digital Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

Top 15 Digital Trends for 2015




As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, the need for today’s enterprise to stay ahead of the digital curve is more vital than ever. Already, 2015 has begun to show us several new trends that are likely to emerge and ground themselves in our day to day lives. Here is a quick snapshot of 15 digital trends that are likely to become ubiquitous over the course of the year:

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How Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Navigates Its Digital Transformation: A Conversation with CMO John Dragoon


John Dragoon, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s first CMO, recently sat down with General Assembly to discuss how he views leading a digital transformation at the large-scale educational publishing company. In addition to the shifting challenges of marketing a publishing company in the digital age, Dragoon also discusses marketing’s role in leading a company’s digital evolution as well what it means to have brand courage in 2014 and beyond. Watch the video above.

What Is: Digital Marketing



Name: Matt and Katie Iles (@nine_lines)
Occupation: Co-Founders, Nine Lines

1. In 140 characters or less, what is Digital Marketing?

The pursuit to understand your customers, master your messaging, and grow your business.

2. What’s your favorite part about Digital Marketing? What gets you most excited?

The industry’s constantly changing, and we’re constantly learning. We love to experiment and analyze. But ultimately, we love growing companies. We see that aspect alone as vitally important and deeply fulfilling. With Digital Marketing, you can bring immediate value to the customer and to the business. What’s more exciting than that?

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5 Reasons You Need Marketing Skills (and How to Get Them)


I hate Facebook braggers as much as anyone, but I’ve got to admit that the world looks a lot more like a marketplace than it used to. A certain amount of branding and curation goes into our online personas, which inform others on our opinions, ideas, careers, and how we see the world. Given that reality, we’re all unofficially marketers.

But that’s not the only reason that having a few marketing skills in your professional toolkit isn’t a bad thing. In fact, learning how to think and operate like a marketer is increasingly important, no matter what your personality or your career path. Here’s why.

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The Truth About Social Media Measurement


Kelley is the lead on marketing and social sales strategy at The Honey Bee Company and Digital Marketing Instructor at GA in NYC.

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face—whether coming from a Fortune 500 or a scrappy startup—is how to measure the effectiveness of their social media efforts. This challenge is often answered with elaborate dashboards, data visualization maps and obscure metrics that are so complex no one in the room can understand—including the presenter.  The aforementioned charts, graphs, and maps may look pretty (and keep agencies employed), but they leave us lost.  And the problem perpetuates because marketers, more so than most other professionals, never admit when we’re lost.

Because the truth is, there is no clear-cut way to measure social media.

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7 Steps to Running an Effective A/B Test on Your Email Marketing


Email marketing has grown to become of the most important components of an effective marketing strategy. Often cited as one of the most powerful marketing channels for a given company, email marketing can be used to achieve a variety of goals, such as growing your reach, educating your audience, generating sales leads, and converting those sales leads into customers. With such great potential for helping you achieve these numerous goals, email marketing should be one of your primary focuses as a marketer.

But it’s not enough to just be doing email marketing. You should also be constantly striving to optimize your email marketing to yield better and better results.

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Gamification: The Importance of Motivation in Web Design


Julie is a Digital Marketing Instructor at GA in San Francisco. This piece originally appeared on her blog

What motivates humans to perform certain actions? Well, for one it may be money, status, or maybe passion. The list goes on and on.

Why is it so important that your website or app motivates users? Well simply put, there will really be no reason for someone to use it otherwise. I recently went to a website that asked me to download their app to give feedback. What is in it for me? What will I get in return for my efforts? Why would I take the time to go to the app
store, input my password, and waste storage on my iPhone for your app?

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GA Tours theAudience HQ


The Entertainment space and LA are no strangers at General Assembly. We are continuously striving to create enriching experiences, and this one did not fall short. Through a partnership with theAudience and Digital Marketing courses at our LA campus, students were invited to West Hollywood to experience first-hand what goes down in the world of social data around celebrities and talent.

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Alumni Interview: John Wander & Ameet Mehta


John Wander and Ameet Mehta are graduates of Los Angeles’ Digital Marketing course and co-founders of CHNL, a simple and beautiful way to share content from the web that allows users, professionals, influencers and brands to collaborate and share information publicly and privately. They brought their need for a digital marketing strategy to their GA course and have graduated ready and able to drive CHNL’s growth.

What do you think about Los Angeles and General Assembly?

John: LA is important right now and content is king is pretty real right now; Ameet and I have been around the since web 1.0. And what is separating successful companies today is content, and LA plays a much bigger role than it ever has because a lot of the content creation is done down here.

Ameet: A lot of technological innovation is being done up in the Bay Area but then a lot of business is happening down here in LA. There is a need for really good developers here in LA. I am a developer and it has been a challenge finding good developers but places like GA teaching the immersive courses is huge. GA is providing a resource for LA.

Tell us about your life before coming to GA & why you took this course?

John: I’ve been an entrepreneur in start-ups in a business development role, my background is in investment banking and I’ve been involved in an angel investor network, and was doing all this until I quit it all to dive headfirst into CHNL. The reason I took the GA course was because it was important for: a. to go really deep into an understanding of the whole process and implementation of a digital marketing strategy and b. hire the right person for our company and be able to measure their success.
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A Deep Dive into the Future of Digital Marketing


Packed House at General Assembly's Los Angeles Campus

On November 11, 2013, General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus welcomed Michael Carney of PandoDaily and Greg Bettinelli of Upfront Ventures, two esteemed thought-leaders in the tech industry, for a fireside chat on topics in digital marketing. Here are three highlights from their conversation:

1. Good design is taking center-stage

Greg believes that thoughtful visual design should be embedded in the soul of a brand from inception; and should encompass UI, UX, copywriting and even the pitch deck (that means no Arial font). Marketing is a commodity, and very few companies grow organically purely though acquiring users; the goal should be to build an organic demand-side business.

2. Current marketing challenges

Greg claims that for digital marketers, cross-channel attribution is the “boogie man” under all of our beds and in our closets. The massive shift to the mobile world and the multitude of devices the average consumer uses on a daily basis is a huge pain point for marketers, as it is increasingly difficult to track consumers across multiple device platforms, in addition to the looming concern for user-data privacy.

Greg firmly believes that anything non-targeted and non-dynamic is not cost effective. This leaves room for new marketing channels that are popping up with innovative ad formats, most notably Instagram, which is incredibly powerful because of it’s reach and frequency of use.

3. Advice for aspiring digital marketers

For budding digital marketers who are on the lookout for strong role models in the space, Greg recommends checking out the very effective strategies of leading travel and real estate companies, which includes Zillow, Trulia, Kayak and Hotel Tonight.

Recommended readings for marketers include eMarketer, Sean Ellis’ new online community, MarketingLand and AdAge. The quarterly report from Mary Meeker on consumer and technology insights is also a must-read for marketers.

Perhaps no point better illustrates Greg’s outlook on digital marketing then the following takeaway: “The conversation you have with customers spans across your site/app, paid & earned marketing and overall packaging, so focus on getting the right customers and not just the sheer quantity of sign-ups.”

Interested in expanding your digital marketing repertoire?

Check out our digital marketing course offerings here.