Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2020

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Social Media/ Internet/ Mobile/ Direct Marketing


The Social Media Magnet is presented as a new pedagogy for organic, inbound marketing instruction. This methodology has now been deployed for the last four years across multiple universities combining a digital online delivery system with a new theory and a live online practicum to teach college students both strategic and tactical planning for inbound marketing campaigns. Using live website creation, social media planning tools, and email retention campaigns, students using this pedagogy learn the best practices for inbound marketing. This is not a simulation, but a live practicum that teaches students real-time inbound marketing principles. This paper recaps the Social Media Magnet Theory and Practicum but develops a deeper theoretical and applicable understanding of The Brand Axis, a strategic tool that is used to measure brand loyalty and engagement, providing a strategic prescription for how brands can keep their brand messaging centered on the four brand elements: Story, Promise, Belief, and Trust.

Data across one-hundred and fifteen students collected through multiple universities will be presented that demonstrates the working model in action. Results indicate that students who actively use both the acquisition and retention processes of the inbound campaign build increased brand awareness and completed goal funnel metrics at faster rates. This suggests that brands that learn to stay engaged with the four brand elements are less likely to become off-center of the Brand Axis. Misalignment causes confusion and a decrease in the harmony and serialization of content focused messages that drive awareness and consumers to move to action. The goal of the Social Media Magnet Theory is to teach individuals and companies how to continually align their message to their brand story driving organic results. The pedagogy provided also provides professors the tools, resources, assignments, and practicum needed to teach the organic, inbound strategies needed by businesses today. Our vision is that the Social Media Magnet will provide students with the foundation on how to create brand strategies using digital content, implement those content strategies, and learn to audit their organic campaigns with the current marketing analytics provided by current digital and social media platforms.

Included in

Marketing Commons