We're broadcasting live from Mercadexpo 2019 at Iberoamericana University in Santo Domingo. Between presenting and partying we sat down with JG Diaz, a director at the Miami Ad School in Punta Cana. We discuss how education is changing to prepare the next generation of marketers.
Jeff Lambert: 00:10 Hello everybody. Welcome to Inbound Academy. I'm your host, Jeff Lambert. I'm really excited to be sitting down today as we are sitting in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic at Mercadexpo 2019. This is a huge event that students here at you know, I forgot the name of the college! And I'm here with JG Diaz, who is the director at the Miami Ad School in Punta Cana, and we are here on the campus of UNIBE.
Jeff Lambert: 00:39 Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about UNIBE? This college is the largest one, right?
JG Diaz: 00:44 No, well hopefully, but it's the largest private university in the Dominican Republic.
Jeff Lambert: 00:51 Got it. So we are here in Santo Domingo. We are on campus. You can hear the party going on outside. Students are having a great time. I've had the opportunity to come here this week and do a certification workshop on social media and JG's present. The Miami Ad School works directly with this college, correct?
JG Diaz: 01:10 Yes, yes. We have a great relationship with UNIBE and it started with the director of the school of marketing, Jose Martin Morillo. Hopefully you'll get to interview him later on. He saw that like synergy that can happen between UNIBE and Miami Ad School and we have developed more of a relationship now with the school's communications arm as well.
Jeff Lambert: 01:43 So we have two colleges working together to try and provide some real world experiences for the students?
JG Diaz: 01:48 Yes. That's the case. Yes. That's the point. You know, they come here, they get a bachelor's degree and then later on if they want to continue their pursuit of a career in advertising and especially on the creative side and strategy side, then they can come to Miami Ad School in Punta Cana and do our program.
Jeff Lambert: 02:13 So talk to me a little bit about Mercadexpo. This event been going on for a long time, right?
JG Diaz: 02:18 Yeah, it's been a long time. You know, we've been fortunate enough to be invited since the last year. This is our second year. Last year we were told like how important it was. You know all this stuff that you guys have experienced today is put together by students. It's put together during their last semester, the marketing students. So they put together all this as a school project. It's a huge school product because they have to deal with speakers, they have to deal with sponsors, they have to deal with the agendas, everything. The instructors are really more like mentoring and supervising everything, but they have to come up with a team and so it's a huge, huge event. I'm very, very glad that they have included us in the mix. And this is our second year here.
Jeff Lambert: 03:16 So I can see what UNIBE's doing and what we've talked about with what Miami Ad School is doing. And I think it's going to directly affect the be the future of marketing in general. And when I see things like this, these students, these seniors in college putting together this massive event, if you could see what we're looking at folks, we have a huge courtyard out there with a DJ and stage cars on display, major corporations like Taco Bell, like McDonald's and Pizza Hut here. And then you have smaller vendors as well. So this is, this is a large scale event that's being held.
JG Diaz: 03:49 And then so for three days, you know, besides what you explained, they also bring in international speakers for students, which is really important. You're not knowing how hard it is to coordinate all that, you know, event, you know, on the professional level. Seeing these kids coordinate all this, you know, picking up speakers and talking to them prior to it, planning the theme, it's really amazing what they're doing here.
Jeff Lambert: 04:24 And I just want to reiterate, this is done entirely by the students? The students are 100% in charge?
JG Diaz: 04:29 Yes.
Jeff Lambert: 04:30 That's amazing. And I think that's exciting. And that's what I want to dive into now. Talking with you, you're directly involved in the academic program development at Miami Ad School and you work closely with this college in terms of the future professionals that you're turning out in marketing and advertising. It's not about the textbook anymore is it?
JG Diaz: 04:49 No, it is not about the textbook anymore. It's about real life experience. And that's one thing that Miami Ad School has been famous for - that our instructors are professionals in their industries. So they bring their everyday challenges and goals and relationships to the classroom with real projects. And then our students at Miami Ad School end up with real experience. We are worldwide and getting us associated with universities like, you name it, we can see that even more traditional universities are, taking that route for training their students in real-life situations. Like you mentioned a couple of times, Mercadexpo is a perfect example of that.
Jeff Lambert: 05:51 Yeah, absolutely. It's project-based learning really is what it is. So what this college is doing in terms of academics with their students and what you're doing at the Miami Ad School, what are some of the skills that you push that you want your future professionals to possess?
