Navigating the shifting sands of digital business with improved strategies
Diverse opinions and efficient marketing needed to thrive in changing business world
There are 22 different nationalities on the programme, with 80 per cent of the class hailing from outside Ireland.
The internet, social media and digital technology have fundamentally transformed how companies work. Marketing and sales strategies that worked well a decade ago are now obsolete.
The Trinity Business School is helping students to understand these shifting sands – and to thrive in them.
Laurent Muzellec, founder and director of both the MSc in digital marketing strategy and the centre for digital business at the university, says that their courses give graduates an edge. He has written on electronic word-of-mouth, digital business models and corporate brand management for a variety of academic publications.
“I worked in marketing and business development for several years before turning to academia, and that dual experience makes me keen to develop programmes and research centres that are focused on economics and that help students to get industry-linked jobs,” he says. “In the traditional world, a business produces something, puts a margin on it and sells it to a customer; the whole process moves from left to right. In the digital world, however, companies must grapple with multi-sided platforms or markets. One consumer is a part of your business, but having more customers becomes part of your value proposition to another group of consumers. We use Google every day, for instance, and we rarely pay them money, but it is one of the most profitable firms in the world because it uses our information to develop other products and services.”
How else is marketing so different today? “It was often referred to a both a science and an art, but now it’s becoming clear it is more of a science and less of an art. Data analytics, digital marketing implementation and communication, search engine optimisation (SEO), marketing strategy and understanding user experiences of websites are driving these changes. These are now all key aspects of the MSc course, designed to help students to become data-driven marketers and highly-qualified specialists. But the art of marketing is not dead: we also have a module on digital marketing communications and implementation, which goes through what works when it comes to graphics or brand positioning.”
The course takes in graduate students from a diversity of disciplines including information systems, arts and business. There are 22 different nationalities on the programme, with 80 per cent of the class hailing from outside Ireland. “This means that the students are not just learning from their teachers or their assignments, they’re learning from each other too, sharing different perspectives from different countries as well as different academic disciplines,” says Muzellec. “This is an aspect that can sometimes be overlooked in managing a masters programme. We want to build on this diversity to help them learn about digital techniques and to confront a problem from different angles.”
The course brings together structured learning across digital marketing techniques, combined with specialist talks delivered by guest lecturers from leading companies including Facebook, Microsoft and Hubspot. It was ranked first in the world for ebusiness and digital marketing by Eduniversal in 2018.
The business school is at the heart of the campus, with a door opening up to Pearse Street and close to the Irish Financial Services Centre
Muzellec emphasises that the success of the Trinity business school requires a large team to pull together across its range of specialised and general business programmes. The MBA is very successful and possibly the most familiar of the university’s postgraduate general business offerings, but they also offer an MSc in international management, MSc in finance, MSc in human relations and Msc in marketing. Meanwhile, specialised programmes include the MSc in financial risk management and the MSc in digital marketing.
“The business school is at the heart of the campus, with a door opening up to Pearse Street and close to the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), as well as the wider business community that we serve. This really aligns with the vision of the university, which is all about opening up to the external world and engaging with external stakeholders, including the business community. Our courses reflect Ireland’s position as an open international economy, Dublin’s position as a financial and digital hub, and Trinity’s aim to create and spread useful and relevant knowledge to the wider community of society, consumers, citizens, business and governments.”
TRINITY CENTRE FOR DIGITAL BUSINESS: COLLABORATING WITH INDUSTRY
1. Office of Government Chief Information Officer
- have partnered with the Trinity Centre for Digital Business to research and map the journey made by Irish citizens availing of specific government services.
- “20 groups of our MSc in digital marketing strategy were tasked with gathering information from the public on their use of, appetite for, and access to online government services,” Muzellec explains.
- “The students investigated life stage events – such as voting for the first time, paying taxes and getting married –and described the citizen’s experiences of the various processes. Then they identified pain points and recommended solutions.
- Based on the data collected and some additional analysis, the Trinity centre for digital business will soon publish a paper suggesting five insights for the digital transformation of public services.
2. Thinkhouse, marketing agency
- have partned with the Trinity Centre for Digital Business to deliver a report called “Future-proofing Marketing – The Youth Perspective” on the fast evolution of, and future of, marketing.
- It involves several students from Trinity’s MSc in Digital Marketing Strategy, who as part of their Master’s thesis are currently investigating youth attitudes and behaviours to marketing and advertising.
- The report, which is due to be launched this autumn, focuses on data privacy and brand activism. It is designed to provide industry guidance and knowledge to marketing professionals.