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K-State Today

February 22, 2019

Kansas State University and The CMO Club team up to address national gap in marketing talent

Submitted by Brent Fritzemeier


Kansas State University and The CMO Club's Kansas City chapter have unveiled a joint program designed to train students on marketing automation so they can effectively compete in today's ever-changing business world.

The complexity of marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and university systems across the country have fallen short on preparing students to meet the challenges of new job market. These ongoing changes have caused a national talent gap, and companies are not able to find individuals to fill these well-paying marketing roles.

"We are seeing students coming out of universities with little theoretical knowledge and no working knowledge of marketing automation," said Karen Noel, president of The CMO Club's Kansas City chapter and general manager of IoT Marketing and Sales Performance at Sprint. "This has manifested itself into a fundamental talent gap within our region and across the country."

Esther Swilley, head of the marketing department at Kansas State University, also recognizes the challenges of preparing marketing students in the swift transition to a data-rich marketing industry. In response, many courses will now include marketing automation information used in companies today.

The members of The CMO Club represent many of the largest brands and employers in the Kansas City area. These companies are core users of the marketing automation platforms and are able to bring vendors to the table to establish hands-on curriculum. This ensures K-State students will receive in-depth working knowledge of marketing automation systems by creating measurable marketing campaigns.

"A significant percentage of our members have well-paying marketing positions that are going unfilled due to the talent shortage," Noel said. "We applaud K-State for working with marketing leaders at The CMO Club to ensure their students are prepared to immediately step into positions upon graduation."

"We are training a workforce to develop and deploy integrated marketing campaigns," Swilley said. "This new curriculum will enable them to walk right into high-paying marketing jobs in Kansas City or across the country."