Want to know where marketing is headed in the next five years? You could devote your efforts to scanning analyst reports, attending webinars, and shuffling through the myriad of marketing books that are out there, but the answer might actually be easier to find than you think. Why not just look at what is currently being taught in universities?
Industry and education have always been tightly coupled, and there is a cyclical nature to their relationship. New programs and degrees arise as changes in industry create demand, and new professionals coming out of school eagerly seek to advance their industries with what they have learned.
In the realm of marketing, this pattern is once again beginning to manifest itself, as the ever-growing landscape of marketing technology complements the trend in higher education toward technology-oriented degrees. The most recent case of this stems from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where Dr. Kevin W. Tharp has meticulously designed the first ever Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing Technology degree. In his guest blog post on Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, Tharp outlines a framework for Marketing Technologist competencies as he sees them, from which he designed the new DMT degree.
Dr. Tharp’s framework is built upon two axes, where the x-axis focuses on process, from consumption to creation, and the y-axis focuses on communication, from systems to message.
From this structure arise four distinct facets of marketing technology: content, design, distribution, and development. Although historically work in each of these areas has remained somewhat isolated from the others, as new technologies emerge, they have begun to converge and open up new opportunities altogether. For example, where content and design come together you have HTML, CSS, and multimedia, and where design and development come together you have things like web apps and media queries.
However, as Dr. Tharp explains, the true value comes when three of the facets overlap, forming unique online capabilities. For example, at the intersection of content, distribution, and development lies CRM, one of the tools that has transformed traditional marketing and opened up entirely new ways to understand and communicate with one’s customers. Of course, the ultimate goal is to unite all four of these facets to create a true online presence, which is what Dr. Tharp aims to teach in his new program.
Those who understand and have a vision for how to unite these MarTech competencies will make for very attractive marketers in the years to come. At TopRight, we understand the value of creating a truly unique online presence because we see the difference that it makes when we help our clients do so. Is your company listening to the message that both the educational system and the industry are proclaiming? Take our quick Digital Marketing Assessment to find out.