JG Diaz: 06:08 Well, in our case, creativity is, it's the core of our soul. You know, we understand how important it is to have credibility in business. And it's only because I was just talking to one of the speakers and he was asking me what do I see the future is? And I see that, that we were for many years into this data-driven space, and I'm not thinking of anything but data. But brands realize that that if we are only looking at that, it's not good. And now creativity is back into the conversation, and we're working with that. So, so we can really put that up front and help brands. And that's what we're teaching at Miami Ad School. And I see universities like this also saying like, "Hey, you know creativity and developing a brand is important." One thing that I also tell my students is that creativity is great and we should like be really looking for new ways to communicate and look at innovation and technology. But at the same time we have to be responsible on the execution side of the business, you know, and making sure that what we dream is well executed as well.
Jeff Lambert: 07:46 Sure. Anybody can have an idea, right? You'd have to know how to execute that.
JG Diaz: 07:51 An idea that is not executed as a dream. So yeah, no, but yes. You know, that skillset is more of a toolbox containing all these pieces where, you know, creativity's there and then responsibility, time management, that leads to execution. So we train our students to go there and do it all. You know, get running on the business.
Jeff Lambert: 08:22 You know, I've met students in the past. I was a teacher for 10 years and a lot of times I'm talking with students and they say, "you know, I love how advertising works, or I love art, but I can't draw or I can't paint or I can't do this or this or this." And that stops them from pursuing something in the creative arts. But I think education fosters creativity.
JG Diaz: 08:41 Yes. Yes. And one thing that we tell you know, young kids, is like we are all creative. You know, we tend to come up with creative ideas and, and like you said, we, the institutions help foster that creativity.
Jeff Lambert: 08:56 Do you feel that Miami Ad School and UBIBE, the programs that they're doing now where it's out of the textbook and more real-world experience, is that the best way to drive growth with creativity?
JG Diaz: 09:06 So, you know, I think putting kids in that space or where they have to find solutions by themselves, yeah, It's a way of fostering creativity. And we see that with the groups of young students that come to us and are looking for a space that lets them be themselves and, and grow in a space where their voice is heard. And that's what makes Miami Ad School different than most institutions. And again, you know, I'm glad that you keep talking about this thing between Miami Ad School and UBIBE. We both are talking the same language. We have different age ranges. You know, our students are older. Yeah. You know, students that come to us never come from right out of high school.
JG Diaz: 10:03 But it was weird getting into that space of fostering young individuals with a voice. It's not for people that like to use straight lines and need to go to certain points.And then you're also going to have to tell students that yes, you don't have to need to know how to draw or, you know, paint. You know, I tell students if you want to go into that, then you go into fine arts. You see fine arts, they're in the commercial space. So, ideas are important, how to execute them, and it's important you start looking for people that can help you make that idea into reality.
Jeff Lambert: 10:52 I think that's right where students want to be in terms of going to school. They want to have an education that lets them get right into it. You know, even when I was growing up, and I'm sure when you were, there were those points when we were in school or we're listening to the teacher and thinking, "when am I ever gonna use this?" And these kids are like, "Oh, I get to use this right now!"
JG Diaz: 11:13 Yeah, I know. I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago, you know, over drinks, which is great. Conversations happened. I kept telling them that I haven't heard one person telling me why I needed to know chemistry. That was me. You know, there were other people at that table that would make you memorize something like that. I've never found a time in my life that I needed that. But again, you know, it's traditional education. These things happen. I'm a strong believer.
Jeff Lambert: 12:10 Absolutely. There was a Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson, who's a famous voice over in Great Britain. And he talked about how schools kill creativity the way that they're structured. And that was a real eye-opener. And it's true. You know, we kinda treat schools like structured prison time really throughout the day and you see how that can work against kids with their ideas that they have and what they're going to do with them. So I want to talk about inbound a little bit because we're an inbound podcast. And you know, you're deep into the curriculum about what your students are learning and you're directing that academic program. How much does inbound become a part of the curriculum for students where they're learning how to attract the customer instead of forcing their way into their lives? Is that kind of the common practice that you see now and what you teach your students?
JG Diaz: 13:04 Yeah. That's funny that you mention that because it's something that we've been doing without calling it that. I mean there's like with some industries or some brands that even when they don't call or email, they recognize the importance of putting out content that attracts customers to their brand rather than trying to approach it in their face. So yeah, we are incorporating an inbound mentality and thinking in our curriculum in a way that it feels natural. It doesn't feel like, "Oh, you're learning an inbound class" you know? It's like, it's like digital, you know, when people say like, "Oh, you know, I'm creating a digital department." I'm like "you're wrong." Everything should be digital!
JG Diaz: 14:12 So for me everything should be inbound because right now, you know, you can talk to consumers over there and say like, "hey don't force me, I don't want to be attracted." Inbound agencies are the ones that are putting out their content and people are coming to them and their brand are nurturing these relationships and keep growing and growing and growing.
Jeff Lambert: 15:26 Is this a safe statement to say the marketer that is coming out of college, I'm using the term "future" but the future marketer is going to be the inbound marketer. Is that a accurate statement?
