Updated: Swinburne University signs on to Adobe Marketing Cloud

Education institution will not only deploy the marketing technology stack to improve its digital marketing techniques, it's also going to be the backbone of its digital advertising curriculum

Swinburne University's Scott Thompson-Whiteside (Left) with Adobe's Tony Katsabaris
Swinburne University's Scott Thompson-Whiteside (Left) with Adobe's Tony Katsabaris

Swinburne University has struck a new agreement with Adobe that not only sees the tertiary institution adopting the vendor’s Marketing Cloud, it's also using it to transform its digital and marketing curriculum.

Under the partnership, which is being dubbed a world-first, Swinburne University will roll out the full Adobe Marketing Cloud suite of products to improve cross-channel marketing activities around current, prospective and alumni students.

What’s arguably more unique about the deal is that students undertaken a digital advertising technology major and minor within a Bachelor of Business, Arts or Media, will also now gain access to the platform via training materials and accredited teaching practices.

The program was piloted in September last year and 40 students enrolled to take the major. Swinburne’s digital advertising coursework incorporates digital analytics, search marketing, social media marketing and video marketing.

Swinburne also revealed National Australia Bank (NAB), another Adobe Marketing Cloud customer, is working closely with the institution to recruit graduates directly from its digital advertising technology major. In a statement, interim EGM of digital, Todd Copeland, said fierce competition in the industry for digital talent made partnering with the university a vital part of ensuring the banking group continues to access appropriate skills.

“Given our integration of Adobe’s platforms, the designer of this major offering by Swinburne aligns to our needs and strengthens the pathway of talent flowing through who are able to really hit the ground running,” he said.

Swinburne professor and dean of the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Scott Thompson-Whiteside, said working with Adobe was a step forward in addressing the chronic digital skills shortage now plaguing Australian businesses. According to the joint Deloitte Access Economics and Australian Computer Society’s Australia’s Digital Pulse report, at least 100,000 ICT workers will be in demand over the next five years thanks to digitisation. At the same time, ICT qualified graduate numbers in Australia have been shrinking over the past decade, raising concerns about the availability of talent.

“We are committed to providing our students with a cutting-edge education and preparing them to take leading roles in an ever-evolving workforce,” he said. “Working with Adobe will help us achieve these goals and give our students the digital skills and confidence to succeed.”

Swinburne coursse convenor for digital advertising, Peter Ciszewski, told CMO the university is progressively rolling out the curriculum for the licensed applications from 2016 – 2018. In 2016, the first cab off the rank was Adobe Experience Manager, while in 2017, the university is consolidating Experience Manager, and adding Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target. In 2018 it will roll out the curriculum for the remaining applications.

The university is teaching five of the eight components of the Marketing Cloud: Experience Manager, Analytics, Target, Campaign and Audience Manager. It hopes to extend the agreement to Adobe Social and Adobe Media Optimiser at a later date.

Adobe APAC senior director of public sector and education, Tony Katsabaris, said a university major that promotes digital skills is “truly paramount”.

“At Adobe, we understand the importance that digital technologies can play in enhancing long-term employability or equipping students for participation in a digital economy,” he commented.

“We look forward to working with Swinburne to redefine the digital curriculum that will benefit both students and employers. In parallel, we are delighted to partner with Swinburne to help create exceptional experiences for its customers and students across all touchpoints.”

Swinburne University is one of a growing number of tertiary education players looking to up its digital marketing game in the face of stiff local and international competition and ongoing threats of deregulation. Another to also roll out Adobe’s Marketing Cloud in particular is the University of Sydney.

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