by Guest Author Amy Kweskin –
As a full time instructor in the Fashion Marketing and Management department at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco, I present and translate the ins and outs of social media marketing and online advertising. With an MA in Arts Administration and a successful career as a strategic planner to non-profit arts and culture organizations, I use to wonder how in the world I could be teaching in a fashion department. Thankfully, I have been able to translate my cultural management expertise to the business of fashion. The bottom-line is that working with creative businesses makes you flexible and solution-focused. This is the learning I pass on to my students.
Frankly, my millennial students are often the ones teaching me. What I’ve realized is that they are on the bleeding edge of social media usage and what I present to them is the history of and strategies for successful campaigns so that they can make intelligent choices about how to reach their audiences.
Although it may be a teaching challenge, what I love the most is that it is almost impossible to create a lesson plan in this ever-changing world of social media and online advertising. For example, I was teaching my students how to purchase ads on Facebook at the start of a four-hour class. As they attempted to grasp CPC and CPM options, all along blaming me for the lack of simplicity, we took a 30-minute class break. When we returned and logged back on to Facebook the ad-purchasing interface had changed. This was one of those learning opportunities.
“Everyone, welcome to the world of online advertising where everything and anything can change without a moment’s notice. Imagine if this was your full time job and you had to explain to your manager or client that all of your advertising planning had to be thrown out the window and that your budgeting model was useless.”
Today, a recent grad stopped in to say hello during my entrepreneurship class. She asked, “Can I get your materials on Google Adwords? I’m trying to get a job.” “Sure”, I told her, “but my materials are six months old and probably useless.”
All I can hope is that my millennial students will devour real-time learning opportunities and reflect on the marketing acumen that we discussed in classes. Yes, the world of online social media marketing and advertising may be continuously changing, but at least best practices of strategy development will consistently provide these budding fashion marketers with a foundation from which to grow, intelligently.