Business Technology

British parents expect UK schools to have more focus on digital marketing education

3 min read

16 December 2014

Former deputy editor

Three quarters of parents in the UK want to see schools teaching their children lessons around social media, online advertising, viral marketing and digital PR, believing the knowledge will help them secure successful jobs.

As IT becomes the everyday for millions of Brits today, whether in the workplace or leisurely use of a smartphone or tablet, the government announced in September that a change to the curriculum will see children as young as five taught how to programme with “computational thinking”.

Optimus Performance Marketing surveyed British parents in full-time employment, all of whom were aged over 35 with at least one child aged 16 or under in full-time education to discover 73 believe there should be more of a focus on “modern skills” of digital marketing and ecommerce.

They elaborated why the digital education is so important, saying:

1. To help my child secure good job opportunities and career aspects – 62 per cent

2. To become more aware of online activities – 27 per cent

3. To take preference over current subjects taught which aren’t as important for my child (e.g. home economics, design technology) – 22 per cent

4. For increased safety and awareness of the potential dangers/scams of the internet – 17 per cent

5. In order to teach me more about the topics – 11 per cent

Mark Russell, CEO of Optimus Performance Marketing, said: “After working in this industry for longer than I would care to admit, it is evident that the demand for high quality digital marketing education and qualifications is now growing rapidly in almost every market, and parents of school-age children in the UK are clearly taking this on board.

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“By opening youngsters’ minds to the practices of such marketing strategies as SEO, pay per click, online advertising, email marketing, viral marketing, online PR, affiliate marketing and social media, there is every chance that individuals will be gaining a head-start with regards to their future careers as well as a valuable insight into today’s digital arena,” he added.

Some 34 per cent of the parents said they’ve had to use digital channels to promote products and services for their current employers, with social media generating most of the activity for 41 per cent. The study found email marketing was also used by 28 per cent while mobile marketing was used by 13 per cent.

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