Think of advertising school and you might picture students feverishly practicing campaign slogans or learning how to chart market share. And while that’s still part of the curriculum today, there’s no denying the face of advertising has changed in the digital era. That means universities looking to provide a relevant education need to adapt their curriculum as well.
One university that’s doing just that is Southern Methodist University’s Temerlin Advertising Institute – and part of their modern instruction included inviting Simpli.fi’s chief revenue officer, James Moore, to speak about digital advertising.
Today’s students are entering a world of marketing and technology that’s evolving fast. That’s why it’s important to introduce college students to the latest developments – not only because the industry has changed, but because it’s going to keep changing. A few short years ago video ads were cutting edge. Today they’re de rigueur. Same for mobile; it seems like just yesterday marketing leaders were pondering how much budget to spend on the radical new reality of ads on smart phones. These days, who doesn’t have mobile built into their budget?
Technology is transforming the world, of course, not just our corner of it. Yet many schools still haven’t encompassed these changes in their coursework and degrees. Check any business magazine and you’ll see executives complaining their newest hires don’t have the right skill sets. It’s a workplace reality, and it isn’t any fun for new graduates, either. Often they find themselves bewildered in their first job, stuck with a pile of student loan debt, and wondering why their professors didn’t teach them what’s really happening in their chosen industries.
The best students are hungry for real world experience, and there aren’t many leaders that have more experience or insights than James. The juniors and seniors that attended his session at Temerlin showed they are passionate about programmatic advertising. His 80-minute session explained the basics of digital marketing and the developments driving the industry. The question was, would they understand the potential for the new possibilities for display, social, video and mobile? Would they grasp the benefits of advanced programmatic platforms in a day to day context?
In a word: yes. Turns out Temerlin students are smart, informed and clued into the evolution of digital marketing. They participated in a great talk about data-driven real time bidding and what that means for the way media is bought and sold. They were curious about native, the role programmatic may play in optimizing messaging and creative decisions and wanted to know more about data collection and how the ecosystem is monetized. James explained concepts like geo-fencing, location marketing, site and search retargeting, category and keyword contextual, and discussed their real-life applications. And he shared how advanced programmatic platforms are transcending old school limitations like pre-packaged data segments.
As often happens, James attended the session to share his deep knowledge, but came away from the Temerlin session inspired by the students’ appetite for knowledge. Succeeding in advertising today means understanding that the learning never stops. The leaders of tomorrow will embrace innovations and find ways to make them useful. We talk a lot about the latest tech wizardry that lets us connect messages to audiences, but the industry can’t forget that it takes people to make the magic happen. Interacting with the up and coming new generation of programmatic advertisers, it’s clear we can look forward to a future of new visionaries that will embrace and advance this dynamic industry.