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).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Get Involved #3- You Can Explore Your Career Options

Another great reason to join a student organization is the opportunity to explore your career options. Your major is not set in stone, and the last thing you want to do is graduate, get a job, and realize you hate what you're doing. I once had a speaker in my class tell a story about how he was giving his senior presentation on his engineering project (days before he was expected to graduate) and he realized he could not picture himself doing this for the rest of his life. He ended up going through undergraduate school again to obtain a marketing degree. Joining a student organization could prevent this from happening to you!

Whether it's guest speakers or projects, if you join a major-specific organization you have the opportunity to get information on your currently selected career path. Guest speakers provide you with the opportunity to ask them questions about what they do in their field. Projects give you the opportunity to do the work you can expect to do in an internship or entry-level position, without as much fear of failure or pressure from managers. Some of the students in the organization might already have done an internship as well, and they can share that experience with you.

Whether you're unsure about your career path or you know where you want to go, student organizations provide you with a great opportunity to learn more about your options.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Get Involved #2- You Get the Opportunity to Help Others

Continuing the discussion about getting involved in student organizations, today I'm going to focus on the opportunity to help others. Most organizations have some sort of service component to them. Greek organizations especially have a service requirement from all members. What's great about major-specific organizations, however, is that you get the opportunity to work with others in ways that relate to your area of interest. For example, in business organizations you could help a non-profit organization organize a fundraising event and help with marketing that event. Or an accounting student could help run the books. Everyone wins in this case, and these types of opportunities can help you see if your chosen major is really what you want to go into.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Get Involved #1- You Meet New People

Last week I posted an overview about why you should join a student organization at your college or university. Today I will expand on the first reason I mentioned, that you get the opportunity to meet new people.

When you're in school, you really don't think that your classmates are more than friends or acquaintances. In reality, these are people who are interested in the same field as you (assuming you're in a business class, or another class specific to your major). One day you could be working with them, and they could even be potential job leads, or vice versa. Either way, business students know that connections and relationships are essential to success. You can't be a businessperson in isolation!

So where do student organizations enter this equation? They are the perfect way to meet people in your area of study, and since you won't be busy with lectures in class, you'll actually be able to have fun and get to know them. Most importantly, if you're on a commuter campus, student organizations are a great way to spend some time with your classmates. Instead of just going to school and returning home, you can get involved and make lifelong friendships!

The University of Michigan- Dearborn offers many organizations to get involved in, and they range from typical university sponsored organizations such as student government and the student newspaper, to social and professional Greek organizations, and a whole host of other recognized student organizations. Specifically in the College of Business, there are organizations for every area of interest. These include: American Marketing Association, ITM Club, Supply Chain Club, Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting, Finance, ITM), and SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Involved!

Before you start your college career and when you're visiting universities, you might here some current students talk about student organizations.  You might here them say that you should get involved your first year of school, and they might say they got involved as sophomores and regret not getting involved right away.  And you, like me, might think, nah, what's the point?  I'll get involved as a sophomore or junior.  Are you thinking like that?


I know everything that students say about getting involved in student organizations is going to sound cliche, and you still might be in a phase where involvement "isn't cool" or maybe you're just too shy to even think about joining an organization by yourself (I guess that was my problem!).  Let me tell you, most student organizations want to have as many active members as possible, and if you're willing to put in some effort, they will fully embrace you, so don't be scared!

I'm going to give you a few reasons why you should get involved, and over the next few days I'll expand on these reasons:

  1. You meet people.
  2. You get the opportunity to help others.
  3. You can explore your career options.
  4. You can get experience for your resume.
Most of what I am going to discuss is focusing on major-specific clubs.  While social clubs are a great way to get involved and meet people too, clubs that focus around business, engineering, medicine, etc. are going to provide you with more valuable experience.  Get involved in whatever you're interested in and what you can manage with your schedule, but one club should be geared toward your major.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Executive Perspective

Last Friday I had the privilege of sitting at a table with some executives and managers with connections to the University of Michigan- Dearborn.  This strange and scary activity called networking, I suppose. As the only student at the table, the businessmen were all interested in what I do, my major, and other questions students should learn to expect when networking (I'll post more on that another time!).  And I told them the usual, I'm a marketing major, what student organizations I'm involved in, etc. etc.

