Social Media Master, Dr. 4Ward

A Ferris professor’s work in social media has earned him recognition in several prominent news sources

Dr. 4Ward: Bill Ward, a professor in the marketing department, addresses students in one of his marketing classes. Dr. Ward focuses on networking and social media in his classes to prepare his students for the marketing world. Photo By: Kristyn Sonnenberg | Photo Editor
Social media is changing the landscape of the marketing and advertising world and to keep up with the evolution of the field, Ferris professor Dr. Bill Ward incorporates its use into the classroom.

Ward, a professor in the marketing department, said his job is to prepare students for careers in the marketing profession, which requires him to know what is going on in the business and what is coming next.

To keep up with the industry, he uses social media, technology, and professional networking to learn new things, share his own knowledge and passions and to network with the best marketing, advertising, public relations and social media professionals in the business.

He said, “I teach students these same skills and how to use tools and technologies in and out of the classroom for their professional development and networks.”

Ward said he uses technology and social media as an office. He said, “Twitter isn’t just a place people post their breakfast and activities; it is a place where my colleagues and I all over the world can share ideas and news.”

In the classroom, Ward has his students create their own social media accounts which he said enables them to keep learning on a global scale even after graduation.

Recent client projects incorporating these tools for Ward’s classes have included working with the Detroit Red Wings, Celebration! Cinema and Burton Snowboards.

Ward also contributes his thoughts on marketing and advertising campaigns and has been featured in several news sources in the country as well.

He has been quoted on marketing and advertising related issues in the New York Times, USA Today, the Cannes Lions Daily, the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.

He has also been interviewed about the best and worst Super Bowl advertising over the years in relation to brands such as Budweiser, FedEx, Pepsi, GM and several others.

“It’s hard work keeping up on the industry and very rewarding to be consulted in the media,” he said. “It’s a great way to promote the university.”

Ward received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is a board member of the West Michigan American Marketing Association.

He has taught at Alfred University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State University, as well as the American University in Rome, Italy, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China.

As of last week, Ward was ranked 18th on the Systematic Marketing Top Marketing Professors on Twitter ahead of professors from Northwestern University and Michigan State University.

Ward said, “Things are moving so quickly today that a business trying to keep things the way they were, last year or today, will be out of business tomorrow because their competitors will be doing new things and leaving them behind.”

Ward can be followed on his blog at or on Twitter at

Sources Dr. Ward has been quoted in

  • The marketing launch of the Apple iPad in the Wall Street Journal
  • The best and worst advertising campaigns of the year and the marketing launch of the Apple iPhone in the USA Today
  • Marketing strategy for Chrysler in the New York Times
  • Movie marketing and product placement in films for the Christian Science Monitor
  • International marketing and marketing education in the Cannes Lions Daily for the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.