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Digital marketing course offered on demand or with instructor

Fri Apr 15, 2022 at 09:31 AM

Oakland University’s Professional and Continuing Education is now offering the Digital Marketing Certificate Program in two ways--on-demand or instructor-led, both are delivered online through Moodle. These options make the Digital Marketing certificate, Digital Marketing Institute’s Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing and the Professional Certified Marketer from the American Marketing Association accessible to all types of learners--those who want to move at their own pace and complete the program on their own and those who could benefit from the expertise of an instructor and the connection of others in the same program. 

Samantha Mertins, a veteran marketing professional with more than 15 years experience, serves as the course’s instructor. Not only does she have a lot of experience but Mertins completed the course in preparation for leading the cohorts and lined up real-life examples and additional information that can help students learn the information. 

“I plan to provide students with real life examples of the skills they are learning. Things like, how does SEO actually work. I've been working in the industry for about 15 years, so I have not only examples that I have implemented myself in just about every one of the areas, but I also understand what’s going on with other brands. I can provide the full landscape,” said Mertins. 

The Digital Marketing Certificate Program from PACE is a practical course designed to help students improve their knowledge of online digital marketing, strategy, and measurement. Students learn about Google Ads (PPC), Analytics, Facebook Ads, content marketing, SEO and more. Participants will also receive a voucher to take the DMI certifying exam at a Pearson Vue Testing Center. Those who pass the exam will be awarded a PACE Digital Marketing certificate, the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing from DMI and the Professional Certified Marketer from the American Marketing Association.

On-demand versus instructor-led

We’ve written about the on-demand version of the course before. It includes 30 hours of on-demand videos plus resources and study materials. Students have six months from enrollment to take the certifying exam at a certified Pearson Vue Testing Center. This process is completed independently. For more information on the process, read our blog, “A firsthand look at PACE’s digital marketing course.”

In the instructor-led model, students will take the course as a cohort and meet with the instructor and other students live online every other week to discuss, ask questions and engage in the material. 

“We encourage students to do one module per week. We meet virtually, live every other Wednesday. Ideally, they should have done two modules in that timeframe and we can discuss it in the two hours we have to meet together,” said Mertins. 

The course content is the same whether on-demand or instructor-led. All students have access to the course modules, including the videos, study materials, practice tests, quizzes. Adding the instructor gives the additional dimension of real-life examples, personal experience and being able to share and discuss with peers. 

According to Mertins, a lot of the course is learning terminology and she said having that foundation of terms and how each impacts a business is important. As the instructor, she hopes to make sure students grasp the material, not just through memorization, but because they truly understand the concepts. Her job is to make sure the concepts are clear. Mertins said as she completed the class, she jotted notes and documented examples, additional resources and tools that she thinks can be helpful to students. 

“This is an industry that is changing constantly. The students will learn the core concepts and how to look for the latest developments, trends and changes in digital marketing,” said Mertins. 

Prime audience

“The more marketing experience you have before taking the course, the easier it will be, obviously. However, you don’t need to be a marketing expert to take this course and learn useful things,” said Mertins. 

In fact, she encourages those at any skill level to take the course, including:

  • Those in traditional marketing careers who are looking to update their skillset
  • Those who have just graduated and want to hit the ground running and up their skills in digital marketing immediately
  • Entrepreneurs and small businesses owners
  • Anyone hoping to implement an up-to-date digital strategy for their company

“I think there are a lot of people who can benefit from the digital marketing course. I think one group that can really benefit is small business owners who are trying to make a comeback since the pandemic, whether they are trying to increase their foot traffic or online sales in the local area. They will learn a lot about tools and concepts they didn’t know existed before. You don’t need a large budget to make an impact on your local community,” said Mertins. 

Mertins said the course helps to establish a marketing intuition in those who aren’t necessarily embedded with a marketing team that has lots of data to make informed decisions. 

“This course will set you on a really good foundation for trusting your gut in making marketing decisions,” said Mertins.

Besides the certifications, students also receive access to DMI’s membership portal and get a one-year Power Membership with the program. This portal has webinars, additional resources and updated information.

For more information on the Digital Marketing Certificate Program, visit the Digital Marketing section of the PACE website. The website has information on both the on-demand as well as the instructor-led course styles.