Welcome current, former, and future students of Palomar College. I hope you find this web page useful to learn more about me, the classes I teach, and the projects in which I’m involved. Enjoy. And feel free to post your comments.
I’m writing my sabbatical report EARLY so I don’t have to worry about it over the summer. And you know what? I did a TON of stuff! In addition to the official objectives, I also:
- Launched a new class
- Reviewed and changed book for advertising
- Participated in department meeting
- Participated in Mira Costa Business Dept Advisory Meeting
- Learned Connect and integrated it into Fall 13 and Spring 14 classes
- Reviewed Business Admin Dept Web Site
- Created a Web Site (fake) to use in class
And, though not related to the sabbatical – I learned Italian. WOW. I guess reports ARE good thing so you can report on (and reflect upon) all the good work you’ve done. Hooray for me!
On Tuesday, April 23rd, I participated in the Mira Costa Business Dept. Advisory Board Meeting with Tom Severance (Chair) and Rita Souza (BUS COMM instructor). It’s always interesting to me to see what our sister college is doing with its business programs and the college overall.
1) Tom talked about the launch of the Social Media for Business Certificate. This is similar, but more narrow in scope, to Palomar’s E-Marketing degree.
2) We also learned about Mira Costa’s Community Programs in which they are providing concentrated training in manufacturing and security skills to enable students to be prepared for high-technology jobs.
3) In our breakout session, we talked with industry leaders about the skills they see LACKING in today’s 20-somethings who are applying for jobs. Communication skills, writing skills, team working, and other social skills topped the list. The irony to me is that today’s 20-somethings are the leaders in social media – yet they seem to lack true basic social skills. This is something to think about!
The evening ended with some socializing and beer tasting (the meeting was held in a local brewery, Latitude 33) and I met a new contact, Amy, who works for Sempra Energy. Overall, it was time well spent.
Today I visited Avanir Pharmaceuticals with Garret Akerson. Garret works at the digital agency, Motionstrand, and is teaching my BUS 150 class while I am on sabbatical. We met with Avanir to discuss the campaign for the drug Nuedexta. The meeting was to review analytics for the web site PBAfacts.com.
Here are some takeaways that will help me create new curriculum and teach my courses better:
1) Once again – analytics is king! Much of the creativity in advertising is being augmented and/or replaced with web analytics. Garret showed several Google Ad Groups that he created all with slightly different text/copy (only 1- 2 lines of copy). And that copy was based on key word searches. It was easy (and cheap) to test different text ads quickly and the analytics clearly showed which ones were most effective.
2) Mobile is king! Even though the target for this drug was older people, it was still interesting to see the number of people accessing the web site from their smartphone or tablet. The client discussed the importance of having a mobile site that would quickly get people to want to “opt in” in order to have more information sent.
3) Re-marketing — one of my new favorite terms – came up again. This is the idea of “following” your lead around on the web with continued ads about your product or service after they visit your site. I think this is an interesting term that I will introduce students to in both BUS 155 and BUS 150.
4) New activity ideas — I got a a great idea for an assignment. Having students take a REGULAR ad and then create a Google PPC ad from it — perhaps various versions based on key search terms. I think this will mimic very well what Garret Akerson was illustrating to his client.
I think this was my LAST interview/work day for my sabbatical. I believe I was supposed to interview 5-6 people, but I’ve interviewed about 10 — all is good.
I need to get my 2013 book adoptions in this Friday. That’s why I’m sitting on a McGraw-Hill webinar about Connect. I’m looking for interactive grammar learning exercised for my BUS 125 – Business English course.
Hopefully — in the next 30 minutes – I’ll know how to do this!
Wow – on Monday, April 22nd, I ‘m going to a client meeting for Avanir Pharmaceuticals along with the agency, Motionstrand. This will be the FIRST time that I’m on the opposite side of the fence (the agency side). Usually I’m the client! I can’t WAIT to be the agency — perhaps even feel a little Don Draper like — looking forward to see how we strategize on the way up and how we decide what to talk about/present to the client.
Attending a McGraw Hill Webinar right now on the Flipped Classroom. Good information that is really quite common sense for me. There’s a lot of information on “gamification” — basically making a game out of learning. I love this because I’ve been doing this since my early days in training sales reps. And, I’ve created many of my OWN games that I’ve been using in the classroom since I started teaching. What’s nice now is that the publishers (and many other web sites) are in on this now with technology that enhances gamification.
What I learned today on this site is the power again (of Twitter) for teaching. I like the idea of making a hashtag for class (#BUS150) and allowing students to discuss and share information outside the class.
Also – the presenter on this call (Jason Seitz) really likes LearnSmart – a gaming program through McGraw Hill – that I’ve been intrigued with. He suggests starting slow — which I think I’ll do on the Fall. I’ll try LearnSmart with a few chapters in BUS 155 — looking forward to see how it works.
Last night I finished my Web Marketing Strategies class. Our final project was due and a few students had to present theirs. What’s interesting are the feelings I felt as the class was coming to a close. I’m sure that these are not unlike the feelings my students have when my classes are over — so it’s important that I reflect on these.
1) The final project was a bear! And I know students feel the same about the final project in my class. At times, I wanted to give up on it. I think it’s because the Professor did not allow us enough class time to practice the new concepts we learned that he asked us to apply in the final project. So when I was writing the paper – it was the FIRST time I was putting what I learned into practice. And that caused some stress and self doubt. It’s important that I use class time to allow students to apply what they are learning so that they can go into their final projects with confidence.
2) Thinking about having to present my final project was anxiety provoking! And I’m a marketing professional, so I can only imagine how students must feel on final project presentation day. It’s good that the Professor provided a supportive and safe environment. He told us that the presentations were about making our projects better and that all feedback was to be good feedback. That helped a lot because I found that my understanding of the project was different from others — and that made me a bit uneasy during the presentations — but in the end – it all worked out. It’s important for me to think about how I felt last night and makes sure that I always make the classroom environment one that feels safe and open to feedback. I think my classroom environment IS already that way — but feeling what I felt last night (as a student) really opened my eyes to the importance of classroom culture.
Numbers, numbers, and more numbers. The more I’m learning about about digital marketing, the more I realize that a course in number crunching and analysis belongs in the new E-Marketing degree. This was confirmed by Micha Mikailian when we met on Monday, February 25th to talk about E-boost consulting and the work he does for clients. Micha commented that digital marketing is much more data driven than traditional marketing — and yes, I agree. There are SO many analytics – so many ways to measure — I think that’s why (as a traditional marketer) – I LOVE and HATE that. I need to spend a bit more time in Google analytics reviewing ALL the ways I can measure stuff. And, I need to consider adding a class on this OR adding an analytics section to the new social media class.
I met with Andrea Vaugn today of Andy Vaugn Marketing. What’s impressive about Andrea is that she is a friend and neighbor of mine who started her own small social media business. She’s a full-time mom – but just runs the business out of her home. This seems like EXACTLY the kind of thing I could imagine students doing Her job (as she explained) is the keep the news feed going for shopping centers and restaurant row. And, she says there is ALWAYS new business — small businesses NOT knowing how to incorporate social media – she clearly fills a niche. She explained that good content is 1-2 short sentences that will grab attention and that photos or quotes are a great place to start. She mentioned that the content shouldn’t be over promotional or about the business. According to Andrea “that’s not how you connect”. I was impressed with Andrea because with tenacity and a knowledge of Facebook, she has been able to create (and grow) her own business. I will use this as an inspirational story with my students!