Course Syllabus for Online and Social Media Marketing

Montana State University – Jake Jabs College of Business

BMKT: 420 – Integrated Online Marketing
Fall Semester 2015
Instructor: Jacob Cook
Office Hours: M/W: Jabs 315 – 5:30 – 6pm and by appointment
Twitter: @jacobmcook

Course Description

With the rapid shift of advertising dollars away from traditional media to online platforms, it is becoming increasingly important for marketing graduates to be well-versed in digital marketing fundamentals. This upper division course will provide a solid foundation in the key concepts around this constantly changing field.  Through readings, case studies and hands-on projects, students will come away with an understanding of successful online marketing strategies, user generated content, search, social media and networks, mobile, and web analytics. To supplement the concepts, various leading marketers, designers, and content strategists from industry will address special topics such as email marketing, user experience design, search engine optimization (SEO), building online communities, geo and mobile marketing.Students will also have the opportunity to examine these topics firsthand through group projects and exercises.Students will exit the course with a solid understanding of digital marketing tactics, tools, and resources available for ongoing education.Course Prerequisite: TBD (BUS 341–Principles of Marketing)

Required Text & Readings

Textbook on this website: “Introduction to Digital Marketing

Assigned readings from the following outlets and blogs:

  • Harvard Business Review
  • Society of Digital Agencies
  • Forrester Research
Custom Case Studies from:
  • Amazon’s Domino Project
  • MailChimp
  • IDEO
  • Design Within Reach
  • Harvest
  • Google


You will be assigned various readings from the text and also handouts for which you will be tested upon. Not preparing for class will show in the discussions in front of your peers and in your test scores. Participation is graded upon attendance, leading class discussions on your assigned case study day, and asking smart questions of your colleagues on theirs.

Your final grade will be determined by your understanding of the course materials, case study analysis, and ability to creatively apply the concepts in real world scenarios via the final group project.

Grades will be determined by the following breakdown:

  • Tests: 50%                 (2 @ 250 points each)
  • Final Group Project: 40%      (300 points) *This is a live ecommerce client with presentations to executive team
  • Class Participation: 10%       (100 points) *Daily quiz on Socrative over the readings

Total: 1000 points

Course Philosophy

First off, congratulations.

You’re entering the field of marketing at a time of incredible change. An industry once stagnant for decades is undergoing seismic shifts and whenever there is big change there is big opportunity.

It’s easy to take these changes and technology for granted. At the time of this writing YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine. Google has only been around for fifteen years and is now used by the CDC to predict flu outbreaks based on search volume in specific locations. If Facebook were a country, it would be third in population size behind India and China. News breaks today not on CNN but rather on Twitter, where real-time user generated content can be tracked and trended. Companies are launched on free mobile platforms like Instagram and hashtags.

The good news?

Managers and entrepreneurs in industry are looking to you to help lead. They didn’t grow up with digital and are itching to know how to use platforms like social media and real-time analytics to grow their businesses. With a bit of hard work you can begin to gain a proficiency in these areas and provide yourself with a great opportunity for job placement and career advancement through research, strategy, execution, measurement and adjustment of online campaigns.

This course will seek to provide you with that knowledge.

We’ll be reading text and adding in appropriate case studies. You’ll also have the incredible opportunity to interact with cutting-edge thinkers via Skype at leading companies like Google, R/GA, Facebook, Design Within Reach, IDEO, Harvest, and MailChimp to understand the questions they wrestle with and how they are tackling digital initiatives. We’ll also ask them what they look for when hiring for internship or full-time positions, so you can be sure to be prepared following graduation.

But there is no substitute for doing and so you will be split into small groups and assigned with coming up with your own strategies and tactics based on a target market. I will be matching groups with local companies and nonprofits for a short marketing exercise the last six weeks of the semester. You will present your strategy and answer questions from your peers and the management team of the business in a live presentation at the conclusion of the semester.

About the Instructor


I’m an entrepreneur and digital marketer based here in Bozeman, Montana and a big believer in the power of design thinking.

I co-founded Tadpull with a focus on doing purely digital marketing and web development projects with a user-first approach. Our clients are spread across the globe and range from startups to publicly traded companies. Our work to date has spanned verticals such as daily email, software-as-a-service, conferences, life sciences and consumer goods. We have the opportunity to research, design, code, measure, and adjust everything from websites to mobile applications.

The intersection of technology and marketing in startups and big companies I find endlessly fascinating. As a result, I cofounded an online company called Sweet Onion Creations which did 3D printing for architects. I’ve also worked for Microsoft’s US Partner Program on email marketing and relationship marketing initiatives. I started in digital marketing back in 2006 by working on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for a startup doing pharmaceutical manufacturing software.

My undergraduate degree is in Physics via a swimming scholarship (I’ve since sworn off Speedos forever) and I stuck around for an MA in Marketing from a liberal arts college called Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

Currently, I blog on occasion for, Behance’s 99U, Smashing Magazine, and Startup Nation.

I currently split my spare team between trying to learn how to cook better, writing code, reading the latest biz marketing book and getting outside as much as possible in southwest Montana with my lovely wife, Eulalie.

mautic is open source marketing automation

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