In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with lecturers from our MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics, to understand the importance of life long learning, and upskilling in times of uncertainty.

For this week’s instalment in the series we’ve chatted to Niall Minto, Analytics Lecturer & Programme Chair for M.Sc. Digital Marketing & Business, TU Dublin

MII: Hi Niall, in your own words how would you describe the MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics?

This programme is a great vehicle for bringing your existing skills and experience together and building on them. It will challenge you to think differently and provide you with opportunities to work on new and interesting projects in different contexts. There is always a great sense of satisfaction and achievement from graduates.

Who would you recommend the programme for?

Prior to enrolling in the MSc programme, I firstly completed the Executive Diploma in Strategic Digital Marketing. I had been itching to get back to formal learning, having previously completed 2 degrees, and this course piqued my interest as a good first step. On completion of the diploma, I was eager to learn more and having researched the options available decided that the MSc was by far the best option for me. It was the mix of strategy with practical application, alongside the focus on analytics and insights which provided the winning combination.

What aspects of the programme did you like?

Anybody that has marketing experience that wants to build on it.

What aspect of the programme do you teach?

I teach Digital Metrics & Analytics, and Predictive Analytics. Sometimes people are concerned about analytics. It is great to see their minds change as they see the application of data in their own roles. I use gamification where possible to teach challenging concepts.

How can students incorporate what they’ve learned into their role?

Applying data analytics into the role is the challenge. So much so that a former student (who now teaches on the M.Sc. in Digital Marketing & Analytics) suggested that the ‘unicorns’ are those who can apply analytics. By applying the learning from the class, marketers know the right questions to ask of the data. They can use their skills as marketers, coupled with a knowledge of data analytics to develop deep insights. They will know what they want to get from the data and how this will drive marketing decisions.

How important do you think lifelong learning is to the marketing profession?

Life long learning is important in every profession. Richard Feynman was an American physicist who spent his life being curious. He saw an opportunity to learn in every aspect of life. This curiosity is important for marketers as new technologies become mainstream and open up new opportunities. We need to keep learning to keep up with the trends and to take advantage of the benefits of new technologies.

How have you had to alter your delivery of the programme during the global pandemic?

The sudden move to online teaching was challenging. There was no time to plan, to evaluate, to carry out due diligence. One week, we were in the classroom and the next week, we were online. However, as the weeks progressed, we got better at being online and started seeing opportunities for changes that we could bring to the classroom when we do return. For example, rather than having a 2-hour lecture, we changed it to a 45-minute lecture in which we discussed concepts, followed by a 15-minute break away from screens before returning for an hour workshop in which we applied the concepts from the 45-minute lecture in smaller groups. I am excited about the new opportunities that will emerge in teaching as a result of the learning from being online.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the programme?

The students on this programme bring many skills and experiences to the classroom. In this environment, everybody learns from each other as we are able to contextualise concepts using real examples from the participants.