JG Diaz: 15:41 I would go back to not the labeling thing. You know, it's the future of marketing for me. The future marketer is the one who has inbound as part of their toolkit in their communication with consumers, and the relationship with brands and consumers, is about being a marketer. It's like a marketer that uses inbound. And those marketers understand the power of inbound are going to succeed.
Jeff Lambert: 16:25 It's not who they are. It's how they think.
JG Diaz: 16:27 I think that's fine. And that's how I see inbound, you know? Because you know, again, you know it's like, "Oh, am I an inbound guy or am I a traditional guy?" No, it's that you have those tools. You have that understanding that yes, you can be better with some things but that brand doesn't understand that digital is a language that it has to live in every touch point of your consumers' lives right now. It's not going to grow. The same thing with inbound. Some brands don't understand that. It's about being transparent and letting the consumer come to you. And once they come to you, then you nurture that relationship. If you use or understand that then then your brand is going to grow. Period.
Jeff Lambert: 17:25 That that makes perfect sense. In terms of what we see outside happening right now, this is an effort where they're putting the audience first and they are attracting a lot of people.
JG Diaz: 17:34 They are attracting a lot of people. I'm pretty sure those kids are getting exposed to all those brands that are down here are going to feel like they have a relationship with the brand. It's not the like, you know, you'd have to like here, here's a brochure, here's a sticker here. So I put it on. Yeah, no, it's like let me talk to the brand. And that's what we're seeing now with this generation that is coming up. You know, they, they, they are in control. You know, I'm a firm believer that, that, you know, that the label, again, the, you know, we as human mean for like with anything in everybody. You know, we've been labeling this generation as a lazy generation. That is not the legacy of this generation. They are in control and we as adults hate young people in control.
JG Diaz: 18:27 And then we've labeled it "oh your lazy." Boom. Now they're doing it when they want to do it. Other places want to do it with a social conscious on everything they do. And, and, but all the people, you're my friend, my generation. So your lazy, right. They're very conscious. I'm very like, you know, I was like they're talking to yesterday I was with my niece, she's like five years old, and I ask her, "what are the kinds of people you like?" And she said, "those who recycle." Five years old, right? Social consciousness. I'm like, "Oh my God, there's a future there." This planet is going to be safe chart because kids, five-year-olds, I'm talking about that. Then she sleeps like 10 hours. She's like, no, she's going to recycle. That's important, that's important though. When I was five, I would use the word recycle. A lot of them, my kids, sure. No, but she's there. So for me, that's the generation that is coming up. So, and, and they all live in the digital and inbound world. They live there. They don't label it. They live in there.
Jeff Lambert: 19:53 Unconsciously. They're native. That's what they're used to. I mean, even even last night, just as a quick example, you know, talking to my kids in my social media workshop, trying to explain to them what it was like to tune into a TV show at the time that it came on. And that's what she kind of talked about the next day. Like it was the other way around, you know, media kind of controlling your schedule and the things that you were interested in, you had to go to them. Now it's everything's on my terms at the moment. And if you want me to use your product, if you want me to use your service, you need to make it convenient for me, or you're not going to last very long.
JG Diaz: 20:28 Then we tend to label those kids lazy. Yeah, no, it's like "it's good for them." Right? So like it's funny to hear you tell a story because I do a teenager bootcamp at Miami Ad school. I've done it for like a couple of years now. I teach it and I ask them like, "where do you get your media?" "What TV shows you see" It's like a TV show, what is that? Right? Where do you get it? It's like, well man, it's YouTube. That's it. They don't only watch TV, no. Everything sexual, it's there. And it's like Whoa. And then you talk to them, and they're up to date on all their TV shows. You know, they're like HBO fanatics, all this time playing Netflix. They're all up today.
Jeff Lambert: 21:24 And sometimes they know more than the person that just watches like the six o'clock news or watches a network show because they're getting different perspectives on the same topic.
JG Diaz: 21:34 Yeah, we're doing a podcast instead of radio. It's like, you know, people are surprised like taking over and people are like, "what is that?" This is doing now, you know, and I'm telling you, it's like you're talking to kids, you talked to all these kids here, you'll ask them, I don't know if you ask them during your classes, but they all listen to like five or six different podcasts.
Jeff Lambert: 22:12 Well it is the beauty of it. I can put it on when I'm in the gym, when I'm cooking dinner, when I'm laying down and going to bed. You know, it's not that thing where you said, "Oh, it's 11 o'clock."
JG Diaz: 22:22 So, so no, look, it's like, that's why I teach. So it's exciting. It is exciting talking to you and getting into new things and going back to what we are now, you know, watching them like at an event like this, I know that these events take forever and it takes energy and seeing how well it's put together is really awesome.
