Steve Dupree, program chair of the Digital Marketing and Design MS, has more than a decade of experience helping startups across multiple industries achieve $1B+ valuations through digital marketing and tactical customer acquisition. After receiving an MBA from Stanford University, he dabbled in venture capital before exiting to build companies again. Steve continues to invest in and advise promising entrepreneurs in his free time. In addition, Steve did his undergraduate degree at Brandeis – Go Judges!
What led you to a career in digital marketing and design?
After graduating from Brandeis with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics, I sort of stumbled into digital marketing. At that time, few people knew and no one told me that math and science would be critical for the emerging field of digital marketing. It turned out to be a fun path: digital marketing is an interdisciplinary field utilizing math, economics, psychology, design, computer science, writing, communication and engineering. You use all sides of the brain.
What emerging trends in the field are currently exciting you?
One emerging trend that excites me is the uptick in companies trying to democratize personal data and give control back to individuals. In the past two decades, a handful of well-known companies have dominated marketing channels and been opaque about which data is collected and how it is used. I hope this is starting to change so that we can provide more value to consumers, reduce misinformation and level the playing field when it comes to folks having access to opportunities such as online job postings.
Do you have any tips or tricks for Brandeis GPS community members who are pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design currently or planning one soon in the near future?
When pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design, don’t just apply cold through company websites or portals such as Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs. For hiring managers, it’s difficult to surface you among dozens or hundreds of resumes if they don’t know you. Try to identify the hiring manager(s) and find a mutual contact to introduce you. If that’s not possible, contact them directly with a brief email stating your interest and a relevant question or offer to help on a project. DMD candidates in particular might look at specialized job boards such as jobs.GrowthHackers.com.
As program chair, what are your best hopes for Digital Marketing and Design students and alumni?
My hope is for you to find a product, service or cause that you truly believe in and use your digital marketing and design skills to scale it up. Most organizations, whether they are for-profits, nonprofits, universities, governments or other institutions have some leaders at the top with really good ideas, but they don’t always know how best to implement those ideas. They need our help. They need people like us who can, for example, take complicated concepts and deliver them to mainstream audiences in meaningful ways. Some orgs prioritize marketing more than others. If yours doesn’t appreciate what you do or lacks the culture to grow, then find another one that nurtures you!
What is a fun fact that Brandeis GPS community members may not already know about you?
I’ve gotten really into board games over the past five years. Some of the games I kickstarted back in 2017 are still arriving and I don’t have space for them! I want to reduce the friction to discovering, learning and playing new tabletop games and there are a few pathways that look interesting. I’m open to exploring other perspectives and exchanging ideas about it.