I also mentioned that I am currently taking a digital marketing position, and that immediately interested some of the men at the table.  One went on to explain to me that the digital marketing department at his company was just starting to grow.  All of them agreed that digital was the way the world is going.  I'm sure at some point they were excited to hear that the University of Michigan- Dearborn was introducing a digital marketing degree.

I was pleasantly surprised by this conversation, because I did not expect such a positive reaction!  I used to think that digital marketing was just a niche, and a digital marketing degree was limiting.  My opinion changes daily, and while I still haven't chosen to change my major, I think students interested in digital marketing definitely have to take into account their options for their college degree.  Don't settle for an average degree!  There are great universities with digital marketing degrees out there, and if you want to be the best, a great start is with a great education.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

University of Michigan- Dearborn

Today I'll be taking a look at the University of Michigan- Dearborn's digital marketing degree program. I'll also take a look at some of the advantages offered by UMD beyond their academic program.

If you attend UMD and you decide to major in digital marketing, you'll receive guidance on how to proceed through the degree program, obtaining your B.B.A. and also taking 31 credits of Liberal Arts courses.  Some of the B.B.A. core requirements include Operations Management, Statistics, Business Economics, Organizational Behavior, and Business Communication, to name a few.  The most important courses, however, are the ones related to the digital marketing major.  The two required core courses include Digital Consumer Search and Marketing and Digital Analytics and Content.  Three other courses are required for the digital marketing major, but they integrate both traditional and digital marketing.  To complete the major, students must choose two other courses from a listing of six marketing or information technology management classes.  The College of Business recommends double majoring in ITM, especially since the ITM courses that can be chosen would count towards the major.

UMD has a very strong academic curriculum, but what is offered beyond the classroom also sets this university apart.  Even though UMD is a commuter campus, the community aspect is stressed by the availability of student organizations.  There is a club in the College of Business for every major, and these clubs are: AMA (American Marketing Association), ITM Club, Supply Chain Club, and Beta Alpha Psi (for Accounting, Finance, and ITM majors).

Finally, the opportunity to develop your career through an internship is an essential part of any university's offerings.  The College of Business has a great internship program that is looking to bring companies who are looking for top talent to hire UMD students.  The internship office has relationships with many companies who know they can find great students to hire from this school.

If you're looking to major in digital marketing, the University of Michigan- Dearborn is definitely a school to consider.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why Digital Marketing?

Some of you might be wondering, why should I get a digital marketing degree?  Won't a marketing degree be enough?  Personally, I still intend on getting a marketing degree, but taking a digital marketing course has helped me see that there are a lot of things about digital that you won't learn in a conventional marketing course.

Take, for example, this article from the Search Engine Journal about The Top 15 Search-Related Terms All Businesses Need to Know.  Some terms, like Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click are fairly self-explanatory, but when you look at terms like Backlink, Anchor Text, and Meta Tags, you wouldn't be familiar with these terms unless you took a digital marketing course or educated yourself about digital marketing.

That is why finding the best digital marketing school is important.  The digital field is gaining popularity, and I know many business students at the University of Michigan Dearborn are switching over to this new major.  In the future, more schools are going to recognize the need for a digital marketing school.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Want to know more about digital marketing schools?

Hi everyone!

Thank you for checking out my blog.  I hope this will be a great resource for you on your search for the best digital marketing schools available!  Digital marketing degrees are growing in popularity, and as more universities begin to add some form of digital degree to their program, finding the best school for you will become a little more complicated!

For starters, what are some schools that already have digital marketing programs? (click on the names to learn more about the programs)

Of course, this list is not complete, but just a starting point for your research.  Over the coming months, I will compare degree programs and offer any other information possible to help you find the right school for you!