Jed Singer and Erik Harbison both count long careers in the marketing industry that bloomed through the launch and growth of digital marketing. Now, they’re offering that experience to the next generation.
The pair met while working at King of Prussia-based tech company GSI Commerce more than a decade ago (before the company’s sale to eBay in 2011 for $2.4 billion). Singer said Harbison was a mentor to him, and they kept in touch for years after they were no longer coworkers. They both moved on to work with universities locally and around the region to develop their marketing curriculum.
After years of collegiate work and mentoring thousands of students, Singer and Harbison started a podcast — The Marketing Career — that would spawn their now-business. In 2018, they launched The Marketing Help, an online space for mentorship, training resources and career navigation, where people in the marketing industry could connect.
With a combined four decades of experience in the industry, the pair were looking for a way to influence and inform future marketers. The platform houses the podcast, offers courses like the “Marketing Dream Job Bootcamp” the “Job Search Bootcamp,” as well as interview guides, ebooks and a membership program for its newsletter and library of resources. The goal, Singer told Technical.ly, is to help 1 million marketing pros accelerate their careers.
And this month, the pair are finding their way back to the business’ roots. In January, The Marketing Help is rolling out some resources specifically aimed at college students: a free membership to TMH+, which gives users access to hundreds of resources in its library, and matches them to a virtual career mentor, weekly office hours and monthly group chat sessions. TMH+ is available to anyone who’s interested in those services, but for undergraduate students with an active .edu email address, the $199 a month service is now free.
The virtual services make sense for the business world we’re operating in, Singer said.
“Because of what’s happening with distributed nature of teams, we don’t see reverting back to that ‘everyone is heading back to the office’ mindset,” he said. “We’re teaching for a hybrid model.”
The company is also establishing a $5,000 “Future of Marketing” scholarship program for any college student in the US studying business, marketing or communications. A few local higher ed institutions like University of Pennsylvania and Penn State University are partners in these new initiatives, but any student from anywhere in the US is eligible to apply if they’re pursuing a career in those three fields. The first round of applications close May 31, and can be applied toward the 2022-2023 school year.
The online programing and scholarship outline how the cofounders feel the marketing industry is going, especially in a pandemic-effected world. Those interested in applying are asked to record interviews with active marketing professionals in their field and create a video presentation outlining their insights and how they’ll fold them into their career. Singer said he and Harbison hope to offer more than one scholarship a year, over the next few years, and TMH+subscriptions will help fund that effort.
“[The pandemic] has really changed how business professionals operate. Marketing rituals, data presentations — all of that has been thrown into flux. The way you manage your career in a hybrid work environment has changed,” Singer said. “You’re going to need to find a way to communicate with your manager and your team in different ways. The networking you’d normally do at conferences and meetups has changed. The new focus is in finding online communities where you can connect.”
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