Marketing moves

Cullman City Schools students work on marketing projects as part of the district's new marketing career tech program. (CCS)

Students learning marketing, design skills at CHS, CMS

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman students are able to learn marketing and design skills this year, as part of Cullman City Schools’ new expansion of potential career tech courses.

As part of the marketing course, students are taking on several real-life projects to create content for schools across the system, boosting school spirit and elevating the visibility of various sports team and clubs. Students have created a marketing bulletin board, with their creations from Canva promoting games, schedules and events, and providing information via newsletters.

A Digital Media Skills Development and Entrepreneur/Financial Skills Development course is offered to seventh and eighth graders at Cullman Middle School; while Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship (with a dual enrollment class through Wallace in Excel), and Sports Entertainment Marketing are offered for grades 9-12 at Cullman High School.

“Armed with their marketing know-how, they are crafting compelling advertisements that capture the essence of our diverse and vibrant extracurricular activities. Students in the marketing program are experiencing a highly positive and engaging learning environment,” marketing instructor Ashley Morris said. “They are actively involved in creating content for other schools, as well as local businesses around the community. This hands-on experience has garnered enthusiastic responses from both students and their parents, as well as receiving praise from colleagues. Overall, the program encourages creativity and real-world skills in marketing, making it a resounding success.”

The course of study runs the gamut from the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and online advertising. Students are also learning content creation and strategy skills, the workflow to develop content marketing plans and digital content, and ow to analyze analytics and optimize their plans using data.

Students are also learning some business basics, including business plans, market research, financial management and product development. They’ll also walk through marketing strategy techniques, and business ethics. Students are tackling creative projects ranging from designing their own subscription box experience, to mocking up their own pitch for a food truck business.

The sports marketing course teaches students the basics of the business, including marketing in sports and entertainment, strategies for promoting sporting events and concerts, and building fan engagement.

Morris noted that offering a program like this at the middle school and high school level has invaluable benefits for students who might be considering a career in marketing or business.

“Through hands-on experience, students develop practical marketing, advertising, and promotional skills, enabling them to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. This encourages creativity, innovation, and problem-solving abilities, preparing them for future careers. Collaborative teamwork is a key component, helping students build essential collaboration skills for life,” she said. “Creating content for other schools and events allows students to taste the professional marketing world early, potentially influencing their career choices. Furthermore, such programs boost students’ confidence, enhance community engagement, and provide networking opportunities. Overall, a high school and middle school marketing program equips students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to succeed in a marketing-driven world, encouraging personal and professional growth.”