September 23, 2023


Business&Finance Specialists

Social media marketing classes offered at Northwestern University

2 min read

The Influencer Marketing Strategy Program will be taught by Professor Mohan Sawhney, an e-commerce consultant and author, and Amanda Russell, author of “The Influencer Code.” Guest speakers will include top influencers and subject and brand experts, such as Jesse Itzler, founder of NetJets, a private jet company; Abigail Posner, blogger and director of brand and creative business strategy at Google; influencer and TV personality Nigel Barker; Larry Namer, founder of E! Entertainment Network; and best-selling author Erik Qualman. 

“Influencer marketing is relationship marketing, but this approach is really misunderstood in the market,” Sawhney said in a statement announcing the course. “We’re helping brands to drive growth by understanding what influences their customers, activated through a series of proprietary frameworks and tools.”

As influencers become an increasingly important part of marketing strategies, higher education institutions are taking note. Influencer marketing spending in the U.S. is forecasted to hit $3.69 billion this year, up from $2.76 billion in 2020, according to a June report by eMarketer. The report predicts that spending will surpass $4 billion in 2022. Kellogg isn’t the first school to offer an influencer marketing course for executives. UCLA and Rutgers have similar classes. 

Participants will learn how to find the right influencers for their business, how to measure and improve influencer marketing efforts, and familiarize themselves with agreements and contracts. They’ll also hear examples from speakers on how influencer marketing helped their brands.

The online course will be in partnership with Emeritus, an online platform that works with top universities to provide remote executive education courses.

“We are excited to bring a program teaching such cutting-edge skills to professionals all over the globe,” Lisa Rohrer, head of university partnerships at Emeritus, said in a statement. “Coming out of the pandemic, brands are eager to gain back any lost ground and learn the most impactful methods to drive growth. This unique program will teach skills to help organizations leverage these techniques to achieve their goals.”

The eight-week online class starts on Dec. 9. Applications are open until Nov. 8. The course costs $3,300, but executives who apply before Nov. 9 will get a discount. 

Erika Wheless writes for Crain’s sister publication Ad Age.