The VPM Blog

Why Inbound Marketing Should be Taught in the Classroom

Posted by Don Crow on Sep 24, 2015 9:34:00 AM

There are two reasons why inbound marketing should be taught in the classroom. They're short and to the point as well.

1. Inbound Marketing gets results.

2. Inbound Marketing equals jobs.

Why Inbound Should be Taught in the classroom

Now, if you're in a hurry, that's really all you need to know. If you've got a few minutes, I invite you to stick around and listen to the advice of a guy who:

1. Has proven Inbound works for his business as well as his clients, and

2. Has hired, or not retained, people because of their Inbound prowess.

As a member of the adjunct faculty of the School of Communication and Journalisam at Auburn University, I get to see first-hand the benefits of teaching inbound to PR, Communications and other undergraduate majors in their junior and senior years. Some of them have written me afterwards and one had this to say:

Hi Professor Crow,
I wanted to send you a quick email letting you know how much I appreciate your insightful social media PR class last semester. As I mentioned before in a previous email, I am working for a mobile app development company as its Marketing/PR intern, and your class was extremely beneficial for my real world internship. Everything I have learned from writing proposals to learning the marketing funnel has helped me during my internship, and I wouldn’t be as knowledgable without taking your class especially the last semester of my college career. I have considered you a marketing and PR expert ever since meeting you at the LinkedIn workshop at Verge Pipe Media, and I am so thankful I also had a classroom experience with you as my professor.
Or even a former employee at Verge Pipe Media, who learned Inbound as part of her internship and then as a full time member of our team:

I also want to reiterate how grateful I am for everything I have learned from you and VPM. I cannot even begin to express how much I enjoyed my time there and how valuable it was (and still is, and will continue to be). Every day I use knowledge and skills that you and my experience taught me, and every day people are impressed that I have gained so much in such a short time.


Take a look around and view the jobs available. In discussions at INBOUND15 and other marketing conferences recenly, it has become clear there is a massive shortage in Inbound trained job candidates, especially from those candidates who are entering the workforce directly from college.
At the risk of torqueing off my former AOL marketing bosses, the time of the 4 P's (product, price, placement, promotion) may not be over, but it definitely needs less emphasis in the classroom. Instead, we should be training our next wave of marketers how to: grow responsible website traffic, write buyer personas, create remarkable content and offers, build effective landing pages, forms and thank you pages, and then nurture leads along the pipeline until they are ready for a warm hand off to the sales team.
Today's marketers have a lot of demands. We're doing ourselves no favors if we continue teaching marketing out of books that were dated while still in the editing phase. Clients expect my agency to continue to cut costs and pass those along to them. They expect us to show more innovation, cultivate more customers and deliver more leads across more platforms.
You simply cannot expect the job candidates and talent pipeline to keep up given the pace of change in today's collegiate environment.
Every candidate we bring in has to spend their first two weeks in cram mode learning and then passing certifications on Inbound, HubSpot software and the other marekting automation platforms in addition to honing their writing skills and psychology 101.
Three months later we often hear things like, "I could have skipped at least 2 years of college in favor of this internship / part time / full time job."
I'm not calling for the end of the traditional college experience. Yet. What I am calling for is the inclusion of at least one Inbound Marketing class for all marketing and PR majors. I'd strongly support the creation of a Center for Inbound Marketing Studies here in our backyard at the Harbert College of Business.
In the meantime, if you're a student concerned about your job prospects after college there are three things you can do to distinguish yourself in a positive way:

1. Go get Inbound Certified. It's free and it's online:

2. Go join the Inbound community and follow jobs and discussions and more:

3. Get an internship, even if it is unpaid, and put your Inbound skills to work. Start a movement and get your organization onboard. Chances are great you'll earn yourself a full time, paid spot on the team because at that point you'll be irreplaceable.

And if you're a faculty member, you can certainly do points 1 and 2 above as well. Then challenge yourself to incorporate more Inbound in your classroom and petition for cirriculum changes to support where the world of marketing and sales is going.

And if you're a business or non-profit leader looking for a jumpstart in Inbound for your organization, please click the link below, download our FREE eBook and contact us to get started. 


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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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