Digital marketing certificate to be offered starting this fall

marketingDMACC, in consultation with marketing agency leaders, has designed a new Digital Marketing Certificate program to be introduced next fall.

The program is aimed at providing marketing students with the technical skills needed to tap into what is becoming a growing field in marketing.

According to Neil Kokemuller, professor of marketing, digital marketing is an evolution of what used to be Internet marketing.

“Basically, digital marketing takes traditional marketing elements of research and program development and promotion, and it applies them to digital platforms tools,” he said.

Robert Bond, a marketing major who is also looking to start his own business, is excited about the program. He believes this program gives marketing students an edge in the job market and those like him looking to start their own business.

“I am excited about it because it expands on what companies are looking at it more so now than we have ever seen before. We can take an advantage over companies that have been trying to start over and get into the markets for years,” he said.

According to Kokemuller, focusing on key components in digital marketing and looking at what companies need played an integral part in designing the program.

“In putting the digital marketing program together, basically what I looked at were primary functions in components of digital marketing and trying to figure out how to integrate those into a new class in digital marketing and then as far as putting together a certificate making sure we were covering some of the key areas that companies were using,” he said.

Marketing students Roberta Osborn and Erin Mueller both believe the program will offer more opportunities in the future.

“The way of everything now is going digital and everything is interactive online and social and I think that will give me a step over other people,” Osborn said.

“Learning with the CRM (Customer Relation Management) right now, I’m really liking that and how to best handle customers. Gives us a foot up on everything,” Mueller said.

According to job projections, the demand for digital marketers is rising with an increased demand for marketers with an ability to utilize technology. With this projection, Kokemuller believes that students with digital marketing abilities and some technical skills are going to be much more marketable.

The digital marketing program is targeted at students currently majoring in marketing or wanting to major in marketing as the certificate is largely built into the marketing program.

“This would expand career options and earning potentials. If you are going to get a marketing degree it is a no-brainer to add this one additional class,” Kokemuller said.

Another category of people the digital marketing program is aimed at is small business owners.

“Small business owners in a lot of cases know they need to be doing social marketing and search engines but they either don’t have the time or they are not comfortable with the tools using social media or search engine optimization. A student who have our certificate is more equip to work with people like that and manage those types of things,” Kokemuller said.

Christopher Thayer is a marketing student and a small business owner. He believes this course will give him an edge over competitors.

“As a small business owner, social media usage will be critical. Tying that into the marketing classes I have will lay the foundation for success at Club Herf, LLC. I know that most of my competitions do not use social media strategies in their businesses. It becomes a sustainable competitive advantage,” Thayer said.

Kokemuller said he believes the program is also a right fit for current marketing professionals who did not have something like this when they went to school.

For students who own businesses or wanting to start their own business, Kokemuller said this program gives them the skills they need to manage their own digital marketing as part of operating their business.

Thayer agrees. He believes the skills he acquires will make him more self-reliant.

“Being able to make changes on the fly without hiring someone seems invaluable for simple modifications,” he said.

Kokemuller is most excited about the timeliness of the program and being at the forefront.

“The idea of aligning our programs with what’s going on in market right now and actually being at the forefront of it is exciting, he said.

Kokemuller added that the strength of the certificate is its thoroughness, covering a broad range of different components of digital marketing.

Those include social media, content marketing, email, websites, mobile, customer relationship management and advertisement.

The certificate is 21 credits and is broken down into Digital Marketing, Intro to Web Design, and Customer Relationship Management.

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