Educating and Equipping the Next Generation of Marketing Professionals
The Universal Orlando Resort marketing team has successfully launched hundreds of new guest experiences, attractions and events. Now, they’re sharing their knowledge with the next generation of marketing professionals.
Universal Orlando’s new youth program, Marketing is Universal: Keeping the Guest at Heart, utilizes the campaign strategies developed by Universal Orlando’s marketing team to shape an engaging educational experience for students interested in pursuing a career in the field.
Marketing is Universal was developed in partnership with DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. The new program is rooted in educational standards from DECA’s Marketing Career Cluster.
“The beauty of [Universal Orlando] is that we have representation from careers with a wide breadth of opportunities, and that includes marketing,” said Teresa Crews, Manager of Program Development. “We can take classroom experiences and lessons that DECA sponsors and initiates, and we can bring them to life here in the park.”
The new program includes a teacher toolkit with pre-visit lessons that introduce youth to the topics they’ll experience in the park. Once there, they learn how Universal Orlando’s marketing team applies industry knowledge to initiate their campaigns and get the word out to the right audience, with the right frequency.
“This fits really well in our STEAM initiative, especially under the arts,” Crews said. “But don’t forget there’s math in here, too. Marketing is built on insights, it’s built on probability … There’s a lot of science behind it.”
The Marketing is Universal program is particularly informative for students interested in business and marketing. During one of the pilot programs, the team worked with a few students who wanted to start a business. The students had built a website and launched a Kickstarter campaign.
“They were really excited to learn what we had shared with them, because there was a lot they could apply to their own initiatives,” Crews said.
After learning about Universal Orlando’s marketing tactics, youth put their new knowledge and skills to the test in a hands-on project, on-site. They get to use their own creativity and put together a campaign to present to their peers and educator.
“I’m excited for the opportunities that it brings to the kids. When the kids come here and they’re all of a sudden introduced to something that they may not have even realized they were interested in,” Crews said.
“When art students come out here and they see the videos that go into creating these campaigns and they realize—there is a place for me in this line of business—and they get it excited? That’s what’s in it for me. I love that.”
Learn more about Universal Orlando’s Marketing is Universal: Keeping the Guest at Heart at universalorlandoyouth.com.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Teach & Travel.
Photo Courtesy of Sheri Lowen.