If you would go ahead and talk to just a few fresh-out-of-college marketing graduates, you’ll most likely observe an interesting aspect. Young professionals that have studied marketing and entrepreneurship in college seem to be sharp, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. The only problem is this: Marketing Essentials College Doesn’t Teach
They’ve built knowledge and skills that are no longer essential in today’s marketplace. All too often, college graduates seem to be lacking digital marketing expertise. The world never sits in one place. Everything changes, especially the marketplace. If you expect to have a successful business, online promotion is an absolute must.
The Major Issue
The big problem when it comes to traditional education is very obvious if we perceive it from a marketing angle. Let’s say that today we change all the marketing books in the US. Add the new marketing practices, strategies, and trends. In 2 years from now, these books will be totally outdated, and people studying from them will focus on the wrong things.
The marketplace is always changing. Lately, it changes much more frequently because the technology is also improving very quickly. Therefore, how can we expect fresh-out-of-college marketing students to perform efficiently in the workplace? The best thing to do is hope that more students will begin to assume responsibility and begin studying on their own.
What Does Traditional Marketing Education Lack?
Most frequently, students that specialize in marketing and also those who take university marketing courses will learn about:
- Quantitative Analysis
- Marketing Management
- Marketing Analytics
- Marketing Research
These skills are truly useful. However, they’re not essential. Do you know what’s essential today?
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- SEO Marketing
- Lead Nurturing/Email Marketing
Colleges don’t teach this, and this is unfortunate for most of the graduates who actually believe they’re “good to work” for a big company. The previously mentioned areas of digital marketing are basically the bread and butter of online marketing.
All fresh graduates that wish for a fruitful career in the marketing field should understand and acknowledge the importance of these 4 essential marketing areas, which happen to rule the today’s competitive digital marketplace.
Social Media Marketing
Most of today’s graduates are already familiar with social media channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn – they’re all popular in the US and not only. However, using social media for personal use is very different from using it for business purposes. In today’s digital marketing industry, social media is an effective way of improving your brand’s reach, showcasing your products and services, and networking.
Marketing graduates that wish to provide value to their hiring companies must understand and leverage the power of social channels for business. Traffic generation, organic reach, and paid reach are just some of the essential aspects that social media marketing deals with. If you don’t know what CTR, CPL, ROI means, you’d better start learning the basics.
Content marketing is a very appealing digital strategy today, as 60% of marketers develop at least one piece of content on a daily basis. Consumers nowadays are tired of intrusive marketing. They now expect value and relevancy, otherwise, they’ll hardly trust or buy from any brand that doesn’t meet their criteria.
“In order for modern companies to thrive in the online sphere, they must do their best to capture their audience’s attention through non-intrusive triggers. Educate first, sell after. Every marketing graduate must understand this aspect, or else their marketing campaigns and efforts will not be effective.” – Justin Osborne, Social Media Manager at BestDissertation
Search Engine Marketing (SEO)
SEO and content marketing are two marketing practices that work extremely well together. Basically, for the main search engines to index and rank your content, you should consistently post unique, valuable, and impeccable content on your website. Whether you do it through a blog or through distinct website pages, it doesn’t matter.
Google is continuously changing its algorithms. In fact, they make over 500 algorithm updates each year, so what works today might stop working tomorrow. How could schools keep up with the ever-changing SEO? I haven’t found a palpable answer yet, but I shall keep trying.
Now – for marketing graduates to be helpful in the office, they must grasp concepts such as ON-Page Optimization, OFF-Page Optimization, link building, indexing, keyword usage, and much more. Those who lack this knowledge are likely to disappoint their companies by bringing insufficient results to the table.
Lead Nurturing/Email Marketing
Let’s not forget about email marketing. Ten years ago, people were using email as a mean of personal communication. In the present times, email communication is the primary way in which brands/professionals develop and nurture relationships with their (potential) clients/customers.
If marketers want to make sales today, you can no longer approach cold selling techniques. They’re no longer effective. Instead, you should try to develop relationships which are based on value and respect. To do well in the workplace, a marketing graduate should very well understand how lead systems work. He should also be familiar with the latest email marketing tools, social media software, and analytics tools.
Do colleges do a great work teaching marketing students? The answer is a big NO.
This issue is not new. If we look back in history, we can see plenty of cases in which the traditional education has failed the expectations of students. In order for students to actually benefit from their classes and courses, universities should immediately reconsider the content of their current lectures. Today’s marketing curricula are terribly inefficient. As long as universities keep it that way, most graduates will be highly disappointed once they encounter the real-world truth.
Warren’s lifestyle is full of hiking adventures. When he’s not busy with his guitar or enjoying the sunny day outside, he excels at blogging skills and leaps through social media.