Students at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) in Athlone are aiming to help Irish businesses grow their digital footprint and increase their competitiveness through a series of live digital marketing capstone and consultancy projects.
The projects, which pair students in TUS’s BBs (Hons) in Digital Marketing and MSc in Digital Marketing with Irish brands across a variety of sectors, give students a chance to put their knowledge into practice through the development of tailor-made digital marketing strategies.
Participating students cover a variety of practical and theoretical topics ahead of the project to support this process, among them social media marketing, strategy, analytics, SEO, paid advertising, ecommerce, and content creation.
“At this stage, our students are poised to apply the expertise they’ve acquired over their study in a real-world setting”, explained Louise Murray, a senior lecturer at TUS who oversees the undergraduate component of the project.
“Every single class, module or lab that our digital marketing students have engaged with over the course of their degree has built to this moment,” she said, “coming to fruition in the form of this exciting live collaboration with businesses of all shapes and sizes from across the region and nationally.”
This year’s programme will see students collaborate with 26 brands across a wide array of sectors – among them software services company Sidero, confectionery company Sugar Plum Sweetery, and Social Media Elite, an agency working with big Irish brands like Kash Beauty and True Beauty.
“Our students are expertly placed to advise these brands on everything from search engine optimisation to identifying and segmenting their target audience, and key digital touchpoints through the customer journey,” said Dr Aisling Keenan, programme coordinator of TUS’s MSc in Digital Marketing.
“They gain immense knowledge and insight in the real-life workings and challenges of a business through their projects and in turn, businesses benefit from their cutting-edge digital marketing knowledge and expertise,” Dr Keenan explained.
The project is split into two phases, the first of which will see students liaise with their respective company to find out what their goals and objectives are; during this phase, students will research their host brand, the industry it’s operating within, and undertake competitor analysis before making recommendations.
Early next year, in the second phase of the project, the students will begin working with their host company to implement their agreed upon bespoke digital marketing strategy.