Over the last thirteen years, there has been an explosion of e-commerce and user generated content; acceptance of the digital media by established firms; and new multiple billion dollar digital-only firms. In response to this technological and lifestyle metamorphosis, marketing is going through a similar fundamental change. Clearly, marketing is becoming much more data (everything on the Internet can be tracked) and relationship (customers having an increasing say in how they spend their time) driven. The question becomes, how do we as academics remain relevant and guide our students so they are in a position to lead this marketing revolution. We believe it starts with a revised curriculum specifically designed for the age of Digital Marketing.
Our Marketing Department goal is to provide future marketing architects (our students) the necessary digital language and technical foundation to gain entry into this exciting, growing, creative and potentially lucrative career area. We have already placed graduate students from our MBA e-commerce concentration and gained curriculum input from several large firms, e.g., Interpublic, Microsoft, etc., who have helped us in designing this digital marketing program.
After taking the principles of marketing course that everyone in the university has to take, the Digital Marketing track has four required courses that cover the basics of both traditional marketing and marketing in a new Internet environment. The four course are: Market Research, modified to include coverage of Internet experimentation; Internet Marketing, an overview course reflective of the Internet Marketing Paradigm, Web Analytics and Intelligence, a quantitative course to interpret data and create market intelligence for decision makers, and Marketing Strategy, an information intensive capstone course that will address a digital marketing problem and create a professional marketing plan. Next, students must chose, based on their interest, whether to learn basics of buying behavior from a consumer or business perspective. To complete the major, students then must choose three specialized digital marketing electives that can be tailored to their interests.
The three specialized courses will permit students to carve out areas of expertise in the rapidly emerging digital marketing area. For example, taking the specialized courses in Direct and Interactive Marketing, Digital Advertising, e-Business Technologies and the Consumer Behavior option would position a student well for a career in digital consumer applications, e.g., direct and interactive marketing or advertising. Alternatively, taking courses in International Supply Chain Management, Innovation, Technology and the Global Enterprise (B-2-B), Internet Law, and the option Business Marketing Management could lead specifically to a career in digital business marketing, e.g., supply chain management or B-2-B marketing. Combining Social Media Marketing and New Ventures course with Direct and Interactive Marketing, Digital Advertising and with either of the buying behavior options, a student could start his/her own business upon graduation. Students also have the flexibility to create their unique track based on their personal interests.
Why did the Marketing Department choose to pursue the development of the Digital Marketing Track now?
Technology has caused the marketing environment to dramatically change with the end result being that customers have gained, and are beginning to use, significant market power. Our students, the first digitally literate generation, are experiencing these changes first hand and will likely be the generation to integrate the theory and practice in this area. Our mission as educators is to provide them the necessary tools, vocabulary, and expertise to embark on this journey. They must learn traditional marketing skills in this new context as well as be the ones to create new mental models associated with the co-evolution of consumers and business in a more socially mediated world.
Offering this major has significant challenges in course creation and teaching in a dynamically changing area. However, we see the majority of our internships and the increasing number of student’s full time jobs coming in the digital marketing area. The only way to remain relevant and insure the marketing rigor associated with this emerging discipline, is to learn as quickly as we can, use industry practitioner input where possible, and create a pedagogical plan that is flexible and can be modified when it seems appropriate.
Courses in the the digital marketing track can be found here.