October 7, 2016

Creating a Digital Marketing education ecosystem in (east of) The Netherlands

The strugle of businesses and advertising agencies who are active in online marketing to find personnel with knowledge and skills on areas related to digital marketing is well known. Under pressure from the field more and more technology companies like Google, Microsoft or IBM are creating educational environments for fast-track education in various domains.
Google for example launched in the summer of this year an initiative called Google Talent Factory
targeting college students who wish to make a career in digital marketing.

The program not only offers the possibility to students to get in touch with AdWords but also brings in touch students with agencies interested to hire them. As one of the universities participating with more than 10 groups every year in the Google Online Marketing Challenge we were also approached to bring this opportunity under the attention of our students.
Google is not the only technology giant active in the education of future marketers. IBM is behind the initiative Big Data University that offers a variety of online courses. In our Master course
Advanced Topics in Digital Marketing we have included two of the courses offered namely the IBM Watson Analytics and the Big Data Introduction courses as part of the course curriculum. I could mention more such initiatives reflecting the increasing anxiety of the field about the inability of the higher education institutions to adapt their programs in Business Administration and Marketing in particular to the new market and social reality, namely that the online world has become a platform where commercial, educational, social and transaction activities are increasingly taking place.
Here in the Netherlands and also in the east of the Netherlands where out University is located we observe an increasing interest by local businesses active in digital marketing domains to get involved and assist us in our efforts to educate and provide skills to future marketers. Companies like Team Nijhuis (top Google Partner in the Netherlands), AdWise (a very successful agency in online Marketing) are companies actively participate in our Digital Marketing courses providing guest lecturers and case studies. This week I attended with some of my students an open house event by a company in Enschede (Lime Square) specialized in Neuromarketing techniques. I was very pleased to see that the CEO of this company was welcoming visits and use of their labs by our students.
Another initiative taking place in the Netherlands is that teachers / professors of Digital marketing from the country will have a first meeting in October to discuss the state of affairs of the digital Marketing in The Netherlands. Possibly a yearly symposium of Digital Marketing in Education will be the outcome of this event.
All these facts signal the creation of a digital Marketing ecosystem in this country. We as University of Twente want to be in the forefront of this effort. After all the moto of this university is High Tech - Human Touch.