There is no denying the fact that digital marketing is on the rise.
The rise in digital marketing jobs, spending, usage and influence means digital marketing courses are more relevant than ever. That is why, digital marketing has now emerged as a standalone subject in its own right in both academic and professional curriculum.
In order to track its best resources, we reached out to Stuart Draper, Founder CEO at Stukent - which provides the world's FIRST Internet Marketing Simulation, and an Internet Marketing Textbook to universities across the globe.
Check out the conversation we had with him.
1. What’s the best way to define Stukent?
Stukent is a digital courseware provider. They brought to market the world's first digital and social media marketing simulations, along with the first academic texts that are updated twice annually to stay current with the industry.
2. What problem are you solving, for whom & how?
We're helping academia catch up and keep up with the industry by providing continuously-updated, digital textbooks and providing a hands-on simulation so that students get both the theory, strategy and experience to master what they're trying to teach. We got our start in the subject of digital and social media marketing and now we provide material for other marketing and business subjects.
3. What is the driving passion? What is your vision going forward?
Too many students graduate and enter the workforce without the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively contribute their first day on the job. Our mission is to help educators help students help the world, and we'll do that by creating content (both books, simulations, videos and projects) that will be continuously-updated and made available to professors around the globe.
4. Who were your early adopters? How do you keep a check on user satisfaction in institutions which use your digital courseware now?
Our early adopters were marketing professors that struggled to find up-to-date, organized curriculum on digital marketing.
Each of our professors are sent a survey each semester and our students also take an exit survey. We have a user forum online where professors share ideas with their colleagues and with us. Last, but probably most important, we're always watching our retention rates and they are very high.
5. How did this start? Tell us about your team, who do you have supporting you?
We got our start when BYU's Marriott School of Management was willing to first pilot our digital marketing simulation in 2013. Shortly after they tried it, their professor, Jeff Larson, decided to co-author a textbook on digital marketing. We decided to self-publish Digital Marketing Essentials because no publishing company wanted to update the text more than once every two or three years.
Stukent was an investor-backed startup, and over the last 3.5 years has grown to support over 1000 higher education institutions and over 1000 high schools in over 40 countries.
We have an outstanding team of 50+ in-house developers, customer support, sales and marketing staff.
6. Where do you see Stukent in 12 or 18 months from now?
By the end of 2019 we are tracking to be in over 2000 higher education institutions and 5000 high schools, and we will have dozens of new courseware launched on marketing and business related subjects.
7. What is the biggest need/void in your firm?
We close over 50% of everyone that we demo our courseware to. Our biggest need is finding more ways to get our brand in front of the right educators that teach digital marketing and other business subjects.
8. Any thought leader or companies with innovation which you follow for success? Whether in the EdTech space or in general?
I love to follow the founder of Under Armour, Kevin Plank. We tell all of our new employees at Stukent that what Under Armour is to Nike and Adidas, Stukent is to Pearson and McGraw-Hill.
9. Who would you call your competitors? And how are you different?
Our competitors are other simulation companies, free online resources and publishing companies.
No other simulation company has a digital and social media marketing simulation.
Free online resources can work very well, but they require weeks of instructor course preparation, and they don't include the structure and hands-on learning that our courseware provides.
Publishing company's can't keep their content current, and don't provide simulation either.
10. What advice do you have for students - aspiring internet marketer?
While in school, one of the greatest takeaways will be your relationships with your classmates. Connect with them on linkedin now, and stay in touch. There will be ways you can work together later. Also, be patient. I learned a lot in school, but the class that impacted my career the most was one I didn't take until my second to last semester in college.
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