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The top five digital marketing courses in the U.S.

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The top five digital marketing courses in the U.S.

The global digital marketing industry is growing at an exponential rate. Although the COVID-19 pandemic shows signs of subsiding, it’s forever changed how we work, shop and learn, with more people conducting their everyday lives from home. In fact, global digital advertising and marketing are predicted to reach $786.2 billion by 2026. The current U.S. market is estimated at US$179.4 Billion for 2022, accounting for a 38.6 percent share of the world market. In addition, China, the world’s second-largest economy, is predicted to attain an estimated market size of US$254.9 Billion in 2026.

There are two key takeaways when discussing today’s business climate: competition is greater than ever, and our world is increasingly digitized. That’s why it’s essential for today’s marketing professionals to possess a complete digital marketing skillset and keep them current and growing. There’s an overwhelming selection of relevant and vital skills, and the savvy marketer needs to choose the perfect program to fit their needs and gain critical training and certification.

The methodology used

The following digital marketing course ranking is a result of extensive research and analysis based on four main parameters:

  1. Depth of curriculum: How comprehensive is the content, and what skills does it cover?
  2. Interactive hands-on learning: To what extent is the learning experience interactive, and how much focus is given to learning actual tools, solving real industry problems, etc.?
  3. Program recognition: Are both the program and the final certificate industry-recognized? For example, is it recognized only in India, or is it recognized globally?
  4. Student experience: Did the students like the course and did they find it useful? Feedback and inputs were taken from external ratings such as Mouthshut, Trustpilot, and other similar venues.

Based on the criteria from the above research findings, here are the top five digital marking courses available today in the United States.

  1. Purdue Digital Marketing Training
  2. Duke Digital Marketing Program
  3. LinkedIn Learning’s Marketing Tutorials
  4. Georgia State University’s Marketing M.S.
  5. Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist

The following is an in-depth look at each educational resource based on rank:

1.    Purdue Digital Marketing Training

The Purdue Digital Marketing Training course, powered by Simplilearn, was created by Purdue University in partnership with Facebook/Meta. Students learn everything they need to know about the different aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, SEM, social media and content marketing, web analytics and more, through a mix of live-instructor-led classes, online self-learning and real-world projects. Students also get to take master classes from top faculty at Purdue and industry experts from Facebook, work on Harvard Business Publishing case studies and access Facebook Ask Me Anything sessions in this highly interactive and comprehensive program.

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online bootcamp

Course Duration: Six months

Program Recognition: Purdue-Simplilearn Joint Post Graduate Program Certification; Co-created with Facebook

Alumni Status: Purdue Alumni Association membership

Hands-On Learning: 200+ hours of live interactive learning; Capstone project in five domains; 14+ real-world projects from Yahoo!, TripAdvisor, Mastercard, and more; Harvard Business case studies; Masterclasses from Purdue and Facebook; Aligned with the top five Digital Marketing certifications including Google Ads and Analytics, Facebook Blueprint, Hootsuite, and HubSpot.

Tools Covered: Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Semrush, Moz, Hootsuite, plus 40 more.

Capstone Project: Yes

Program Advisors: Jinsuh Lee, Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Mollie Spilman, Dorie Clark

Fees: $3249

2.    Duke Digital Marketing Program

Duke’s Digital Marketing Program is an online, self-paced program designed for people who want to boost their current digital marketing skills or even enter a new career in the continuously growing field. Duke Continuing Studies delivers a curriculum that offers students advanced knowledge in eight of the most vital digital marketing domains. Students learn from the practical experience they acquire from virtual simulations and real-world projects and from some of the industry’s most recognized and respected consultants and authors, all set in a schedule that fits the students’ needs and situations.

