into how people are searching online, how they’re interacting with brands, and what the modern buyer journey looks like.