MISSOULA – Ryan Hansen, a University of Montana College of Business alumnus, founded advertising management company LumenAd in his Missoula basement in 2014. It wasn’t long before LumenAd was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country.
Now after many discussions and planning the curriculum, LumenAd has helped the UM business college design and launch a digital media planning and reporting course to mimic the structure, individual performance and professionalism demanded by a creative agency.
The course provides students with a solid understanding of the digital marketing landscape and can help them differentiate themselves as digital marketers.
“Digital advertising is a complex and dynamic industry with a need for more experts that have a passion for the space,” said Hansen, the LumenAd CEO. “In partnering with UM to teach our first-hand knowledge of the field, we hope to give students relevant knowledge and vocabulary that can help launch meaningful careers in digital advertising.”
The course is taught in the marketing department by the College of Business. LumenAd designed the course curriculum, and subject-matter experts present material weekly. At the end of the 15-week course, students will be able to leverage digital advertising channels and the necessary components to run an effective ad campaign. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire digital advertising landscape through presentations by key contributors in the digital advertising realm.
They also will be able to explain real-time bidding and understand why it exists, know how to leverage multiple web technologies to deliver on desired campaign outcomes, knowledgeably discuss the digital media supply chain, use digital media buying platforms, respond to the request for proposal process and analyze key components of digital campaign reporting. They will know how to track and report on performance metrics, make channel recommendations and present about the performance of a digital campaign.
LumenAd was named the nation’s fourth fastest-growing software company by Inc. Magazine in 2019. With a three-year revenue growth of 7,212.5%, LumenAd’s workforce needs also increased.
With about 60 of the company’s more than 90 employees stationed in Missoula, LumenAd’s desire to hire local individuals with a digital advertising background led to an opportunity for collaboration with the UM College of Business. LumenAd is projected to hire 20 new employees within the upcoming year, and it already employs 30 UM grads.
“The UM College of Business is rooted in tradition but focused on the future,” said Suzanne Tilleman, the interim College of Business dean. “The growth trend in digital advertising is expected to continue, and we want to provide our students with learning experiences that help prepare them for successful careers.”
The collaboration with LumenAd is one of a few different initiatives by the College of Business in recent months to help address the future of business. UM also partners with Advanced Technology Group (ATG) to offer specialized courses for students in the College of Business and at Missoula College.