COVID-19 in the Industry: Dr. Squires on Marketing

The field of marketing was well positioned to be online; we just stepped that up a bit.

With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, no industry has been left untouched—and marketing is no exception. To explain the effect the pandemic and quarantine are having on the industry and in the classroom, Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Scot Squires took a moment to discuss his unique perspective.

Since technology is constantly evolving, Dr. Squires expressed that the marketing industry was in some ways prepared for the crisis. “With digital marketing, a lot of things were already online,” he explained. “The field of marketing was well positioned to be online; we just stepped that up a bit.” Since many marketing employees are able to work from home, jobs in the industry have also remained relatively stable. This is in part because marketing is such a staple in most businesses. Dr. Squires expressed that no matter what the world looks like, it’s still going to be necessary to get the word out.

We’re able to do it very similar to what we did before, but now instead of face-to-face we’re using Zoom.

Dr. Squires described this moment as a potential turning point in the marketing industry. In the midst of this pandemic, individuals have had no alternative to video conferencing, and have found themselves forced to explore new territory. “Right now we’re exploring these methods in other ways than we would have done previously,” he said of the new industry tools.

He also expressed that the effects of the pandemic would likely far outlast the quarantine. “You’re going to see a lot more people working from home,” Dr. Squires said. “They are set up, they have their home offices, they’re on Zoom…There’s really no reason they can’t, now.” In some ways, it seems that the marketing industry is using this time to prove just how flexible it can be. While traveling used to be central to marketing, it may become more beneficial for industry jobs to change into stay at home positions. “It will save companies money not to have offices everywhere,” he expressed. And, for the employees, the flexibility of working from home can’t be ignored.

Dr. Squires’ marketing classes at Ferris are using similar techniques to adapt students to the changes. In order to switch the course load to fully online, they are relying heavily on Zoom and Blackboard, as well as classic online tools like Powerpoint. “We’re able to do it very similar to what we did before,” he explained, “but now instead of face-to-face we’re using Zoom.” The new methods for teaching online classes have also made the transition much easier. When asked if online is an effective way to teach his courses, he said that it can be, when done correctly and with the right technology.

Once this ends and people start hiring, you’ll be ready to go.

In fact, the biggest challenge for Dr. Squires in the transition has been the speed with which it has had to happen. There have been a lot of decisions and changes in a relatively short amount of time, and no one—professor or student—had any advance warning.

However, despite the rough circumstances, Dr. Squires expressed that it is exciting to see people banding together to make it through. On a large scale, American businesses are making face masks and ventilators, and supporting first responders. Even on a local level, he says that his students are stepping up. “they’ve been on Zoom calls, they’ve emailed me with questions, they’ve continued to do their team assignments…they’ve been really positive.”

For everyone affected by the Stay Safe Stay Home order, Dr. Squires suggests taking things one day at a time. To fight boredom, he suggests diving deeper into personal branding, and working to refine your LinkedIn and résumé. “Once this ends and people start hiring, you’ll be ready to go.”