C4D Chief Content Officer Matt McKenzie and I have been presented with a unique opportunity: Teach a Content Marketing class as part of a Digital Marketing Course at BendPoly, which holds 6- to 8-week courses on in-demand skills for college undergrads, graduates and working professionals.
Not only is the mission of BendPoly itself interesting, as it’s meant to augment college education with real-world training — the 9th semester as they call it — but so is BendPoly’s explanation of the need for the Digital Marketing course:
According to IDC, “The marketing software market is expected to grow to more than $32.3 billion in 2018. It will be one of the fastest-growing areas in high tech.” Yet the practical skills required to be a successful digital marketer are not taught in higher education.
The BendPoly Digital Marketing Course is designed to be your “9th semester.”
We all know that content marketing is a relatively new concept, but this was a gentle reminder of how new. It also caused me to stop, breathe and look at how far we’ve come and then ask, What do we tell these students that will help them prepare for a future of content and digital marketing?
So I have combed the Web reading content marketing predictions about what the future of marketing holds and, interestingly enough, it’s not a heck of lot different than what we knew before content marketing. What bubbles to the top are things we should have been doing before content marketing and should continue to do now that content marketing is here. What I think happened is that we got side-tracked – content and marketing automation was the shiny new object or for those of you have children and are familiar with the dog from the movie Up, it’s our squirrel. We dove in feet first without going back to the core of marketing.
So, while we are excited to teach students about all the “new” knowledge we have on content marketing, it will be key for us to drive home the core of what we were all taught as marketers:
- Buyer-centric anything wins out in all marketing;
- Take a strategic approach to any marketing plan; and
- Be ready to prove your ROI.
A huge thanks to our friends and family at BlueBird Strategies for the opportunity to participate in this amazing experience. We are honored and humbled by the invitation, and hope to pass on some knowledge that will make a difference for students wanting to pursue a career in digital/content marketing.