Future-focused digital marketing

Since joining the University of Auckland Business School in 2020, I have been involved in developing, teaching and coordinating new undergraduate and postgraduate digital marketing courses such as MKTG 304 Digital Marketing, BUSMAN720 Digital Marketing Strategy and BUSMAN722 Digital Branding & Advertising. Embedding future-ready employability attributes and cutting-edge technology was one of the key focus areas across all digital marketing courses. To be successful, they needed to deliver a relevant future-oriented curriculum, an ongoing partnership with industry leaders, and the integration of skill-based learning.

digital marketing course at the University of Auckland. Teams work in the client's buyer persona

After two years of teaching and coordinating digital marketing courses, I can say that they have become a “go-to” source for all things digital for business students, colleagues in the Marketing Department and businesses looking for a collaboration with the Business School.

Partnership with HubSpot

To ensure that the course translates digital marketing concepts into meaningful learning, in 2020, I initiated a partnership with HubSpot Education Partner Program (EDPP). HubSpot is the global industry leader in digital marketing and marketing automation. Due to this very welcome partnership, the digital marketing students experience one of the leading inbound marketing software widely used by many businesses in New Zealand and worldwide. Students get free access to HubSpot software valued at over $8,000/month, digital marketing resources, expert workshops and recognised industry certifications. Since 2020 over 500 digital marketing students have completed HubSpot certifications.

HubSpot Academy Education Partner Program offers free industry certifications

Real organisations as clients

The most exciting thing about the course is that students work with New Zealand organisations as clients. Based on a client’s brief, students develop data-driven digital marketing proposals that integrate actionable solutions, including SEO, digital ads, social media and content marketing. Among our clients are First Light Travel (New Zealand’s only Qualmark Gold Travel Agency), Orewa Kiwi Cabins, Papaya Stories, Thai Boxing Gym, Insidery, and Doc Edge, a New Zealand’s Academy Award-qualifying international documentary film festival. In this regard, digital marketing students not only learn and practice top marketing skills in demand but help businesses from different industries find new growth opportunities. Here is feedback from one of our clients, Insidery, a not-for-profit startup. Due to this very welcome partnership, the digital marketing students experienced the integrated digital marketing campaign design and truly enjoyed it.

In addition, to let students build a portfolio of industry-related experiences, they are regularly provided with internship opportunities offered by digital marketing agencies such as Conversologie, The Recipe, WeAreTENZING, Disruptive Unicorns, Orbit and others.

“For me, the most rewarding part has been using real-life industry tools and working with industry professionals to gain knowledge I wouldnโ€™t have gotten in the workplace. The assignments are all practical and allowed me to learn skills I have used in my job”

Brittany Luhrs, Marketing Coordinator at WeAreTENZING

All courses I develop and teach incorporate various e-learning tools and applications. Apart from Canvas and Google-based platforms, I continuously use the best industry resources, including Padlet, Miro and Trello as they provide great collaborative value and prepare students for the industry. In my choices of pedagogy, I am driven toward preparing students for challenges associated with their career plans and industry expectations. In this sense, I try to bring innovative industry-focused approaches to teaching and learning to my classes that allow students to broaden their personal and work-related capabilities.