Barry McNamara  |  Published February 07, 2024

‘It’s Time’ for Marketing

College’s Business and Economics Department adds new major, minor that is ‘viable career path for students.’

MONMOUTH, Ill. – For Monmouth College, the time was right to add a marketing major to the majors offered by its strong Business and Economics Department.

“I think it’s time,” said Tom Prince, a member of the College’s business department, which made the proposal to start a marketing major. “The market is asking for it. It’s a viable career path for students.”

Marketing is the process of identifying customers and “creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging” goods and services for the satisfaction and retention of those customers. It is one of the primary components of business management and commerce.

Monmouth’s marketing program offers students several advantages.

“In the classroom, we can give students both textbook examples and actual real-world experiences that our professors have experienced in their careers,” said marketing professor Amanda Cleland. “We also have small classes, which means that students will not be lost in an auditorium of 200 students. Students will get to know all of their professors by name, and those professors will have a vested interest in their students’ success.”

THEY'VE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Faculty members Amanda Cleland and Tom Prince, who've both worked at Fortune 500 com... THEY'VE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Faculty members Amanda Cleland and Tom Prince, who've both worked at Fortune 500 companies, are shown team-teaching a class last spring that analyzed the commercials that aired during Super Bowl LVII. Marketing has come a long way at Monmouth.

“As background, many liberal arts colleges didn’t have a business major when I first started teaching here 30 years ago,” said Mike Connell, who is chair of a department with more than 165 students. “We did, but we didn’t have marketing. It’s a different atmosphere now. The world has changed. We have the internet. We have all this data. We’re offering a new education for this brand new world.”

Prince agreed that whether it’s called the Digital Revolution or the Internet Age, a shift has occurred and that it’s important for the College to shift, too, to keep up.

“Marketing has changed a lot due to digital technology,” said Prince. “We have access to data we didn’t have before. The evolution of marketing has changed so much in terms of what’s important for bringing a product to market. Marketing is critical to the success of any business enterprise. We’re going to look at ‘What does marketing really do?’ and ‘What does it bring to the table?’”

“The world has changed. We have the internet. We have all this data. We’re offering a new education for this brand new world.” – Mike Connell

Added Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Willhardt, “Among the topics our students will learn is ‘How do consumers behave? How do you move them?’”

Some of those lessons will be taught in one of the required courses, “Social Psychology,” helping to make the major an interdisciplinary one. In addition to psychology and, of course, business, it’s anticipated the new major will appeal to Monmouth students majoring in public relations and art.

New courses being unveiled for the major are “Digital Marketing” and “Marketing Research.” Saad Bashir will teach the latter, 300-level course.

“We also have small classes, which means that students will not be lost in an auditorium of 200 students. Students will get to know all of their professors by name, and those professors will have a vested interest in their students’ success.” – Amanda Cleland

“Marketing is vital for businesses to create brand awareness, attract customers and drive sales,” said Bashir. “Marketing research enables informed decision-making by gathering data about consumer behavior and preferences, and market trends. Analysis of this data guides strategic planning, helps businesses adapt to changing market dynamics, and enables businesses to meet customer needs effectively, ensuring long-term success. Students of marketing research learn effective data collection techniques and turning data, through insightful analysis, into the basis for informed decision-making.”

In addition to the critical thinking and communication skills that students are asked to demonstrate across Monmouth’s curriculum, students completing the new discipline will be able to develop and implement a cohesive marketing strategy, applying such principles as segmentation, targeting and differentiation.

Listen Up …

On the “Monmouth College Conversations” podcast, business faculty Amanda Cleland and Tom Prince discuss the advantages of the new academic program in marketing.

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