If you ever interviewed marketing candidates straight out of college, you’ve likely observed an unusual trend. These rising youthful professionals might be sharp, thoughtful digital natives – but very frequently, they don’t possess the digital marketing skills necessary in the modern marketplace. The main reason? College marketing departments are outdated.
The center of gravity for a big part of the marketing world has moved online. Within my firm’s area of expertise, the landscape has altered rapidly. It moved from brochures and emails to content marketing and social media campaigns. Inside a study that included more than 1,000 professional services users, we found that more than 80% of buyers turn to a firm’s website to get more information about firms business, making websites probably the most commonly used source of initial purchasing evaluations.
Most companies know that the rules have changed compared to what they were only a few years ago. What is starting to appear very obvious is that colleges aren’t prepared to follow these rapid transformations, and students are paying the price.
WHAT STUDENTS LEARN-AND WHAT THEY LACK
Typically, college marketing programs offer courses on topics such as marketing analytics, quantitative analysis, marketing research techniques, and marketing management. These skills are very helpful, but they frequently haven’t been optimized for a quick-moving realm of digital marketing.
However, the most serious issue is based on the themes students don’t cover in more detail. The list is long: Content marketing, internet search engine optimization, social networking, marketing software skills (CRM, CMS, and marketing automation), and much more. All of these skills are essential for designing effective digital marketing programs nowadays. The thing is, they’re chronically overlooked and ignored by universities.
If marketing students want to become successful professionals in the future, they’ll need to be proficient in at least three key areas.
CONTENT MARKETING AND SEO
Closing business once was related to the hard sell, but the situation has changed. Consumers today have grown to be more skeptical of direct pitches. They’re now searching for businesses that can prove their expertise, can instruct them and can help to address their challenges.
Since they look for companies like this, buyers are using online search, and companies that are highly ranked in searching engines have a significant advantage comparing to others. Internet search engine optimization (Search engine optimization) isn’t new, but the discipline has gone through fundamental alterations in the span of merely a couple of years.
Google makes over 500 algorithmic updates every year, and Search engine optimization tactics that worked only a couple of years back can lead to various issues on your website or even a significant drop in your rankings. As a confirmation of the impact Search engine optimization can have on a business’s website, LinkedIn rated Search engine optimization as the fifth most important professional skill of 2014.
It is vital for students to learn how companies use educational content to demonstrate expertise and educate prospects, projecting their understanding and problem-solving approach over a number of modern marketing channels. This encompasses various subjects, from writing engaging blogs to using viral videos.
Similarly, students need to understand how to optimize that content for visibility searching engines based on up-to-date methods and guidelines. Search engine optimization is an area where outdated information can be a cause of compromising entire marketing program of a company, and students should be aware of this.
Many university students today happen to be social networking mavens, using a number of platforms regularly in their personal lives. But this doesn’t always mean fluency in social networking for business. Within the marketing industry, social networking is a method to promote content, showcase a firm’s culture and brand, interact with prospects and industry influencers, demonstrate expertise, and much more. But by all indications, most college marketing programs are neglecting the importance of exploring these topics.
Students seeking marketing jobs need to learn how to use social networking to create website referral traffic while increasing firm visibility, and how social networking correlates to being present in search engines like Google. Their understanding needs to exceed everyday use-they have to be aware of ins-and-outs of LinkedIn Groups, Google Communities, social advertising, along with other features. For a lot of schools, this can mean seriously exploring methods of social networking-and altering their social media programs once the industry evolves..
LEAD NURTURING AND TECHNICAL SKILLS
As the effectiveness of the hard sell has decreased, it brought focus to nurturing leads through the sales funnel. This complex process is driven mainly by online content made to address the requirements and interests of prospects at each stage of the sales process.
To become strong job candidates, students need to comprehend the way the lead nurturing model works, and just how various kinds of content, like blogs, e-books, and webinars serve different audience needs.
Furthermore, students should know about the most typical kinds of software that drive a contemporary digital marketing program. Many companies today require jobseekers to possess knowledge about specific software. Teaching a few of these tools in-depth will give students a significant advantage.
Important types of marketing software include:
- E-mail marketing software
- Social Media management platforms and analytics
- Google Analytics and Adwords
- CRM software (Customer Relationship Management)
- CMS (Content Management Systems)
While internships may supply some students with an experience in a few of these technologies, not all student can manage or afford such internships-and technology is a perfect subject for in-depth examination within the classroom.
Ultimately, to be able to serve students most effectively, many college marketing programs will need to examine the way that will help them keep pace with the ever-changing industry. This could mean exploring professional partnerships with major educational organizations inside the industry. On the smaller size scale, it could mean contacting employers and discussing the skills and abilities they require from people looking for work.
Whatever the strategy, it’s obvious that lots of schools have to update their marketing curricula