I was recently one of roughly 30 marketing and communications professors from around the country selected to participate in 2019 Visiting Professor Program, held by the Advertising Educational Foundation. The goal of this annual program is to enhance professors’ understanding of current developments and practices in advertising/marketing, in order to inform their teaching and research. It is also a forum to connect with industry professionals and hear about companies’ strategies firsthand.
The five-day program took place in New York City, involving visits to ad agencies, media agencies, media and technology companies, and more. The participating companies and their topics of focus included:
- Ogilvy (global marketing)
- Momentum (experiential marketing)
- Facebook (social media)
- McCann (diversity in the business of advertising)
- R/GA (what the agency of the future may look like)
- Wavemaker (transforming the media landscape)
- IBM (marketing, artificial intelligence, and analytics)
I enjoyed the variety of the companies we visited, and I gained valuable insights. Common topics that came up were the fast pace of the industry, the need for digital innovation and strategies, artificial intelligence, business analytics, customer engagement through experiential marketing, and more.
We also examined past campaigns and case study examples and discussed what the future of advertising may look like. Some companies had alumni panels with young graduates only a few years into their careers. We discussed the extent to which their college courses prepared them for their current jobs, and what skills they need most often today.
Overall, it was a unique and interesting experience that will benefit me in my teaching and research going forward.