Saturday, February 7, 2015

Marketing Advisory at UMSL

Professor Perry Drake started the formation of a digital marketing advisory group at the Universityof Missouri, Saint Louis three years ago. This board of professional marketers is composed of leaders from the business community in our region with ample representation of corporate and agency types. The meeting on February 6, 2015 is symbolic of just how much progress has been made. The meeting includes remarks from the College of Business Administration Dean Charlie Hoffman and is presided over by the board’s chairman -- Fleishman Hillard’s Matt Coble. The group has evolved to become the UMSL Marketing Advisory Board with many irons in the fire.

Curriculum, student engagement, and plans for the annual Digital Marketing Conference are top of mind but subplots include a show of force from the marketing faculty, outreach initiatives and development efforts. “The presentation  from the committee working on cultivating content and expertise from this board is very encouraging. I think all of us on the faculty recognize the study and practice of marketing is changing and this board is a great help. It is very much appreciated” says Professor Frank Fu.

Fu is not alone. The Marketing Department Chairman Haim Mano is enthusiastic on behalf of all faculty members. Board members include Graduate student Brianna Smith and Undergraduate Marketing Club President Patrick Eberle.  Both made presentations.  Anyone can see there is an incredible seamlessness happening even as the essence of what it means to prepare for a career in marketing in an age of digital disruption.

These are interesting and challenging times for marketers. The two and one half hour meeting seems almost historic, if not a bit chaotic. There is optimism as the group absorbs the inevitable politics of running a college of business and university.  Yet in the same room there are interested parties looking for ways to apply the principals of marketing at all levels of the student and community.

My two cents has to do with fortification of the collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association. UMSL has, in the midst of all these other initiatives, successfully met all requirements of becoming an active collegiate chapter – one of just a handful  in the State of Missouri to do so. This has been accomplished with an incredible partnership with the St. Louis AMA professional chapter.

UMSL St. Louis - Photos above (c) Wes Morgan (from l to r) board members Mark Sanders of Locker Dome; President of UMSL Marketing Club Patrick Eberle; board member and Graduate Student Brianna Smith. Marketing Faculty Gerald Gao, Michael Elliott, Marketing Chair Haim Mano and Frank Fu and a wide shot of the meeting room.