Academic journal article Journal of Advertising Education

Teams Build a Wiki to Teach Each Other Four Social Media Platforms

Academic journal article Journal of Advertising Education

Teams Build a Wiki to Teach Each Other Four Social Media Platforms

Article excerpt


Applying the adage, "The best way to learn is to teach," this case study shows how a wiki can be used by undergraduate marketing student teams to become classroom 'experts' in one social media platform per team. This two-step promotions management (IMC) course assignment began by using a wiki for team members to collect data on their team's assigned social medium - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn - and collaborate across teams to add information on their platforms. Each team used its wiki to develop and give a 20-minute oral presentation teaching the core elements marketers must know to leverage a specific social medium. Additionally, each team served as classroom 'consultants' for their social media platform with real client engagement projects, which followed.


Today's Web 2.0 technologies enable rapid change, affecting both practitioners and academics alike. Tracking, measuring and understanding the proliferation of customer-driven content delivered through these technologies can be overwhelming for today's marketers. Despite the economy, demand is up as practitioners search for employees with the right skills to address these Web 2.0 challenges. Elance, one of the leading Internet-based employment agencies, reported that of the total jobs it posted in the first quarter of 2011 versus the first quarter of 2012, those classified as marketing increased by 22% during this time and showed the following top skills growth: Search Engine Marketing, +65%; Internet Marketing, +49%; Social Media Marketing, +41%; Marketing Strategy, +41%; and Lead Generation, +39% (, 2012). Employers must have skilled workers who can "hit the ground running" (Spiller, Marold, Markovitz & Sandler, 2011), as they cannot afford to hire applicants who lack experience (Blakeman & Haley, 2005). It is to this two-fold "customer" that marketing professors are responsible: employers and students (McCorkle, Alexander, Reardon & Kling, 2003).

To equip employers with experienced graduates, most marketing and advertising professors grapple with the Web. 2.0 paradigm shift, as it is changing theoretical models, content and pedagogy, forcing the move from teaching the traditional marketer-driven orientation to technology-enabled, customer-driven control. Observing this as a substantive change in relationship between consumers and marketers. Spiller, Tuten and Carpenter (2011) note that this is a result in two shifts: technology and how communication using direct, interactive and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) have changed. Understanding this shift and maintaining currency with the proliferation of social media make it challenging for professors to ensure today's marketing undergraduates are properly equipped to meet growing prospective employer demands (Cronin, 2011). What is new one semester may be old the next semester when it comes to teaching social media marketing (Hettche & Clayton, 2012).

Attempting to identity specific disconnects between market practice and academic theory and pedagogy, Harrigan and Hulbert (2012) conducted a qualitative study using in-depth interviews (7V=70) of senior marketing practitioners in the U.K. Through this inductive data collection approach, they assessed current marketing practices and offered a holistic response to this customer-led shift. Harrigan and Hulbert (2012) proposed a "new marketing DNA" descriptive model for academia to "... bring their practice more in line with what is actually being practiced by marketing practitioners in the 2 P* century" (p. 254). Their analysis also included the 'traditional ' marketing degree structure and textbook topics, addressing ways to align them with the proposed "new marketing DNA" model, including online and offline IMC.

Performing a content analysis of 13 textbooks on direct, IMC and internet marketing, Spiller et al. (2011b) showed: " commerce is limited [in] both the breadth and depth of social topic issues. …

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