1 - Marketing EDGE

A Teachers’ Overview of
Digital Marketing Education in China
Guangzhi Chu
Professor of Advertising,
Communication University of China
Chenyu Li
Ph.D. Candidate of Advertising,
Communication University of China
As one of the world’s largest markets and the second
most powerful economy in the world (NBSC 2012), China
is going through a tremendous technological
China has the largest digital media users in the world. At
the end of June, 2012, there are 538 million internet users
(CNNIC 2012) and more than a billion mobile phone
users (including near 200 million 3G mobile phone users,
MIIT 2012). That means great potential for Chinese
marketers as well as for advertising educators.
Until the end of 2011, there are 355 universities and
institutes enrolling undergraduate students majoring in
advertising in Mainland China (China Radio and TV
yearbook 2011).
However, a nationwide survey among Chinese marketing
executives revealed that lacking of skill sets and lacking
of understanding of digital media were the key elements
that seem to restrict organizations in developing effective
digital marketing programs (Chu, Schultz and Li 2011).
Therefore, it is necessary to explore how advertising
education come up with the development of digital
Previous Studies
Advertising education is not new topic. Since Xiamen
University formally enrolled undergraduate students
majoring in advertising in 1984, there are several
nationwide surveys in China.
Notable surveys were conducted by CAA (1996), Zhang
(2003); CAA (2006), Cui (2007), and Huang (2008).
These surveys more focused on the structure of
advertising teacher groups, training objective and plan,
curricula, courses.
Previous Studies
In the last decade, digital marketing education becomes
a hot topic in China. More and more researchers involve
in this area.
However, there is no nationwide survey to explore the
current situation and the future of digital marketing
education in China.
Therefore, this survey aimed to explore how advertising
education come up with digital marketing practice.
The survey targets all members of China Advertising
Education Society, the biggest advertising education
organization in China. Two respondents were selected
from each of those universities or institutes. The
questionnaire was designed by the authors.
This survey was conducted in May, 2012. In total, 314
questionnaires were sent by email, and 146 completed
questionnaires were returned. After filtering out incomplete
questionnaires, 131 valid questionnaires were used in the
analysis, covering 95 universities and institutes in China.
The current situation of digital marketing courses
Among all respondents participating in this survey, 63
(48.1%) said that their university or institute have
offered digital marketing courses, and 24 (35.3%) said
that they will develop these courses in next school
It is notable that some universities and institutes don’t
plan to introduce these digital marketing courses in a
Not planning to offer digital
marketing courses in a
Offered digital marketing
courses already,48.1%
Not offered digital marketing
courses yet,51.9%
Planning to offer digital
marketing courses in a
year, 35.3%
Not clear attitude,5.9%
Figure1: Digital Marketing Courses Offered in Chinese Universities
Why don’t offer digital marketing courses?
The top two reasons are “Some courses have
already included digital marketing part”, and “Lack
digital marketing teachers” (N=68).
Digital marketing is often taught in advertising
media, advertising creativity (planning), and
marketing class.
Series1, Making digital
marketing contents
included into other
classes, 58.8%
Series1, Lack of
teachers, 55.9%
Series1, Lack of
equipments, 32.4%
Series1, Others, 27.9%
Series1, Against
specialty orientation
and training direction,
Figure2: Reasons for Universities Did not Offer Digital Marketing Courses
The kind of digital marketing courses
Internet advertising, new media advertising and
introduction of new media are the top three digital
marketing courses that participating universities
and institutes are offering to students.
Micro blogs, social network sites, mobile phone, Ecommerce website, and search engine are the top
five disciplines that digital marketing courses pay
attention at.
Series1, Micro-blogs,
Series1, SNS
websites, 82.5%
Series1, Mobile
media, 76.2%
Series1, E-commerce
websites, 73.0%
Series1, Search
engine, 69.8%
Series1, Video
websites, 68.3%
Series1, Forums and
communities, 63.5%
Series1, Official
Websites, 61.9%
Series1, IM tools,
Series1, Blogs,
Series1, Digital
televisions, 41.3%
Series1, LBS service
websites, 36.5%
Series1, LED, 33.3%
Series1, Car
televisions, 30.2%
Series1, Others,
Figure3: Digital Media Mentioned in Digital Marketing Courses in China
Courses that should be introduced
New media marketing, social media marketing,
mobile marketing, micro blogs marketing, brand
marketing communications were seen the most
important courses that should be introduced
Who is teaching digital marketing?
95% of digital marketing teachers came from their
major or department.
Besides, they also invite guest lecturers from
marketing and communication firms.
How they teach digital marketing?
Teaching in class (100.0%), discussion in class
(76.2%), and homework (52.4%) are the top three
methods that teachers most often used.
Teachers are more likely interact with students at
QQ (the biggest IM platform in China) and Micro
blogs (e.g. Sina weibo) after class.
Evaluation of teaching result of digital
marketing courses
Respondents from all 63 universities and
institutes that offer digital marketing courses
thought, to their knowledge, students held
relative high evaluation to digital marketing
courses since the total percentage of “very
good” and “good” is 74.6%.
Factors that restrict the development of
digital marketing education
“Lack professional practice”, “slow knowledge
updating” and “pay less attention to digital
marketing” were seen the top three barriers
from teachers in China.
Series1, Lack of
professional practice, 79.4%
Series1, Slow knowledge
updating, 47.6%
Series1, Less attention to
situation of digital marketing,
Series1, Outdated teaching
methods, 31.7%
Series1, Less personal use
of digital media, 28.6%
Series1, Others, 14.3%
Figure4: Barriers from Teachers in Digital Marketing Education in China
How to promote digital marketing education
In China?
From teachers participating in this survey, more
interaction with digital marketing practitioners,
improving curriculum system, and adjusting
training objective were seen the top three
Series1, More
interaction with practicer
in business, 87.3%
Series1, Improving
curriculum system,
Series1, Adjusting
training objectives,
Series1, Updating
teaching equipments,
Series1, Changing
assessment methods,
Series1, Others, 9.5%
Figure5: Improvements Needed in Digital Marketing Education in China
Conclusion and discussion
(1) Digital marketing education still in its early stage
in China. However, it has great potential in China.
(2) It seems lacking of teachers specialized in digital
marketing is the biggest challenge that China’s
digital marketing education is facing.
(3) It is notable that some problems exist for long
time, before the rising of digital media, such as
lacking of interaction with marketing practitioners.
Conclusion and discussion
(4) It seems that renew the mind set of advertising
education teachers and managers are the key
factors to promote digital marketing education in
(5) Besides, the resources inside and outside
universities or institutes should be integrated.

similar documents