Best Digital Marketing Schools

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Social Media & Customer Power

Something to consider when thinking about social media and digital marketing is the increased level of interaction with customers.  Before the Internet, if a customer had a complaint, he or she actually had to write a letter and send it to the company.  But other customers would never see this letter, and it was easy for a company to keep customer dissatisfaction under wraps.  Sure, the customer could tell friends never to do business with that company, but they couldn't reach hundreds of people in a short period of time.

Enter the Internet, and fast forward to the emergence of social networking sites.  Now a customer can post a rant on a company's wall that many, even thousands or millions, will see.  These complaints can be hasty and even vulgar, but in the heat of the moment the customer doesn't care and probably feels better for a brief period of time (Personally when I look back on such posts I'm usually embarrassed).

So how can companies respond to such complaints?  They definitely can't ignore them, because that just damages the image of the company even more.  That is the topic of Cheryl Hanna's blog post on Customer Think, How to Survive Customer Service Blunders in the World of Social Media.  Most important is the need to treat customers with respect, but also making the decision if the customer is worth keeping.  If the customer seems like he or she just wants to start a war with the company for no reason, you just might have to lose that customer.

While customer service isn't part of marketing, the image of the company is definitely something to consider when choosing which social media sites to use.  These types of scenarios are important for any school with a digital marketing degree to address so students can be prepared to face these situations in the real world.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Digital Marketing Trends

If you need more proof of how digital marketing is a changing field, look no further than this article: Industry Experts Predict the Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013

If you want to go into something stable and consistent, where you know what you'll be doing in 10 years and it will be the same as what you're doing today, digital marketing definitely isn't for you. Just like in ITM, you can expect technology to change so much, even in just a year, that you could be working on completely different platforms than you when you started.

Important to note in the article is the growing importance of mobile. Reaching consumers on their smartphones is rapidly becoming the next big thing in digital marketing. I think schools that want to have the best digital marketing degree programs will need to include courses focusing on m-commerce.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chandler University Digital Marketing

Chandler University
Let's take a look at another university with a digital marketing degree program. Chandler University is located in Chandler, Arizona. Like the University of Michigan- Dearborn (which I covered in this post), Chandler offers a B.B.A. program in digital marketing. This program is expected to arm students with knowledge of digital strategies as well as the legal side of the digital world. As students complete their general education and business core requirements, they must also complete 27 credit hours of digital marketing major courses.

The digital marketing courses include an introductory course to digital marketing, media effectiveness and measurement, digital marketing project, online social behavior and persuasion, cyber law, personal selling, consumer behavior, and marketing management. Students also complete a digital marketing capstone project. These classes, especially cyber law, provide good coverage for digital marketing. However, the curriculum at Chandler University seems to ignore search engine paid advertising and search engine optimization, which are two very important parts of digital marketing.
University of Michigan- Dearborn

How does Chandler's digital marketing program compare to the University of Michigan- Dearborn's digital marketing degree? As I stated above, Chandler lacks a course focusing on SEO and paid search. While both schools have different curriculums, I give the upper hand to the University of Michigan- Dearborn.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Corporate or Consulting?

When going into digital marketing, or even general marketing and advertising, you have quite a few options for where you could work. You could work on the digital marketing team for a larger corporation, or you could work for a digital marketing consulting firm, similar to an advertising agency. Sometimes companies rely solely on these firms for all their digital marketing, and other times a company might just use these companies to manage their Facebook page or update their Pinterest.

Which do you think you would prefer? Do you see yourself working with one company, creating strategies around their products/services, analyzing those strategies, and repeating that process? Or do you see yourself working on different projects, working with different companies, and having to be creative enough to understand many different companies and their customer bases?

Of course, each has their advantages and disadvantages. If you really want to go into digital marketing but you're not sure which side you would prefer, you should see your school's career advisor and try to set up an informational interview with someone from each side so you can get an even better picture of what working for a corporation and an agency is really like!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Digital Marketing- What To Expect

With digital marketing being a newer field, a lot of people might not be sure exactly what is involved with it. Many people make the mistake of thinking that digital marketing is just about social media, which means it's easy and anyone can do it. Contrary to popular belief, digital marketing involves both creativity and analytics, which can actually be challenging for many people. So the basic components of digital marketing include social media, search and display advertising, and search engine optimization.

Social media involves engaging with customers though various social networking outlets- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. When working for a company, digital marketers need to carefully choose which outlets are the best way to reach their customers and match their organizational values. For example, Pinterest is growing in popularity, but a construction company probably won't benefit from a Pinterest account. An interior designer, on the other hand, would definitely benefit from reaching customers on Pinterest. The main message here is that just because social networks are available, it doesn't mean that your company will need them.

Search and display advertising involves those ads that you see when you search for something on Google, or banner ads on your favorite websites. The best place to work on this would be through Google AdWords. Google has the largest reach on their networks, and don't forget this also includes YouTube videos. Keyword targeting and setting up ad campaigns is an essential component of digital marketing that you will need to know.

Finally, there's search engine optimization. SEO is all about having your website appear in the top results for certain keywords that your business is about. Face it, people are more likely to click the actual search results than the sponsored ads. So if your website isn't on the first page, there's very little chance that your potential customers are going to find you. If you're interested in digital marketing, you definitely need to go to a school where you can get the best digital marketing degree. A course involving SEO is essential to learn the basics that will help you be successful in digital marketing!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Get Involved #4- You Can Get Experience for Your Resume

To conclude my discussion on getting involved in student organizations, I will share with you what I believe is the greatest benefit of major-specific student organizations: you can get valuable experience to put on your resume and talk about in an internship or job interview. At the end of the day, we go to college to earn our degree and get a job, and employers are going to want to know what skills and experience you have that is valuable to their company. They definitely do not want to hear about how badly you need the position, so if you impress them with what you've accomplished instead, you're definitely more likely to get hired!

So what do I mean when I say you can get experience? Let's say, for example, you join an organization that focuses on marketing, and in that organization they have a digital team. If you're a digital marketing student, you definitely want to be a part of that team. You could have responsibilities ranging from updating the club's social media pages (which you might be asked about on a job interview...I know that from experience!) to putting together a digital campaign when a local business approaches your organization asking for help. Giving a real world example like that to an employer, along with some results of your efforts (followers on your club's twitter, owner of the business citing your campaign as helping drive traffic to the business), will absolutely impress recruiters.

Now you might be wondering, what does all this talk about student organizations have to do with digital marketing? Well, as far as choosing a college, you definitely want to go somewhere that has not only a great program but also an active campus that has many opportunities to get involved. The University of Michigan- Dearborn, a great school for your digital marketing degree, has a very active and involved campus, and there are many organizations for students to be a part of. 

At the College of Business at UMD, business majors can choose from five different organizations that are in their areas of interest: American Marketing Association (AMA- great for marketing and digital marketing!), Information Technology Management (ITM) Club, Supply Chain Association, Beta Alpha Psi (accounting, finance), and Alpha Kappa Psi (formerly Students in Free Enterprise, welcomes all majors and is in the process of colonization).