An Agile Approach to Digital Marketing Instruction

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In his blog on Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and an Agile approach to development, Nicolo Mantini uses the Gartner model to support the idea that combining these three approaches is the key to the success of startups.  In his opinion, entrepreneurs should empathize, define, and ideate through design thinking in the challenge to redefine problems and create new strategies and solutions.  Next, they should turn ideas into business models through a lean discovery process on whether or not the business model is viable.  And finally, entrepreneurs should build and deliver products incrementally and faster through an agile process that happens through many iterations rather than designing the entire piece at one time.

At The Social Media Magnet, we support these ideas as we seek to build courseware that creates a new solution to the difficulty of teaching in a domain that is ever-changing.  The aging problem with digital marketing instruction is how to stay relevant as an academic.  In the face of this difficulty, many universities decided to employ practitioners to teach in an adjunct or clinical capacity.  For those professors, sometimes the lack of experience in the classroom provided some difficult challenges in connecting and instructing students in ways that were familiar to them.  For tenure-track professors who want to teach in this area, we face a different problem.  We are not practitioners.  We don’t work in a digital agency everyday, so how can we as instructors possibly keep up with the changing dynamics of a digital field that is constantly moving.  As a member of the latter group, I empathized with those feelings.

This led to an interesting conversation with a mentor of mine in the field.  He was a CMO at a popular local company and I challenged him with this dilemma.  We started brainstorming, and then we began testing ideas and classroom practices.  We have worked on this model for over five years with significant results in the classroom, one section at a time, consistently testing strategies of how to be agile in this changing environment.  Through incremental changes, testing of processes, listening to former students, and then sprinting in methodical increments to continue developing the missing pieces, we were excited about the pedagogy that we were building.  We tested hypotheses, scrapped some old processes, and built new ones with even more confidence.  But there was always one problem that eluded us: scalability.  By no means do we currently consider the whole pedagogical process complete, but we finally figured out how to scale it, and with that epiphany, we are now here eager to show it to you.

Why don’t you come and take a closer look at what we are doing and how we are doing it.  What is… it? The Social Media Magnet is a new paradigm in digital and social media instruction that occurs in a LIVE and dynamic marketplace, where college students can learn how to run a digital marketing campaign using their own topic, their own content, their own strategies and tactics.  Is there any other way to learn to swim than leaping into the deep end of a real pool?  We don’t think so.  Come take a leap with us!

If you are Marketing or Communications professor curious about The Social Media Magnet, check our professor overview with highlights of our features and benefits.  If you would be interested in considering The Social Media Magnet for your university, we have a professor preview function that would allow you to work with some of the content.  Or if you just have some general questions, feel free to contact us.  We would love to assist you however possible.


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