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MSLCE Media Markets Class Gives Students Unique Perspective of Digital Media

By Chip Potter

The unprecedented growth of the digital media marketplace may seem daunting to many entrepreneurs trying to break into the world of the creative industries, but as we learned in Professor James Webster’s class, Understanding Media Markets, it actually provides tremendous opportunity.

Understanding “Big Data” is absolutely crucial to sustained success in marketing, as it provides target user data to a point never before seen. Professor Webster’s class focused on the history of media, how marketers use it today, and how we can utilize it in the creative industries to better understand our target, and how our target perceives our message.

The first portion of our class focused on the progression of media – from the newspaper to the smartphone – and how data measurement has always been a large part in determining who the consumer actually is, as well as what they want! With rise of personalized devices connected to the internet, the more media companies are able to understand their user-base.

To help demonstrate how media strategists gather and interpret data, Professor Webster provided each student with an account of comScore – a digital data compiling website which allows each user to look at metrics like reach, number of viewers, and seasonality of nearly any major website on the internet. Using this data, we were each able to put together a comprehensive study of a particular brand of our choosing, and gain a deeper understanding of how they fared on the digital space against their competitors.

Our final projects were extrapolations of the comScore data, and we were each asked to study year-over-year data in a particular digital field, find out who is succeeding in the space, and why. Students reported on a myriad of topics such as the shopping industry, entertainment, and local businesses. Each of our conclusions granted us a greater understanding of what it takes to succeed in the digital marketplace, and how the medium in which someone receives a message directly impacts how that message is viewed.

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