Thursday, August 8, 2013

5 Things I Never Learned in University

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With back-to-school just around the corner, this is a perfect time to reflect back on the things I never learned in University.

Don`t get me wrong, while in University I have learned a great deal about marketing that has helped me in my business today. However, thinking back, there are a few key things that I wished I had learned.

Here are 5 things I never learned in University:

1) Graphic Design
Surprisingly enough, graphic design was never taught in any of the marketing classes I took. Granted, graphic design is a specialized field that takes more than one class to learn, but the amount of marketing positions that require basic graphic design skills is on the rise. So why haven’t we learned the basics of graphic design in University? Learning the basics of graphic design can allow you to have better control over your online brand image, and marketing campaigns. Marketers are expected to not only be able to create verbal content, but visual content as well, or at least have an understanding of the creative design process. With the increasing usage of Pinterest, it’s no surprise that visual images are just as powerful as words, and with the branding capabilities of graphic design it's becoming increasing important to know the basics of graphic design.

2) Social Media
Perhaps when I was in school, social media was still a relatively new concept to some people, but it`s a major component in marketing. Surprisingly, while I was in University, social media was a taboo topic not discussed in any marketing class (and it wasn`t that long ago I was in University). I often wonder if the lack of social media usage during marketing classes is due to professor’s lack of knowledge, as many courses were heavily focused on traditional marketing tactics. Think back to the #shipmypants campaign, and their social integration with traditional marketing.

3) SEO
I briefly learned about paid and organic SEO in our e-marketing class, but the topic still can be confusing to some. Without the helpful articles online, I’m not sure if I would even be able to grasp the full concept of SEO. It is valuable tool to marketers and businesses, and it definitely needs more attention in University.

4) Blogging
Although in University, we spent hours on end writing papers and business plans, none of our content was formatted to the digital world. Writing online, aka blogging, has never been taught in any of my marketing classes. It seems the value of it has been completely lost, when in fact it shouldn’t have been. Blogging has essentially exploded in the marketing realm, it no longer is the traditional medium for writing down your thoughts as if it were a personal diary. Blogging can be very valuable as it can help grow your business, and create organic SEO. A blog article related to your business can attract potential consumers and generate leads. Tie this in with Social Media and you’ve got a winning marketing strategy!

5) Personal Brand
Personal branding is a great way to help market ourselves to others, and although that may seem strange, I owe my business success to personal branding. Personal branding isn’t a tool made for well-known people, such as celebrities. It can benefit anyone, such as entrepreneurs starting a new business, consultants looking for more clients and students looking for the perfect internship. Personal branding gets you noticed by others, and unfortunately had no place in my University education.

It seems Universities and some businesses are still stuck in the traditional world of marketing, when they should be making the shift into the digital world. Marketing has vastly changed over the years, and will continue to do so. It`s important for Universities to adapt and change their course outlines in a similar fashion to the way businesses adapt their marketing efforts to an ever changing industry. As marketers, we spend the majority of the time on hands-on areas, such as content writing and social media. It would have been extremely helpful to have learned these skills prior to graduating from University, or have some working knowledge of them!

As always, we encourage you to leave a comment below and tell us what you would add to this list.

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1 comment:

  1. You are right. If you are as old as me then those things were not taught in school. My have the times changed. :)