Member StoriesKarina Kelly
Member since: February 2016
DMI ProProfessional Diploma
In my view, 99% of SME marketing is now digital; therefore, I knew I needed to upskill to support growth in my existing business and launch my new business.
Tell us a bit about your story before the Digital Marketing Institute.
I have a degree in Tourism Marketing from DIT and a Masters in International Marketing from Michael Smurfit School of Business (UCD), which I completed in 2001. Marketing was not focused on digital in those days; we were just getting used to Google!
After college, I worked in tourism, project development, and owned my own business. When I signed up for the course I was working in sales and business development for a merchant services company and was looking for the skills to support the digital marketing efforts of my husband's online retail store, www.theradiatorshop.ie, which sells designer radiators. I was also considering some new opportunities- one of which turned out to be my new ecommerce photography business www.360crew.ie.
What influenced your decision to study in the Digital Field?
Managed the launch of www.theradiatorshop.ie in 2011 and worked on organic search. It had become apparent to me over the last few years that my skills for marketing where being hampered by my lack of knowledge in the digital field.
Why did you choose to study your course in the Digital Marketing Institute?
I had been looking at courses for about 12 months and had my eye on the Diploma in Digital Marketing from the institute. The only stumbling block was that all the classes were in Dublin, and as much as I love online retail, I do not enjoy online learning! Travelling to Dublin was not an option with two small children. So when Donegal LEO announced they were going to offer the same course to business owners locally in Letterkenny, I jumped at the chance.
Since completing the course in the Digital Marketing Institute, how has your career progressed?
The course was very helpful for me at the time I studied it. The www.theradiatorshop.ie had just upgraded to a responsive design, and I was able to support getting it up and running with my new digital marketing knowledge. 12 months after completing the course I started to plan the launch of my new business www.360crew.ie. We are an ecommerce product photography company with a specialisation in 360° Images. The grounding in Digital Marketing enabled me to identify this as a viable business idea to progress. As of 2017, I left full time employment with my former company and now work full-time on the digital marketing of both www.theradiatorshop.ie and www.360crew.ie, using the skills I learned on the course to directly impact the growth levels of both businesses.
Is there any advice you would give to new or future students at the Digital Marketing Institute?
Pick a course you have an interest in and then commit 100% to the time you are there. I loved the course, and the lecturers were great. Your key to success in the course is practicing the skills you learn each week. I was lucky in that I had a real company to try out the various digital marketing applications. I really enjoyed the course, and even though I had to drive 1 hour to a 3 hr session on lots of wet winter nights, I always drove home with my head buzzing with new ideas on how I could improve the marketing activities of my own businesses.
In one word, how would you describe your time in the Digital Marketing Institute?