Mobile technology has caught up with Rutgers, which is launching an executive education program in digital marketing that integrates Apple’s new iPad technology into the curriculum.

Rutgers will launch its “Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing Executive Certificate Program,” a five-day course on Monday, July 19, at 9 a.m. at its Livingston campus in Piscataway. The course, already full for this month, is expected to return in September as a 12-week evening program. Cost: $4,995, which includes the iPad. Call 732-445-5639 or E-mail eric.greenberg@rutgers.edu.

The course includes lessons on digital and social media marketing, real time research and response, mobile marketing, online PR; digital brand management, understanding the new digital consumer, return on investment of digital marketing, digital innovation models, and digital transformation.

Students will use the iPads to design, track, and monitor digital marketing campaigns throughout the course. They also will interact with one another and the professors on social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In, Youtube, and Twitter. The devices will come pre-configured with all required reading material, including cases, articles, chapters and videos pre-loaded for the students.

“Digital marketing is projected as one of the highest job growth projections in the field, so people are looking to advance their careers,” says #b#Eric Greenberg#/b#, the coordinator of the digital marketing mini-MBA. “For the most part, students have some digital marketing experience or serve in that role in their institution. But we have some students for whom that is not the case.”

Greenberg teaches the marketing module in the business essentials mini-MBA program. “The feedback from students was that they loved the modules but they wanted more content,” he says. “A year and a half ago we started developing a mini-MBA in strategic marketing. As we were developing this program we started going through potential students and asked what content they were looking to learn.”

The overall feedback was digital marketing. When the announcement that the iPad would come out some time this year, Rutgers jumped on the opportunity to use it in a digital marketing program.

As far as Greenberg knows, this is the first course to integrate a particular piece of technology into the academic curriculum at Rutgers. The iPad caught his attention because he saw an evolution in the way people were consuming and using information through the iPhone and the iPod. “You can’t teach a marketing course without mentioning Apple and the way they market,” he says. “We anticipated that people were going to be excited about it and were going to use it. We knew it was going to be something that was potentially a transformative experience in the customer/firm relationship. That’s really what we’re focused on, how the power seems to be shifting, how technology is allowing customers to have much more say in the marketplace and in engagement with firms.”

As each new technological advance happens, he says, we see power starting to shift more and more toward customers. “Firms that recognize that and try to engage customers to take control over their experience are the firms we see winning in the marketplace.”

#b#The consumer frontier#/b#. Greenberg believes the iPad represents the first type of technology that combines the benefit of mobility with the ability to generate content and integrate the device in a way that the other models could not. “It was the first technology that I thought would appeal to the non-computer users, people like seniors who perhaps do not use computers that often, or they are not user friendly enough,” says Greenberg. “It’s able to be used in ways computers were not before — to tap into customers that were not previously in the marketplace.”

In other words, it’s not stealing customers from competitors. It’s making all other devices irrelevant.

Greenberg believes it is critical for anyone seeking to pursue a career in marketing, or to advance their career in the field, to understand the new technology, to understand how it affects the customer experience and then to see how to integrate it into the overall marketing plan.

“What better way to prepare a marketing expert than to give them the device to actually walk in the customers’ shoes?” he asks. “When I go out and do consulting I always say to the CEOs you need to get out of your office and walk in the customers shoes. We look at the iPad as an opportunity to put in the classroom the experience of the customers.”

According to Greenberg, for many students, this course will provide their first opportunity to work with an iPad to see what the customer experience is like and to understand the device’s capabilities and limitations. “Then we’re going to ask them to create marketing plans and strategies to take advantage of the capabilities of the new technology,” he says.

Greenberg grew up on Long Island, the son of a lumber broker and a stay-at-home mother. He earned his bachelor’s in business from Penn, and his J.D. and L.L.M. in taxation from New York University. He then began his career as a tax attorney on Wall Street.

“I ended up writing the tax disclosures on financial instruments, which was fairly dry and not what I anticipated when I took the position,” he says. “I always wanted to start my own business. I saw there was an opportunity back in the early 1990s to do that. I really thought I would just be starting a business for six months and move on. But I was in the right place at the right time.”

Greenberg started his own marketing firm, Millennium Teleservices, which he ran for a decade. In that time, as president and CEO, he grew it into a full service customer relations management firm with more than 5,000 employees in 34 offices and with revenues in excess of $100 million. After selling the business in 2001 he started his own consulting firm, and began teaching at the Rutgers Business School in 2002.

Greenberg started a research center in customer relations management and also teaches in the Rutgers International Executive MBA program overseas in Singapore and China.

“I love what I do,” he says. “Marketing is such an exciting and dynamic field in terms of understanding the customer experience and relating to customers. I have always loved the combination of the creative and the analytic in marketing.”

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