5 College Courses That Can Help Amp Up Your Marketing Campaigns

You hear it all the time. You might have even said it yourself once or twice: “Why do I need to take a class in this? I can just look up what I need to know online or in a book!”

It’s true: You could educate yourself solely through self-sought information. To truly understand a subject, though, more in-depth study is needed. You can’t truly understand a subject after reading a Wikipedia article and a few blog posts. You need to spend a few months crawling around in it, working with teachers to help keep yourself on track.

This is why a traditional education is so important. And while there are lots of bachelor’s degree careers out there (careers you can start and maintain for decades on only a bachelor’s degree), if you really want to amp up your business know-how, pursuing higher education in a few subjects is a good idea.

Let’s put this into context. You want to be able to actively and successfully market your company to the masses yourself. Maybe you don’t have the budget for outsourcing. Maybe you’re simply someone who feels better doing everything himself. After spending some time online and at the library, you feel like you’ve got a decent handle on the basics (that Seth Godin is good at explaining things, isn’t he?).

If you ever want your marketing to do more than just a basic job, though, here are a few classes that are worth taking.

  1. Communications
    A basic communications class is a must for anybody who wants to properly market a business. Communications classes will teach you how to write and speak clearly and effectively – two things that are incredibly important to a successful marketing campaign. Remember: Marketing your company involves being able to talk to people as much as it involves being able to come up with some great blog posts!

    Marketing Campaigns: Communication
    Photo Credit: AsaAlger
  2. Statistics
    The heart of most marketing research lies in statistics. Being able to calculate and interpret statistical models will help you immeasurably in your marketing. You’ll be able to put together surveys and do research that will help you get a solid grasp on who your target audience actually is and what it wants. You’ll be able to track the success of each component of your campaign and be able to do your own split testing.

    Imagine being able to do these things yourself instead of having to spend a bunch of money hiring someone to do the math for you!

  3. Graphic Design
    There is more to graphic design than simply figuring out which color background is best. A graphic design course will teach you how to do things like design logos, websites, basic desktop publishing, etc. You’ll learn about everything from font design (and why it is important) to designing great-looking websites.

    It’s okay if you don’t have an artistic temperament. Taking these classes can still help you understand what it is your graphic designer is talking about when she comes to you with ideas or plans.

  4. Writing
    Find a great course that will focus both on extemporaneous and persuasive writing. The extemporaneous writing will help you compose great blog posts, articles, etc. The persuasive focus will help you develop your copywriting skills – the skills you need to be able to actively sell a product to a reader. These writing skills will serve you in every area of your business.
  5. Media
    Find a class that teaches you both how media operates and how to create your own various creative projects for mass consumption. The best media classes will teach you how to create fun and effective videos, put together media kits, create fliers and websites, etc.

    These classes often have different names depending upon which school you attend. Still – finding a class that will teach you, at least at the basic level, how to create your own media presence is definitely one you want to take.

What are yours?

Think about your strengths and weaknesses.

Are you already confident in your writing skills but find people terrifying? Taking a communications class in public speaking or interpersonal communication is a good idea.

Do you understand code like the back of your hand but have never quite figured out how to make a website that looks as good as everybody else’s, aesthetically speaking? Take some classes in web and graphic design.

Are you a website whiz but have somehow managed to go your whole life without learning how to use a semicolon properly? A writing or grammar class is definitely something you should take.

Obviously you should already have taken or be taking anything with “marketing” or “sales” in the title. Some business and accounting classes can help you with the back end of your company. Beyond those, though, finding creative ways to supplement your overall marketing education is the best way to go.

Erin Steiner writes about topics ranging from business to pop culture for a variety of web-based clients. She would be a professional student if she had the means to do so

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