Newhouse School partners with The Trade Desk to teach students about data-driven digital campaigns

By Wendy S. Loughlin

June 5, 2018

An innovative advertising course at the Newhouse School, developed in partnership with The Trade Desk, a leading programmatic buying platform, is helping students master data-driven digital campaigns.

Who’s Your Data? The Power and Promise of Big Data was taught this spring by Newhouse associate professor of advertising Beth Egan. She worked with The Trade Desk, a self-service technology platform for managing digital advertising campaigns, to develop an interactive curriculum that helps develop the next generation of digital marketers.

Building upon The Trade Desk’s technology and data analytics expertise, Egan helped students gain an understanding of how marketers can precisely target audiences across multiple media channels and devices and how they can measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns in real time. 

“Students learned unique skills that allowed them to bridge the gap between traditional data scientist and advertising strategist,” Egan says.

Lucy Sutphin, a 2018 graduate of the advertising program, was a student in the class. “This class introduced me to all new types of data, and improved my understanding, as an advertiser and a consumer, of the benefits, and challenges, of data collection,” she says. “Now I feel like I understand the data behind programmatic ad buying, a concept that has changed the advertising industry. Being able to talk about programmatic in simple, clear language has made me feel much better equipped to play a more helpful role at any agency or platform where I might work.”

In the class, students learned about different types of data and ways to use data-driven insights to strategically find and engage with audiences. “It’s about creating meaningful relationships with consumers and making ads more relevant to them to enhance the customer experience,” Sutphin says.

Susan Vobejda, The Trade Desk’s chief marketing officer, noted, “The Trade Desk is committed to developing the next generation of marketers. We’re excited to partner with Syracuse to highlight the power and precision of programmatic as it is the future of digital advertising.”

Students in the class worked with Newhouse associate professor Brad Gorham, director of the media studies program, with the goal of increasing applications to the program. “We gathered data on who was visiting the media studies pages of the Newhouse School website and who was clicking ‘learn more’ or ‘apply now,’” says Egan. “These insights provided us with information on what types of audiences to focus on.” Students presented their findings in April.

Students also had access to The Trade Desk’s industry-leading Trading Academy curriculum and completed the company’s programmatic certification. They also worked with students at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies, who ran more complex data analyses to develop strategies that better targeted ads.

Students also worked with professionals at The Trade Desk to gain real-world experience in digital media buying and campaign optimization.