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Published June 10th 2020

Interview: UWE Bristol’s Tom Bowden-Green on Brandwatch For Classrooms

MSc Digital Marketing students at UWE Bristol are benefitting from hands-on experience with industry-leading software. Here, their course leader explains how it works

For students looking for a successful career in digital marketing, studying the theory and research on the topic is incredibly valuable. But nothing quite beats hands-on, practical experience with industry-leading tools.

Tom Bowden leads the MSc Digital Marketing at the University of West England (UWE), Bristol. He is a passionate advocate for working closely with the industry to give students the most valuable insights into the working world. As such, he has incorporated Brandwatch For Classrooms into the course he teaches.

“We’ve been able to work with industry from the inception of the programme to ensure we’re using tools that are commonplace in the workplace. We know that Brandwatch offers one of the world’s leading digital consumer intelligence platforms, and that it is used by digital marketers globally. We therefore felt that students would benefit from using a tool that they are likely to encounter in their working lives.”

How does it work?

“Classes tend to be fairly small and see students working in computer rooms equipped with industry-standard software,” says Tom.

Students start by learning the basics of creating search queries, and then log on to the platform to run and amend those queries, apply filters, and explore different ways of visualizing results.

The process allows for plenty of experimentation, and students can get a feel for the different ways they can discover new insights. “They really enjoy running and experimenting with queries,” says Tom. “Sometimes they are puzzled and challenged by surprising and unexpected results, which is great because it then leads to deeper interrogation and understanding.”

Once they’ve learned to use Brandwatch, they can apply what they’ve learned to the projects they’re assessed on.

“Ultimately, the students are then expected to demonstrate their use of Brandwatch in their portfolio coursework and group pitch.  By presenting the results of their searches, they can then make sensible and meaningful suggestions for their strategic use of social media both organically and paid.”

What do the students think?

Brandwatch seems to have gone down well with Tom’s class.

One student said: “When conducting my research for my coursework, Brandwatch was extremely useful in identifying what was relevant and popular when it came to my industry area, and importantly allowed me to separate and pin point and focus on what I was interested in.”

“The students have been impressed with the tool,” says Tom.

“Often their experience of social listening is otherwise limited to free tools that have limited functionality, so they have generally been excited by the scope of the searches they can perform with Brandwatch.”

Want to know more about Brandwatch for Classrooms? Click here.

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