Cal Poly Brings Marketo to Classrooms

Students Use Marketo
In 2014, Cal Poly’s Marketing area took a strategic step forward in evolving its Learn by Doing curriculum trends and technologies that will impact its graduates. Marketing area Chair Lynn Metcalf officially announced an innovative partnership between Cal Poly and the automated marketing software powerhouse Marketo, with implications in the classroom and at other universities. Cal Poly’s Marketing area is the first and only university to use Marketo in the classroom.

“Our belief and motto has always been that students Learn by Doing and that practical, hands-on experience is a key contributor to career growth and success,” said Metcalf. “Our partnership with Marketo allows us to arm our students with cutting-edge marketing techniques and practices to ensure they are not only competitive and desirable candidates but also invaluable contributors to and leaders of any organization.”

The relationship began in the spring of 2014 when Marketo sponsored two on-campus marketing internships. Marketing Professor Jeff Hess helmed the project with the two students and a Marketo consultant to build the modules and tools students would use across a 10-week course. During fall quarter, Dr. Hess debuted Marketo in a university classroom in BUS 419: Strategic Marketing Measurement, in which students drove a conceptualized marketing campaign, tackled large data sets, analyzed trends, and built an engagement plan responsive to customer behavior. The course empowers Cal Poly business students to master the platform and begin to understand data-driven decision making within a marketing strategy. The curriculum allows graduates to leverage experience with Marketo with their potential employers or even bring the software to new businesses they lead.

“Current Cal Poly students have a huge advantage in their future career by having Marketo experience,” said Jackie Gragnonla, alumna and demand generation manager at ClearSlide. “I began using the platform early in my career, and I know that so many students will realize how many doors it will open when they put it on their resume and secure interviews as a result.”

Marketo is a complement to the other data software Cal Poly continues to teach, including IBM’s SPSS, Google Analytics and Dialogr. Other courses also focus on platforms like Cision, Qualtrics, Survey Gizmo and Excel. Marketo will use Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing curriculum as a model for its implementation at other universities throughout the nation. Back on campus, Cal Poly’s marketing program will use Marketo and other technology-centered resources in new classes in development.