Students earn a certificate of completion once they finish the course and six of the eight advanced modules shown below:

  • Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Advanced Content Marketing
  • Advanced Social Media
  • Advanced Mobile Marketing
  • Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Advanced Web Analytics
  • Advanced Email Marketing

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online self-learning

Course Duration: 350 hours

Program Recognition: OMCA certification, once the student completes six advanced modules

Alumni Status: Earns an extra 12 months of access to all existing, new, and updated materials after completing the program

Hands-On Learning: Simulation labs and projects, live mentoring sessions

Tools Covered: Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Advertising, Hootsuite, YouTube and Video Marketing, Twitter Advertising and Mailchimp, among others

Program Advisors/Instructors: Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Stephane Hamel

Fees: $3195. Group discounts are available

3.    LinkedIn Learning’s Marketing Tutorials

Lynda.com is now called LinkedIn Learning. With LinkedIn Learning, aspiring digital marketers can choose from over 1,000 relevant courses and more than 21,000 video tutorials. These courses and videos allow students to focus on the specific areas of digital marketing they’re especially interested in, or they can widen their focus on general digital marketing training. In addition, the platform’s monthly membership gives students the ability to stack multiple courses and programs, providing a comprehensive and well-rounded training experience. 

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online self-learning

Course Duration:  60 to 90 minutes for each course

Program Recognition: LinkedIn Learning Certifications

Job Assistance: Students receive full access to LinkedIn Premium

Hands-On Learning: Exercises, assignments and quizzes

Tools Covered: Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, Constant Contact and many more

Program Advisors: Brad Batesole, David Booth, Matt Bailey, Ashley Kennedy and more

Fees: Monthly membership at $39.99/month billed month-to-month, or $26.99/month billed annually. Both options include a one-month free trial.

4.    Georgia State University’s Marketing M.S.

Conducted by Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the Robinson’s M.S. in Marketing curriculum equips students with big data, digital media, social and mobile marketing, and quantitative analysis skills, among others.

This program is ideal for people who want to change careers but need the basic skills and experience to make a move, established professionals in the field who wish to upskill, and undergrads with a business degree who want to continue their marketing trajectory.

Students must have earned an undergraduate degree before applying for this program.

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Full-time student on-premises and online

Course Duration: 12 months (3 semesters), with classes two evenings a week: Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-9:45 p.m.

Program Recognition: Master of Science in Marketing and Graduate Certificate of Specialization in Brand and Customer Management

Alumni Status: Access to a network of alumni clubs

Hands-On Learning: Research-driven projects held in collaboration with area companies such as Georgia-Pacific and Porsche

Tools/Subjects Covered: Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Marketing Metrics, Digital/Social Media Marketing, Data-Driven Marketing and more. It also includes resources such as Social Media Intelligence Lab, relevant bootcamps, professional workshops, recruiting fairs, networking events and meet-and-greets.

Program Advisors/Instructors: Gregory Cohen, Alok Saboo, Sevgin Eroglu, and many others

Fees: Georgia residents: $37,500, non-Georgia residents: $43,500

5.    Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist

Students enrolled in Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist Master’s program learn all about the core concepts of digital marketing, including social media marketing, paid ads, SEO, pay-per-click, analytics, email marketing, conversion optimization and mobile marketing and more. Students also work on case studies from Harvard Business Publishing to solve real-world problems. This program is designed in alignment with certifications from Facebook Blueprint, Google Analytics and Ads, OMCP®, Hootsuite and HubSpot.

Course highlights

Mode of Learning: Online bootcamp

Course Duration: One year

Program Recognition: Simplilearn Certificate of Achievement; Facebook Blueprint

Hands-On Learning: Virtual labs for hands-on learning with over 45 projects

Tools Covered: Facebook Insights, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Qlik, SE Ranking, etc.

Capstone Project: Yes

Program Advisors: Brad Geddes, Matt Bailey, Mollie Spilman, Dorie Clark

Fees: $1649

We live in a growing digital world, a process accelerated by events of the last few years. While there will always be a demand for brick-and-mortar establishments and onsite work/retail situations, consumers and organizations have discovered the benefits of using online resources.

Marketing professionals who want to succeed in today’s new reality will have a complete set of digital marketing skills in their toolbox. They will learn this vital knowledge from the best providers. By choosing the right skills and learning resources, they will survive and thrive in our new economy.


About The Author

Simplilearn – An initiative aimed at providing career guidance that matters to working professionals. Our objective is to draft out a logical career progression path for every professional with appropriate milestones and a clearly defined end goal.

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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MARKETING

How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



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