When you walk by Bryant’s Digital Marketing classroom, you notice laptop and smartphone screens aglow with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Unlike other classes, where students might be checking social media on the sly, here it is a course imperative.
Professor Attaran, a digital marketing specialist, developed the Digital Marketing course to bridge a knowledge gap between students’ digital media skills and businesses’ expectations for graduates. Inspired by Bryant’s culture and history of connecting students to the community, along with her personal drive to put the University on the map for digital strategy education, Attaran decided to bring real clients into the coursework.
Recently, Digital Marketing students, in teams of four or five each, served 11 regional businesses from a variety of industries. Autocrat, John Carol Law, and Rosalina Restaurant were among their business partners. The challenge? Design and implement a digital marketing strategy including goals, tactics, and metrics for success.
Expectations are steep. Students are required to handle market research, search engine optimization, writing, client management, branding, content marketing, and more as part of their projects. In addition, they must become adept at digital marketing best practices using tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Google Analytics.
“At the beginning of the semester, it can be overwhelming for students. But then they have their first client meetings and start working,” Attaran says. “It’s great to see their confidence grow as they start posting on a company’s behalf to Facebook, etc. That’s when the true stars come out.”
Attaran, who also advises Bryant’s Marketing Association and Bryant’s chapter of Mu Kappa Tau, the marketing honor society, pushes students to quantify and examine what works, testing concepts through rapid prototyping. “It’s high accountability. It’s live. It’s public. The whole world can see it.”
● Social media
● Digital marketing strategies
● Consumer behavior
● Faculty advisor, Bryant Marketing Association
● Member, Bryant Scholars Review Council
Faculty advisor, Mu Kappa Tau, the marketing honor society
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