The Matchmaking Activity: An Experiential Learning Exercise On Influencer Marketing for the Digital Marketing Classroom

April Kemp, University of South Alabama
Elizabeth Randon McDougal, Southeastern Louisiana University
Holly Syrdal, University of Southern Mississippi


Influencer marketing is an emerging technological disruptor for marketing across a wide range of industries. This tactic allows companies to promote products in a more organic, trust-affirming manner compared with other forms of paid advertising. As the use of influencer marketing is rapidly growing, marketing educators have a unique opportunity to prepare students to perform this in-demand marketing skill. This article outlines a classroom exercise, called the Matchmaking Activity, which introduces the concept of influencer marketing, provides hands-on experience, and encourages critical thinking to solve a simulated marketing dilemma. The end goal is for students to gain confidence that can be applied to a real-world marketing environment. To assess the effectiveness of the Matchmaking Activity, the exercise was conducted with students in digital marketing classes. Based on findings from a post-activity reflection survey completed by students, the Matchmaking Activity results in the achievement of several desirable learning outcomes. Ideas for adapting this exercise for use in a variety of other marketing courses are also provided.