Starting Jan 24th, in addition to my consulting business, I’ll be teaching an MBA class at NYU/Stern school of business entitled “Social media for brand managers”. The class has hit maximum registration, indicating how hot this topic is. However, from a survey we did among the students, we found that only 15% are really savvy about social media. The rest are marketing students who understand how important it is to skate to where the puck is going to be and in fact, already is. Of course, the puck is constantly moving. For example, mobile is bringing social and digital right into the store on a smart phone that will make the payment as they have been in Asia. The news about social media’s importance emerges daily. Just today, Booz came out with a report that suggests social commerce will become a $30 billion business by 2015.
Students expressed in their own words what they want to get out of the course. There is no question that there is fear. One even said that they did not yet understand the marketing implications of social media and wanted to “meet the enemy”. Very honest and impactful. One of my objectives for this class has to be take the fear out of social media by making it approachable. The whole world is not ahead of you, they are along side of you, and you will move ahead after this course. Social media is an opportunity not a threat. Also, I once blogged that social media is like California Raisins; it’s an ingredient into something bigger. If you think about the Obama campaign and how they used e-mail and text messaging with those in a database fed in part by social media, you get the idea of digital synergy. Finally, I hope to convey how social media changes organizations by integrating marketing research, advertising, customer relationships, PR, etc. right into the same conversation snippet. My students will be equipped to be at this table and perhaps lead it.
To help accomplish all of this, I applaud the great generosity of Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO of NetBase who has made their ConsumerBase social media listening platform available to the class so they can add a real listening analysis to a case study. I also thank my great guest speakers. Steve Rappaport from the ARF; Lynne Johnson, social media guru; Malcolm De Leo from NetBase, Judah Phillips, head of Global Site Analytics at Monster Worldwide, and Frank Cotignola from Kraft (one of the most progressive thinkers in marketing research you’ll ever come across).
On a more personal note, I did my undergraduate work at NYU in the business school (actually called the School of Commerce back then) and have lived almost my entire life in the NY area. I couldn’t be more thrilled: I get to bring this message to MBA students at a place that feels like home.