Birk Creative CEO JinJa Birkenbeuel recently attended a Google, Inc. and Accelerate With Google hosted TUCK Executive Education at Dartmouth program geared toward minority entrepreneurs gaining competency in the digital space. Here are some of her takeaways from that experience.
How Did You Come To Attend TUCK?
“I attended the Accelerate With Google twelve-week program, which teaches entrepreneurs in a intimate and engaging way how to have competency in inbound marketing. In conjunction with this program, I heard about Tuck. I signed up to attend Tuck’s inaugural special Digital Excellence program, which was held at Google at their amazing Boston office, which discussed how brand strategy should be executed across multiple digital channels. I met other entrepreneurs from all over the U.S. Together, we got tips on how to get our businesses online, increase our digital confidence, the benefits of an Adwords campaign, writing our UVP (unique value proposition), fundamentals of social media…it was awesome!
“Much of what I do for my customers includes all of the above, and I admit, I can at times take it for granted. Many business owners, small and large, need help, including me. I was reminded about what it’s like for a business just entering the digital space, to make the leap from traditional marketing efforts to digital. Traditional marketing is driven by the advertiser, whereas digital is driven by the person receiving the information. Also, I didn’t understand until this program how a business owner can use their website to make a lot of money with Google AdWords. A business owner came to present at Tuck and demonstrated how she took her business from $40,000/month in sales to $400,000/month in sales through a combination of relevant content, SEO strategy and Adwords implementation–without a marketing department. This was a total shift in thinking for many Tuck attendees, including me!”
Why Is It Important For Entrepreneurs To Know The Difference Between Traditional Marketing And Digital Marketing?
“Our economy is moving away from working for corporations to working for yourself. Are small business entrepreneurs truly prepared for this current digital economy and environment? From my viewpoint, Google is working diligently to help small businesses understand the benefits of establishing their companies online: websites, social media, Google Analytics, digital competency. I’m excited to see other large brands follow Google’s lead by publicly investing in the education and training of suppliers and small business owners to help them succeed, grow and be sustainable.
“Business and technology education is especially important and needed in underserved and under-represented multicultural communities. I don’t feel we have completely recovered from the 2008 financial collapse of the U.S. economy yet, so it is critical now more than ever for African-American and Latino entrepreneurs to be successful at digital technology and its applications to their businesses.
“That being said, I believe female entrepreneurs have a unique set of challenges. The success of women working in technology, is about getting more women to actually work at high-level companies developing strategy, ideas and concepts, and using their voices. Women who are starting or already own small or growing businesses don’t seem to be starting from the same ground zero as multicultural businesses.”
Your Takeaways From This Experience?
“It was extremely exciting to be back in an academic environment, learning from professors who really know what they’re talking about. Simply put, I enjoyed being a student again.
“The location was amazing, so inspiring and colorful, full of life. The atomosphere was 100% CAN DO. There was a library full of rich books, and posters lined the walls. The “cafeteria” if you can call it that, was packed with nutritious food and top notch chef service.
“It also helped me understand how Birk Creative can be a better partner in our work with Google. It seems to me that Google feels it is important to invest in entrepreneurs working with them. They invest in people at a deep level, I truly believe they want me to grow and learn. They will celebrate my successes with me. The entire experience felt nurturing and safe. It was SO fresh, and different. I felt at home. This is my personal observation, my perception from the outside. I think that means a lot, and, I have a very critical eye. “This course was specifically geared toward small business owners, not large brands. The sphere in which I work is mainly composed of Fortune 500 brands and in the public sector. Meeting people who can have a broad impact on the smaller community, a first- or second-generation business owner, really inspired me. I was able to have deep conversations about business challenges with business owners like Francesco Pagano, president of Interpreters and Interpreters and Translators, Inc., out of San Francisco, and Moe Brewster from Mosaic Global Transportation in San Francisco. I now consider them my friends, colleagues and, above all, fellow Dartmouth Tuck Graduates!” What Else? “Big picture, it showed me that I’d like to take more classes at TUCK. I want an Ivy League education!!! LOL! Until now, I didn’t have any awareness of TUCK or Dartmouth. I got a speed course in Ivy League education and a super amazing digital competency beyond what I already know.”