Marketing has always been about knowing your customer. But figuring out what people want today takes contemporary skills: understanding the digital world and analytics, and how both inform the art of branding.
Learning to combine those components is at the heart of Florida International University’s new Master of Science in Marketing, said Anthony D. Miyazaki, who chairs the Department of Marketing in the College of Business. The 10-month degree program, which begins in January, leverages the skills of FIU Business professors who already use these elements in their professional practices and classroom teaching.
Four years in the making, the program was designed with the guidance of industry professionals from South Florida and beyond, who weighed in on what employers seek as marketing and emerging technology become more intertwined. “We really wanted to have something top level, and that is what we have today,” Miyazaki said.
Well-rounded education is the scaffolding.
Yet the program is more than adapting informatics to today’s marketplace, Miyazaki explained. The foundation rests on a solid marketing education, with a focus on fundamentals. Students are expected to develop their own personal and professional brand, a component partly modeled on FIU’s highly successful Marketing Yourself course – the college’s most popular upper division undergraduate business class.
Networking, both with other students and visiting professionals, is emphasized as well, he said. “We help provide the connections for the students,” Miyazaki said, adding that ties made in school are long-lasting. “They all help to build each other,” he said. “This network of industry professionals will last throughout their careers.”
Still, what employers say they want are graduates who understand how analytics, digital marketing and branding combine to create a new paradigm. “The underlying concept of marketing hasn’t changed,” noted Miyazaki, but what has is “the information available to us to make good marketing decisions.”
That means being able to usefully parse the various streams of data organizations increasingly access, be it through their own websites or other available platforms. “Now we can analyze data more quickly and be precise in how we understand consumers not only as groups but as individuals,” Miyazaki explained.
The curriculum is tailored to marketplace demands and brings together everything that relates to the consumer’s digital experience, said Andres Campo, founder and owner of Axxis Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in customer relationship management and digital marketing automation, who provided feedback to the department on the design of the program. Campo is a board member of the FIU College of Business Alumni Association and Axxis Solutions is a corporate sponsor of the FIU Global Sales Lab.
Understanding digital marketing and especially the use of online and mobile devices is ever-more crucial, he said. Consumer behavior today, Campo noted, is vastly different from even five years ago as retail, banking, healthcare and other business done online accounts for almost two-thirds of such transactions, with an emphasis on the digital experience. Up next will be understanding and analyzing the avalanche of data expected to soon arrive from fitness devices and even home appliances, such as refrigerators.
“The speed at which businesses are innovating in digital marketing is faster than ever,” he said. “We need employees ready for the new paradigm.”
The Marketing Department regularly hosts information sessions to present an overview of the program and answer questions. For more information about the program, visit msm.fiu.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-348-2571.