It’s no secret that marketing is an ever-changing industry – evolving from print to radio, radio to TV, TV to computers, and so forth. The best marketing plans, practices, and strategies are always growing and adapting. In fact, this constantly evolving nature within marketing is what drew me to pursue it, especially when compared to more stagnant business topics such as finance and accounting – interest rates, balance sheets, and confusing SEC rules… snoozefest.

But, with all these changes in the industry, the topics taught in school need to change with them. As a marketing major going into my senior year, I’d like to think that I’m qualified to talk about how marketing is currently being taught. After all, I only slept through a couple of classes.

Social Media Marketing

It should come as no surprise that the main focus of almost all of my marketing classes revolves around brands’ online presence. In a course I took called Services Marketing, we looked at how brands soared through successful social media marketing. One case we studied involved a marketing campaign that stole the show of the 2015 Super Bowl, despite not having a second of airtime during the biggest marketing event of the year. Volvo was able to generate 230 million media impressions worth $44 million without spending a single penny. How did they do it? Nope, it wasn’t witchcraft; it was a genius social media marketing campaign.

Before the big game, Volvo let the nation know they could win a new Volvo for a loved one during the Super Bowl. All they had to do was tweet their loved one’s name along with the hashtag “#Volvocontest” whenever a car commercial aired. This campaign generated over 55,000 tweets during the Super Bowl and Volvo was the only car company that trended nationally and globally during the event. And best of all, their new XC60 model saw a 70% increase in sales the following month. This one-of-a-kind social media marketing campaign became known as “the greatest interception ever”. This marketing campaign was born from creativity. And my courses were constantly trying to reinforce the idea of thinking outside the box.

Cultivating Your Image

The best campaigns are the ones that engage people uniquely. But we didn’t only learn about the boldest and the brightest campaigns; we also covered the absolute worst of the worst. For example, the Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial that we all know (and hate). During a very divided time in our nation, everyone could at least agree on one thing – how bad this commercial was. This ad showed Kendall Jenner ending a heated public protest after handing a police officer a cold can of Pepsi. It is safe to say that it came off as highly insincere and forced by the beverage company. This example was used to show that the messages you put out to the public can have just as negative an effect as it does positive, meaning you need to think about the message behind your work.

All About the Audience

Another recurring theme throughout my classes has been how to best design your message. This includes thinking about your target market – are they college kids? New parents? People who spend a lot of time outdoors? Those who like to read marketing blogs? It also includes elements such as what communication channel you will use. Print reaches fewer people than other forms of advertisements, but it can also be cheaper. Radio reaches a lot of people, but it can be challenging to separate yourself from other ads. Videos, either online or on TV, can reach many people and are the most engaging, but they also come with the highest cost. Another question is how do we appeal to customers in our ad? Do we want to throw statistics and numbers at them or try and entertain them with a catchy jingle or a quick laugh?

Like I said before, marketing is constantly adapting to the next best thing, and so are marketing classes. While I’m sure marketing students in 2032 will be learning about VR advertisements in the metaverse, I’m just glad I won’t have to procrastinate studying for that final.

And just like marketing classes, we at Apple Box are also great at adapting to the next best thing. That’s why DesignRush listed us as one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies in Pittsburgh!