Published Aug 01, 2023
Faculty Profile: Robert Croll (Program Director, Digital Marketing)
Rob applies his years of experience to help prepare students for careers in digital marketing.
In Full Sail’s Digital Marketing degree programs, students engage with the concepts and methodologies of marketing for the web and learn how to apply those skills to a variety of industries. In the bachelor’s program, students explore the ongoing conversation between marketers and consumers on a professional level while the master’s program takes students on a deeper dive into subjects including search engine optimization, fundamentals of web culture, and analysis of consumer behavior.
As Program Director for both degrees, Robert Croll guides students and faculty through the constantly evolving world of digital marketing. Applying many years of experience earned while operating his own digital marketing agency, Rob finds joy in the nature of an industry that’s always changing.
“You could go to work tomorrow and learn that Google just changed its algorithm, and you suddenly have to figure out, ‘What do I need to do to adapt to that change?’ I love the fact that it changes all the time,” shares Rob. “And I love the fact that the skills really are pretty applicable regardless of what industry you're in. If you go to school to become a digital marketer, you can work in almost any industry, and for nonprofits, for small businesses, to big businesses.
"I think that means there are a lot of opportunities for jobs," he continues, "but also, it sort of opens up a lot more avenues for people to explore something that they're interested in. I have these digital marketing skills, but I'm particularly interested in sports. Then I can go work for a team, or a sports apparel company because they all need digital marketers.”
After a 20-year career in investment management, Rob pivoted to apply his skills in marketing to a then-developing new industry, the Internet. “Really, at the time the question was, ‘Is the internet really going to be a thing?’ It was very early on.” But Rob’s faith in the future of the internet paid off, allowing him to build a successful career in the field and learn early the importance of adaptability online.
Overseeing two online degree programs and the Digital Marketing graduate certificate, Rob emphasizes to his faculty the importance of being supportive of students, especially as they complete their degree online.
“Online students can get to feeling like they're just out there on a remote island all by themselves very easily. It's our job to try to make sure that we keep them connected,” says Rob. “When someone new starts, I think the things that we most focus on is, ‘Your job is to make sure that the students are getting what they need out of their education. So number one is for you to be present and accessible.'"
In the Digital Marketing degree programs offered at Full Sail, students learn the skills needed to work with small businesses, large corporations, or any size client in between. In the bachelor’s program, students will learn key tools and how to apply them while the master’s program encourages students to look at things from a more strategic angle, “At the master's level, the idea is you should be more at a strategic level. So if you are working for a company in a position where your job really is less about executing the tactics than understanding how all the tactics work, developing a plan for how they all fit together to maximize the effectiveness of your overall marketing.”
For students just starting in one of Rob’s programs, his advice is simple, “Even though you are an online student, it is important for you to make connections. You have a built-in connection with the other people in your class, so you should take advantage of that.”