Indiana State University Newsroom

Business students discover the benefits of digital marketing

October 28, 2015

The days of sharing experiences and thoughts verbally one person at a time have been replaced with sharing hundreds of thousands of tweets and posts on social media.

It's a trend Indiana State University students learned more about during a presentation from Bryan Bruce - founder of the hospitality Internet marketing group Your Brand Voice, based in Orlando, Fla. The Meis Student Development Center hosted the presentation for students in Vernon Sweetin's MBA class and Sandeep Bhowmick's product marketing course.

"(Digital marketing) is how you amplify the word of mouth," Bruce said. "We're amplifying and sharing these experiences and putting them in the places where people are pay attention now days, in mobile devices."

Bruce, who was connected with Indiana State through a student who served as one of his company's first interns, shared how years of working in the hospitality industry encouraged his to venture out on his own. He launched Your Brand Voice in 2009 to serve the digital marketing needs of a wide variety of clients that include Disney World and Sea World as well as small businesses nationwide.

"It's hard, almost impossible, to compete with digital marketing on a flat piece of paper. It's hard to create experiences that make you motivated to go to an event, spend $1,000 or go to a business," Bruce said. "You have to motive a customer to do that and radio, print and TV still work, but it's not working where people are paying the most attention. The businesses that are thriving, changing and dominating are meeting people where they are today."

Tavell Grant, a senior sport management major and marketing minor from Hammond, is eager to try out some of Bruce's tips for boosting social media viewers as he handles the social media responsibilities for three clients - his church, a funeral home and the Council on Domestic Abuse in Terre Haute.

"It's helped learn how I can help boost the posts and target more people in the area that may be in need of the services that these places can offer," he said. "Listening to (Bruce) talk was really an inspiration to me. I would love to do what he does someday."

That's exactly the motivation behind getting speakers such as Bruce in front of students, Bhowmick said.

"It's a good warm-up for them to hear from people who work in industries like this every day," he said. "When we bring speakers in it really helps students to see how what we do in the classroom connects to future jobs they'll be applying for."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or