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Opus faculty Gino Giovannelli poses in an office

Using Digital Trends to Transform Business

Gino Giovannelli has always been proud of St. Thomas’ marketing program, which offers six dedicated digital marketing courses across undergraduate, MBA, and Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) programs. But one of the challenges for Giovannelli is when students inevitably ask on the last day of class: how can they stay current on what’s happening with Digital?

It's a question Giovanelli has struggled answering in the past… until now. Enter his latest project: In the Key of D: using DIGITAL to transform your business. “It’s a great podcast series for just about anybody, regardless of what level or industry you’re in.”

Giovannelli co-hosts the podcast with Kathy Hollenhorst of Creatis, a long-time business colleague and friend who’s placed his students in marketing roles all over the Twin Cities for years.

“Our podcast tethers St. Thomas students and alumni to a drip line of knowledge,” says Giovannelli. “It’s presented in a way that’s easy for people to stay connected to the latest trends in Digital.”

Listeners learn the practical side of digital transformation based on real experiences from podcast guests – the good, the bad and the ugly. The information is timely, relevant and complements what students learn in the classroom.

Each episode covers a certain digital transformation topic, such as business strategy, eCommerce, enabling programs and loT (Internet of Things). A “dream team” of guests range from change-driving CEOs to subject matter experts in user experience and digital marketing.

Companies can certainly benefit too. According to Forbes, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one. Yet, according to an Emerson study, only 20% said they had a clear and actionable roadmap for digital transformation.

“The punch line is that businesses know they need to leverage digital to transform their business, but there’s a huge gap as to how to do this,” says Giovannelli. That’s where podcasts guests step in and share personal insights based on real experiences.

With the podcast and his other contributions, Giovannelli joins a growing list of top thought leaders at Opus. “I’m a life-long learner, and I love that fact that digital marketing is always changing," he says. "It puts pressure on me to keep evolving my courses appropriately. This podcast helps keep our students learning well beyond the last day of class.”

With over half of marketing budgets dedicated to digital activities these days, staying connected to trends is more important than ever. “I enjoy teaching skills in high demand," says Giovannelli. 

And with less than 10 percent of marketing departments fully trained in all aspects of digital marketing, Giovannelli feels confident that Opus students are well-positioned to be the next generation marketers.


In the Key of D: using DIGITAL to transform your business, is sponsored by Creatis. The podcast explores why digital matters and how it helps entrepreneurs, business leaders and digital/marketing professionals.

Learn fun facts about the hosts and how you can subscribe to the podcast on their website.