The impact that homogeneous global advertising can have on multiculturalism in society has long been a challenge. Both Merkle, a dentsu company, and Howard University saw an opportunity for collaboration in challenging the status quo.

Merkle is partnering with the Howard University School of Business, a historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Washington, DC, to boost its consumer marketing curriculum. By bringing real-world insights, ideas and the latest technology into the classroom, we can help young people find out more about the media and the career opportunities our industry can offer. We developed leading-edge database technology and content to create four courses focused on data science and analytics skills, designed to enhance learning and introduce students to how our industry works. Four subject-matter experts from Merkle have joined the classroom at Howard University to guest lecture, and roughly 100 students have now benefitted from the updated curriculum.

The programme extends beyond the four courses. We also support the School of Business through various other activities, including a summer boot camp and internships to recruit students for full-time careers.

“Merkle is committed to investing in the future workforce and partnering with historically Black colleges and universities to build a sustainable, diverse talent pipeline,” explains Kirt Morris, Global Chief Equity Officer for Merkle/CXM. “Through our partnership, we are ensuring that students in the School of Business gain advanced access to best practices, industry experts and state-of-the- art tools currently being used in marketing and customer experience management.”

Collectively, Merkle and Howard University hope that this partnership will help diversify the talent pipeline, helping to bring under-represented communities and their voices into the marketing industry