Jeff Lambert: 22:52 And to just to see the efforts and the results that kind effort. Let's take a minute to talk a little bit about Miami Ad School? You talked about the focus of what Miami Ad School does. Can you just speak a little bit to maybe some of the programs that you offer?
JG Diaz: 23:22 Sure. You know, we, we have, we, we have divided our offering in Miami. I spoken to Canon to one, four students there are looking for that extra push, eh, eh, I want to say push that extra something that they need to get into the creative field in the area of advertising. Okay. And those, we offer a program for art direction design and creative writing. Okay. So like five quarters with an option on the last three quarters to do a quarter of what were called color way. They can travel around their schools in the network or they can do internships on different agencies that we have. How many schools does Miami at school? I mean, ASCO has 15 schools in 10 countries, you know, we're starting to run through, we go through the whole four foreign, the United States. [inaudible] Sure. Sydney Mombay. So, so we are pretty like, and the school has been out there for 25 years.
JG Diaz: 24:27 So Punta Cana is the most recent location and we are there with the intention of building the, the epicenter of creativity and innovation for central America and the Caribbean. So that's our goal and take on the inside that cold. We understand too that there's a need for young professionals to keep learning. And, and this morning I, I heard a speaker talk to the students and encourage them to keep learning. You know, we tend to like say, Oh, we did, I did three years of college for college. And then we're like, Oh yeah, they're the only people that I see. Like, like they, they keep learning or doctors or lawyers because so long as it get forced to do it. Yeah. But in the industry we need to like keep like, you know, the next thing happening three years. You know, if you don't know it, you don't know how to use it.
JG Diaz: 25:28 So what we have is this other vehicle mass pro that offer workshops and boot camps for young professionals around the industry. And they already know the industry. They know they have two or three, four years of experience in the industry. So they just need to level up, you know, to, to get to that point to like, okay, I'm a junior now, I want to be a senior in the field. Oh I need this thing. So we have that Miami high school pro next year wanting to do a very like detailed calendar of what we're going to be doing. And we also offer corporate training. It's been very successful. You know, we, we go to brands and we see what the needs are and we've talked to like the stakeholders and we create programs to train their stuff on a specific area. Very, very exciting. So there's a, there's an option whether you're in college, whether you just started in the industry or even if you're trying to train your staff and update their, it's like those three things would go like core program mass pro, which is the boot from workshops and then mass Taylor.
JG Diaz: 26:45 Yeah. Which is like the one for corporate training and there's a lot of options no matter where you are in your career to be able to partner up with Miami ad school. Can you talk to us a little about, is there a website that people can go to to learn that information? Yeah. This is Miami as school dot. D O okay. Miami in that specifically. [inaudible]
JG Diaz: 27:05 That's like right. Helping in all their locations. Miami has school.com is the, what we call the mothership. Sure. And then Miami has school dot Dio with like, I'm going to like specific for us [inaudible] on the region. And then we're very active on Instagram. It's the handle is mass Puntacana masculine the gun. Yeah. So I can go on and kinda look and maybe it'll attract me. Yes, I'm interested. Yes. I think, yeah. So Instagram, any other social media networks? No. Right now it's like instances where everybody is, you know, we, we, we not as a, yeah, yes, I work our generation. It's on that space. When we talked to, you know, older fall folks on the professional side. Then we do cell phone. Right. Yeah. But it's like the one thing and Instagram we're going to weigh your audiences. It makes perfect sense. And really quick, I know that this is not where you work, but you partner with the school.
JG Diaz: 28:10 Could you share any contact information for Rooney Bay if there's a student interested in starting there? College career? I say, you know, I, I've told the truth. I, I'm not that familiar how to contact them but eh, when, when I want to see what they're doing it's they have one either online. Okay. And Instagram and [inaudible] dot com you can reach out to them. But I will encourage you to like, like I know that so when you're talking to professor, yes, it can give you more [inaudible] and I'll make sure to include some, some links in the show notes and in the description as well. So if you're interested in finding more about if you're a high school student, getting ready to enter when may be, it's a great place to start and then as you continue your career at Miami ad school is your best option to do so.
JG Diaz: 29:08 Perfect. I love it. Yeah. JG, thank you so much. Welcome to the Dominican Republic and sure it's going to be the first off my name. Yes, your next stop is going to be people in Ghana. Yes. I can't wait. That'd be great. Good. Thank you very much. Thank you very be in here to our listeners. Thank you so much for tuning into today's show. Remember, if you're looking for a friendly, reliable and results focused organization to help you with your marketing efforts, check out risen inbound. They're available like go risen.com that's risen with the, were also
Jeff Lambert: 29:42 Available on social media. If you want to check out what we're doing and see our adventures here down in der, we're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Our handle is Rizen Inbound, one word RizenInbound. Thanks for tuning into the show and we'll see you on the next episode.