As a professor, you have probably experienced all the challenges in working to not only teach all the theories, strategies and approaches that make up the digital marketing practice.
But in order to build proficiency in the skills needed to execute digital marketing campaigns, students must learn through simulations that allow them to practice digital marketing skills such as blogging, conversion path design, social media monitoring, email marketing and even website analytics. Cobbling together multiple software systems to help students gain exposure inside the systems can feel like a next-to-impossible task to pull off in a single semester.
But, in the age of modernized, digital, multi-channel and account-based marketing, using market-facing marketing and sales technology while remaining in the safety of the college classroom is not simply a nice to have -- it's an experience that will have perhaps the earliest and most positive impact on a student's marketing and sales career.
But teaching digital doesn't have to be that scary. To help you teach digital marketing skills in your classroom, we've developed this comprehensive page of resources to act as your guide. When you scroll down, you will find:
A skills gap is defined as the difference between the skills required of an individual to complete tasks that allow them to add value to an organization, and the actual skills possessed by that individual.
While skills gaps can be present in all industries that have been disrupted by advances in digital technology, software and hardware, marketers and sales professionals have experienced one of the most rapidly disrupted industries of the past decade.
So what created this marketing skills gap? In short, a seismic shift in consumer habits driven by highly innovative, and high growth companies has drastically impacted the way that consumers gather information at all stages of their buying journey as they research the products and services they intend to purchase.
Consider that today, it is estimated that 77% of Americans own and use smart mobile phones (Pew Research, 2017). This widespread mobile adoption spans generations and is fueled to burn brighter by smartphone apps’ growing share of digital media usage time (comScore, 2016).
General consumers have realized that they can find, learn, and do just about anything from the device they carry around in their pocket.
Likewise, this search is also increasingly infiltrating the home across multiple devices that include traditional laptop and desktop computers, tablets, gaming consoles and even home media and entertainment centers.
For example, some estimates suggest that approximately 1.6 million people have purchased and installed Amazon's Echo -- a device that provides a digital personal assistant who can complete a variety of tasks using common voice commands. (BI Intelligence, 2016).
To meet this seismic shift in consumer behavior, software companies all over the world have developed powerful software that empowers businesses of all sizes to harness customer data in real time and quickly take action. In 2016, Google reported that voice search makes up 20 percent of queries on its mobile app and across Android devices, paving the way for the development of Google assistant. (Search Engine Land, 2016)
One of the most marketable skills a student can graduate with today falls into the area of digital marketing and sales.
In order to meet consumer demands head on, businesses now expect that fresh, entry-level talent comes prepared with experience in using systems to not only execute campaigns but also report results of those campaigns against marketing objectives. They're also expected to be able to adjust strategies quickly and efficiently based on ongoing learnings and insights about how, where and what their target customers consume on the web.
According to national salary statistics from 49,316 employees, users,
On Glassdoor, data based on 1,201 reported salaries show an average of over $73,000 in annual compensation. Take into consideration that as of March 2017, popular business social network LinkedIn shows 15,407 current job listings related to the search term "digital marketing". The need for fresh marketing and sales talent that can demonstrate competency and proficiency in digital skillsets is at an all time high.
To develop these new and critical skills for marketing, we as professors must restructure the way classrooms operate.
We must move from more traditional passive learning methodologies rooted in memorization, to active learning methodologies that allow students to learn through applied experiences.
In March 2017, a study of teachers in Spain indicated that the project-based learning that incorporated digital technologies promoted active participation by students (95%), motivated them to learn (96%) and helped them to acquire various curricular skills (90%) (Gómez-Pablos, Martín del Pozo, García-Valcárcel Muñoz-Repiso).
Training students in these new marketing skill sets
Many companies today provide a variety of software, associated coursework and even professional certifications that can help professors navigate this new marketing technology landscape and deliver live experiences that equip students with the skills they need to succeed in a dynamic business environment. I'll provide a multitude of these resources below.
Scott Brinker of ChiefMarTech.com has become
You can download high-resolution versions of this infographic on Scott's original blog post. The software solutions are categorized by function, and overall the study revealed that this software landscape grew by approximately 40% over the previous year. Your students, upon their first placement in the workforce, will likely be asked to develop their skills and become proficient in using at least one to two software applications present on this list.
It is impossible and likely irrelevant to cover every software application on this list in a single course. For one, the list is a constantly moving target due to the nature of the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry and frequent consolidation. Likewise, a fair amount of technology startups inevitably fail and fade away into the catacombs of the internet. For the purpose of developing a solid foundation of understanding of key concepts related to digital marketing and sales, start by focusing on Marketing Automation and CRM Systems.
There are additional software systems that you can adopt to help you facilitate experiential learning in the classroom, while also exposing your students to popular technologies that have gained momentum in businesses of all sizes. Investigate how the following technologies can potentially be adopted into your course or specific units.
This graphic is produced Arke University, a private company working to close the knowledge gap between both Marketing and IT and to create a unified language between the two parties.
Companies such as Arke, HubSpot, Google and many others have a vested interest in closing the digital skills gap, and have invested millions of dollars in producing highly relevant and effective teaching materials. These companies also come
Download this complimentary package of marketing teaching resources that will help you quickly integrate digital marketing skills training into your course offering. Inside you'll find a syllabus, suggested reading materials, templates for quizzes, project scoresheets, grading rubrics and more -- all designed to help expose your students to the philosophy, methodology, and technology of inbound marketing.
Remember to request a teaching license of HubSpot Enterprise marketing and sales automation software, which can be provided to you for free through the HubSpot Education Partner Program.
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"Thank you for teaching Digital Marketing and having us not only earn the HubSpot certification, but also giving us the opportunity to work with the actual system."
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"Nate's course showed me that digital marketing and sales is so much bigger than social media. It set me on a path to my career as a digital marketer."
HubSpot’s Education Partner Program is a new network of college and university educators who are changing the way students learn marketing and sales.
Using HubSpot’s award-winning software and HubSpot Academy resources, professors are able to go beyond the fundamentals to give their students real-world experience in inbound marketing and sales.
Join more than 130 schools already representing over 10,000 students that will graduate with the skills they need to be successful.