16 Tips for Teaching Marketing Analytics

Those of you new to teaching marketing analytics, this blog post is for you. The subject matter may seem overwhelming at first. You may be asking yourself:

  • What should I focus on?
  • What concepts will best help my students?
  • How much of this is going to be applicable in two years?
  • What really is “marketing analytics”?

There are ways you can answer these questions and have a clear path for what to teach, how to keep your material relevant, and ideas on keeping your students engaged.

Here are 16 tips to make it all happen.

Tip 1: Talk about the “Why”

Use examples of how marketing analytics can help a company. This will help students understand why marketing analytics is worth learning.

Teach students to go beyond using tools to answer questions and think about what questions they should be asking to help a business.

If all you are teaching students to do is answer questions that their managers give them, you are teaching them to be replaced by a computer. No tool will make anyone a great analyst if he or she is asking the wrong questions.

Tip 2: Teach the Fundamentals

It’s easy to get bogged down with all the tools and mind-blowing capabilities of modern analytics, but it is important to focus on the fundamentals: Segmentation, Positioning, Testing etc.

These are the principles that will benefit students wherever they go in their careers, no matter what tools they end up using.

Great tools will never make great decision-makers: students must understand principles that can be leveraged with analytics tools.

Tip 3: Focus on Customer Profiles

Identifying and connecting with the customer is at the heart of marketing—and is one of the most interesting topics for students.

Use examples of how segments can be used in marketing efforts (knowing where to buy ad space, knowing how to write for your customer, etc.).

Tip 4: Analyze Case Studies

Case studies expose students to relevant challenges that real companies are facing and are perfect for showing students how to use analytics to solve such problems.

Also, case studies teach students how to use analytics to make decisions in complex situations and how to analyze the impact of their decisions.

Use case studies to encourage peer interaction through debate, presentations, and role plays.

Tip 5: Give Students “Cheat Sheets”

Marketing analytics can be overwhelming. Students will be able to cope with the material and make sense of it in their minds when they have quick references.

Students will also appreciate the effort you put into providing them with resources such as “cheat sheets” to help them.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Tip 6: Demonstrate Analytics Tools and Platforms

Demonstrating industry tools helps students feel prepared and confident to enter the workforce.

Below are some suggested tools. Choose those you are comfortable using and that will best fit within the context of your courses.

  • MySQL Server
  • Google Data Studio
  • R Studio
  • Domo
  • Tableau
  • BlueKai
  • Microsoft Azure MLS
  • Power BI
Tip 7: Show the Differences Between B2C and B2B Analytics

Different metrics matter more to different management teams based on whether the company is B2C or B2B.

Students may be familiar with many of the metrics used for B2C but not as familiar with B2B, even though most fortune 500 companies are B2B and many students will work in B2B. Show students the B2C and B2B differences.

Tip 8: Teach the Importance of Testing

Most students do not recognize the importance of testing or how large a part this plays in analytics and marketing in general.

Explain to your students that their ability to successfully execute tests will have a direct impact on their success as marketers.

Tip 9: Select A Textbook that Fits Your Course

No matter what textbook you choose, it’s best to use one that is focused on skills and application. If the book includes exercises and hands-on learning, that is even better.

Most of all, make sure that the book is up-to-date. The online environment changes quickly and it is bringing marketing analytics along with it; textbooks can quickly become outdated.

Stukent recently launched a marketing analytics textbook that is regularly updated and focuses heavily on application and real-world skills that are valuable in today’s analytics job market.

If you are an instructor, you can get free access to this book here.

Tip 10: Use Certification Programs

Certifications are a great way to guide your course structure.

They provide content for students to learn, and students love them because they feel like they have accomplished something that will also help them get ahead in their careers.  

The following are free:

This one is available for a cost:

Tip 11: Facilitate Application with Real-world Tools

As I said in Tip 6, it’s great to expose students to the tools they will be using in their careers.

We have included exercises in our marketing analytics book that introduce students to these tools:

  • RStudio to Query a Database
  • Google Trends for analysis
  • Oracle BlueKai for profiling
  • Parsehub for scraping data
  • Tableau to visualize data
  • Hootsuite for social listening
  • RStudio to connect with and analyze unstructured data
  • RStudio for sentiment analysis
Tip 12: Follow Relevant Websites and Blogs

Following industry blogs and sites is one of the best ways for you and your students to keep up with the changing trends in marketing analytics and see where the industry is heading.

Below is a list of the best web analytics, marketing analytics, and business analytics blogs.

Occam’s Razor is a personal favorite. Its creator, Avinash Kaushik, explains important analytics concepts in a way that those who are analytics experts or not can understand and apply.

Tip 13: Update Students on Career and Internship Opportunities

Help students by keeping them updated on opportunities in your network and your local area.

You can also point them in the right direction by referring them to the Stukent job board.

Tip 14: Encourage Students to Follow Industry Experts

Just as it can be helpful to follow particular blogs in the analytics space, following specific experts can be extremely beneficial. You will find yourself recognizing their thought patterns, and before long, you will be able to approach problems in the same way that they do.

Here are some of the biggest thought leaders in the space:

  • Avinash Kaushik
  • Blake Morgan
  • Greg Piatesky-Shapiro
  • Justin Cutroni
  • Russ Walker
  • Kaiser Fung
  • Kevin Hillstrom
  • Nathan Gilliat
  • Jeff Sauer
  • Louis Columbus
  • Paul Laughlin
Tip 15: Utilize Stukent Expert Sessions

Like I stated in my last tip, listening and learning from Industry experts is one of the best ways to sharpen marketing analytics skills.

Professionals travel hundreds of miles and pay thousands of dollars to listen to industry experts speak, but for a student, this is not practical.

We have done the work of reaching out to industry experts and recording their lectures so that you and your students can see them in the classroom or at home.

Browse our expert speaker library here.

Tip 16: Facilitate Class Competitions

Competitions are a great way to get students excited about analytics. Many students who don’t respond to some instructional approaches become engaged when in competitive environments.

Stukent offers a simulation that focuses on analyzing the results of digital marketing campaigns. Instructors have told us that it has been great for getting students involved and learning concepts.

But you don’t have to use our simulation to make competitions work. Another way is to leverage case studies by having students prepare action plans based on the scenarios in the cases. Then, have students vote on the best action plan.

Going Forward

These tips are here to help you out and point you in the right direction. If you have any tips that you think should be added to the list, please share your ideas with me in the comment section below.

If you are looking for a Marketing Analytics textbook that incorporates many of these tips and focuses on application-based learning, check out our Marketing Analytics textbook by clicking below and filling out the form on the next page to get free instructor access to the book.

Request Access Here

Happy teaching!

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Ian Fabiano

Product Marketing Manager for Stukent. Marketing used to be all about throwing figurative spaghetti at walls but it's knowing how to make data-driven decisions and stop debating data and precision with visions. We just need a way to prevent a collision with those that hate data and made it their mission to replace all the data with false intuitions. So far, you might have learned two things about me. I love Italian food and love hip hop devoutly. Kudos to you if you figured that out. Please connect with me on Linkedin if you did, and we'll talk about this!

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