Written by Anita Verna Crofts.
In these uncertain times, efforts to predict the future become even more popular. But in the world of marketing and communications, such predictive mojo has always been coveted. This is why when Comm Lead faculty member Rob Salkowitz first proposed his MCDM course, The Future of Marketing: How Digital Media is Changing the Practice of Commercial and Consumer Engagement, I knew it was destined to become a staple of our curriculum.
To start, as a writer, educator and consultant specializing in the future of marketing and creative industries in the digital media era, Rob was the perfect person to build and teach the class. He started teaching for our program in 2011, adding his expertise to our offerings on emerging markets and digital media, and designing our first class that considered the intersection of transmedia and business. As the co-founder of the Seattle-based communications firm MediaPlant, he consults with companies worldwide to help them make sense of trends in the creative industries, including the rising influence of comics and pop culture events. In addition to authoring five books, Rob’s work has appeared in Fast Company, Publishers Weekly, The New York Times, Forbes and other publications—often offering his insights on current and future trends.
This particular course captures the question that companies around the world seek out Rob to answer: “What technologies are shaping marketing, advertising, media, public relations and communications in the two to four-year horizon?” Students examine the impact of social media, mobility, big data, new content and rich media distribution technologies, multi-platform storytelling, apps, and other digital innovation on audience engagement—while at the same time coming up with strategies and predictions of their own. As one student noted, “The first day of class, Rob tells you that there is no crystal ball to predict the future of marketing. However, it really does feel like we were able to divine the future.” In this world the rewards vision twinned with focused strategy steeped in research, Rob’s students position themselves well for the challenges ahead.
For a peek at a full year of Comm Lead courses searchable by quarter and year, visit the Curriculum page on our website—student testimonials are included for each course as well!
View other articles from the Comm Lead Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2017:
Storytelling in Tanzania? Yes please!
Plan for a Million: Q&A with Womxn’s March organizer Liz Hunter