The University of Pretoria’s Department of Marketing Management has long prided itself on its practical approach to teaching marketing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. From early on, undergraduate students are tasked with devising strategic marketing solutions to problems faced by real-world clients, their companies, brands, products, and services.
The BCom Honours in Marketing Management programme takes this practical teaching approach to the next level, where the one-year degree exposes students to a wide variety of clients from various industries in both the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) markets. The honours modules give students the opportunity to formulate innovative and strategic solutions for actual marketing problems faced by our industry partner organisations. The programme’s Marketing in Practice module is especially valuable, thanks to one of the module’s lecturers – a marketing specialist, speaker and online business owner – Michelle du Plessis. By presenting students with practical learning opportunities based on her own e-commerce business, Macaroon Collection, students are given insight into the real world of digital and social media marketing.
Michelle, who is pictured below, is the founder and manager of Macaroon Collection, an online high-end fashion boutique in South Africa. She has been running the business for the past 10 years, and this first-hand experience has developed her into a passionate specialist on small business marketing. Her business grew alongside the evolution of social and digital marketing, giving her a unique outlook on the integration of traditional and digital marketing strategies, and making her an even more invaluable part of to the honours programme. A born and bred Tukkie, Michelle completed her BCom (2005), honours (2011) and master’s (2015) degrees in Marketing Management at UP. She has also obtained various certifications related to social media, digital marketing, and e-commerce.
Ms Michelle du Plessis
UP contract lecturer and Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate
Most recently, Michelle qualified as a Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate, a credential awarded to digital marketers who have foundational proficiency in the skills, tools, advertising policies and best practices required to buy advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. When asked why she decided to complete the certification, she cited the dynamic nature of digital marketing and its impact on her businesses’ profitability, being able to equip students with the most recent developments in the field and her enjoyment of learning, as her main motivators: “I like to learn. It is important for your personal development. I am currently busy with my Google Certification. One has to keep the brain active.”
The Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate course offers a comprehensive overview of everything related to social media advertising: from defining your goals, targeting your audience, creating ads, measuring their efficiency and return on ad spend, to data protection and information privacy – knowledge Michelle hopes to transfer to the honours students in the near future: “I am very excited to add what I have learnt to the course and there are definitely new topics I can bring to the table and share with the students moving forward.”