Why do people seek out digital marketing training—or any form of professional development? The answer is always the same: to do their job better, build new skills, and advance in their career.
So, it’s easy to judge the value of a professional training course. You just have to look at the outcomes. Does the course actually help people learn the skills they need to perform better at work, or take their career to the next level?
In other words, is it truly useful and directly beneficial to each and every student? This has always been our measuring stick for the online Digital Marketing course at Kompass.
This year, the marketing certificate program turns 5. Five years of helping people navigate the wild west of online marketing. It’s been quite a ride!
One-Size-Fits-All Marketing Training No longer works
Marketing has changed so dramatically over the last 10-15 years. It’s become an industry where ongoing learning is crucial to survival. It’s fair to say that if you’re not learning, you’re lagging.
And if there's one thing we've learned, it's that "one-size-fits-all" marketing courses simply don't work anymore. People in this field need very personalized training solutions, so they can build skills in a particular niche, or resolve specific marketing issues they’re facing at work.
Every company is different. Many marketing roles have similar titles, but involve very different responsibilities. Each industry has its own marketing obstacles and opportunities.
“Over the past 5 years, I have had the distinct privilege of working with hundreds of students with a wide variety of backgrounds, job titles, and expectations. From students ready for a career change, to corporate managers in charge of social media and online marketing, our classroom has always been incredibly diverse. I like to believe each student was able to succeed and get exactly what they needed from the program.
Our secret? We do not structure the classes in a traditional way, where you read or listen to material and then answer a quiz or write an assignment. The way our program works is different. We focus on a real challenge each student is facing, and we build their assignments around that challenge.So at the end of the program, every student has a personalized strategy and the tools needed to execute that strategy."
To celebrate our first 5 years, we would like to share with you some real success stories from students in Javier's online marketing course. It is so gratifying to see students overcome real marketing challenges in class—and then hear from them months later, talking about how well they’re doing at work!
Success Story #1: Boosting online sales through better content & SEO
One of our first students owns a specialty store in Ottawa, Ontario. This student had two main goals in mind when she decided to take our digital marketing course:
1) To be the number one shopping destination in her city
2) To generate online sales from customers who live further away
Up to that point, she had been using an agency to handle her website, search engine optimization (SEO), and content. To her surprise, when the time came to audit the site and look at SEO, very little had been done to support her goals.
With the skills she learned in training, the student was able to take back control of her own website. She learned how to optimize it, add videos, identify buyer personas, and develop a distinct voice to engage with her customer base. Her sales and reputation improved dramatically.
Best of all, she is no longer dependent on an expensive marketing agency for basic website management, content creation, and SEO.
Javier tells us,
“I am still smiling thinking about the leaps and bounds this student made in just a few months of training.”
Success Story #2: Building a fan base on social media
Another successful student is the marketing manager of a company that owns several car dealerships across Canada. The company was struggling to gain social media followers and to utilize online advertising to their advantage.
As we worked together, the student realized what the problem was. The company had been using a “generic” national messaging strategy on social media.
What they needed was a more personalized, local approach. They needed to tailor their messaging to the different target audiences in each community—to prove the company really understands those distinct regional needs and goals.
So, the marketing manager set out to recruit content creators for each dealership, and ensure each team had their own social media presence. By recruiting assistance at each dealership, and using a social media content management protocol, this student saw social media followers and relevance increase by more than 20%!
Success Story #3: Finding the right social media platforms to target
One very different case was a student who started a blog in 2013. And while the blog was growing, it was not doing as well as she had hoped. On the other hand, her Instagram and Twitter accounts were growing very nicely.
During the digital marketing course, the student learned she had to stop dividing her attention between the 2 social networks. She decided to focus her efforts solely on Instagram. With this strategy, she was able to attract over 26,500 followers on Instagram—not too shabby!
She is officially an influencer now. This is a really good example of a concept we reinforce in our classes: you cannot be everything to everyone.
Digital marketers have to make choices, particularly when it comes to social media, where there are literally hundreds of platforms. This means identifying the platforms your users are most likely to be on—and knowing exactly how to connect with them on those platforms.
Success Story #4: Building credibility in a controversial, competitive field
One of our students faced the very tricky task of transitioning a company which previously sold medical cannabis, to the new legal framework, where cannabis is available for recreational use.
Stores needed to close to transition to a different marketplace, and this company needed to contend with new competition, concerns from the public, and a new set of regulations.
Through our training, this marketing manager was able to re-calibrate the marketing messaging, and establish a credible voice in a controversial industry.
The student developed a content strategy that highlighted the knowledge of store managers—while educating the public about the responsible use of cannabis.
Success Story #5: Tailoring a communications strategy for government
Another student we worked with is responsible for online communications for a Canadian municipality. This is no easy task, as government communication can be quite complicated.
There are privacy rules, elected officials, administration, the public... many factors must be considered. Plus, there’s the obligation to provide meaningful information and updates, and respond to public concerns.
After completing the digital marketing course, the student was able to craft a whole new communications strategy for the municipality, concentrating on the residents and visitors while securing buy-in from councilors and the mayor.
This outcome was especially impressive!
Success Story #6: Using online marketing for human resources development
We also had a recent program graduate who doesn’t even work in marketing. He actually works in the Human Resources department of a large organization with hundreds of franchises.
The challenge for him was to develop a marketing strategy that highlights the corporate offices as separate from the retailers. He also wanted to entice talented individuals to work for the company.
Throughout the course, he realized that the leadership of the company was well-known and liked, so utilizing them as corporate bloggers would make a lot of sense.
Additionally, in order to show what an excellent employer the company is, he crafted a content strategy celebrating loyal staff who have been with the organization for a long time.
It was a simple strategic move, but as Javier points out, highly effective.
“This tactic really paid off! The organization is growing very well on LinkedIn, and I am extremely pleased to see how quickly he is getting the results he was hoping for.”
Success Story #7: Learning how to “listen” on social media
And last, but not least, we have a student working for an amazing charity in Montreal, who strives to become a better social media manager.
We quickly established that instead of thinking about “managing” social media, it was a lot more advantageous to think about building a community on social.
This is actually a big shift. No more following the traditional media model and broadcasting messages from the charity to the public. Instead, this strategy involves listening to followers and clients, and advocating on their behalf inside the organization.
What do donors want? What are volunteers saying? How might you entice new followers to become volunteers?
The more a company listens to the needs and wants of the community, the better the results. By changing the approach, the organization made significant improvements in social media engagement - and continues to thrive providing great expertise to international communities in need of help.
What Marketing Challenges are You Facing?
These are just a few examples of students who benefited from our tailored approach, and solved real digital marketing challenges they were facing at work.
This is how we evaluate the effectiveness of the digital marketing course at Kompass. And it’s how any good professional development training should be judged—by the real world outcomes students achieve. Javier points out,
“It’s not really about what I know about online marketing. It’s about exploring what is new, how things are evolving, and ensuring each student completes the certificate with an actionable plan they can use immediately to achieve their goals.”
Are you facing a marketing challenge and could use some help designing a practical solution? Click below to learn more about the Digital Marketing Certificate offered online, at Kompass Professional Development.
Courses fit around your schedule, and Javier is ready to offer guidance, expertise, and support every step of the way.
Thanks for reading and... see you in our virtual classroom!