At first blush, the whole idea seems logical. Digital marketing, while exciting, is a relatively new field that does require a certain level of technical know-how. So it makes perfect sense to have something like a digital marketing certification, similar perhaps to the tech certification programs of Microsoft, Oracle, or SAP.
A quick check with Google Keyword Planner shows that every month the Philippines produces more than 2,000 searches on such certification programs.
|Keyword||Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)|
|digital marketing certification||10 – 100|
|digital marketing certificate||10 – 100|
|online marketing certificate||10 – 100|
|digital marketing certificate online||10 – 100|
|certificate in digital marketing||10 – 100|
|digital marketing certificate programs||10 – 100|
|marketing certificate online||10 – 100|
|online marketing certification||10 – 100|
|online digital marketing certificate||10 – 100|
|digital marketing certification online||10 – 100|
|online marketing courses with certificates||10 – 100|
|internet marketing certificate||10 – 100|
|certification in digital marketing||10 – 100|
|digital marketing training certification||10 – 100|
|digital marketing certificate course||10 – 100|
|online marketing certified professional||10 – 100|
|certificate course in digital marketing||10 – 100|
|certificate digital marketing||10 – 100|
|content marketing certification||10 – 100|
|best digital marketing certification||10 – 100|
|internet marketing certification||10 – 100|
|certified digital marketer||10 – 100|
|online marketing certificate programs||10 – 100|
The demand is there, and in true Filipino fashion, several providers in the Philippines have started peddling digital marketing courses which promise intensive, padawan-like training that will turn their apprentices into an instant “Certified Digital Marketer.”
Here’s the brutal truth: We don’t need to become “certified” to practice digital marketing. What about certifications that are recognized abroad, you ask? Nope, there’s no such thing!
But what if you’re shifting careers, certainly you need to be certified, right? Oh, in that case – still no!
In reality, a person becomes a digital marketer on the very day he decides to dive into it. A digital marketing certification is nothing but a made up idea to trick people into enrolling in expensive classes, which cost anywhere between P30,000 and P80,000.
The danger here is not just the pricey lessons. There is a very real possibility of you not getting your money’s worth.
Yup. Hard-earned money. Wasted.
You will probably end up gaining nothing but overviews and general ideas about digital marketing. Ask any self-respecting practitioner and he’ll tell you that you cannot master the subject by attending 5-6 weekend classes.
How so? It’s because digital marketing is a lot like learning how to drive. A quick lesson might teach you the basics, but you need to have a car to practice and improve your skills.
Instead of enrolling in digital marketing courses, we suggest these alternative methods of getting your hands dirty.
- Learn to build your own website
Websites are the foundation of digital marketing. They are, after all, the storefronts of your business or your institution. The fastest way to build websites is by learning how to create one using WordPress. There are tons of videos on YouTube that will teach you how to set one up.
While you’re at it, you may want to consider buying your own web host and domain. A good host with free domain should cost you less than P5,000 per year. This is a very sensible investment because this will technically serve as your car— the place to discover, hone, and enhance your newfound digital skills.
- Turn to online learning platforms
Instead of squandering good money on these so-called digital marketing certifications, the cheaper and smarter approach is to utilize the wonders of the internet by searching for online courses. Lynda.com, for example, charges about P1,000 per month (after a one-month free trial) so you can access more than 5,000 courses in its library. If you’re not into Lynda’s subscription pricing model, there’s Udemy.com. A Google search for Udemy promos will help you land discounts where you can score courses for P500 each.
- Learn the basics and choose a path
There are a lot of ways one becomes a digital marketer. It makes sense then that you get a good overview of what’s out there. Lynda.com has a complete track on how to become a digital marketer. You can take the first one, which is all about the digital marketing foundations, then either complete the entire track or choose a path that best appeals to you.
- Use all that extra cash to try online ads
All-in-all, you would spend less than P10,000 for the website and the courses you will take in online learning platforms. With lots of education cash still on hand, we suggest you put them to good use by dipping your toes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or both. In combination with the website you created as well as the search marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing skills you learned, Google and FB ads are good ways to fuel up and test you marketing funnel models.
Apart from these, there are other resources available to help you level up your know-how in digital. Google Analytics and Facebook for Business maintain blogs that keep marketers up-to-date with their offers and solutions. Company blogs of digital companies like Hubspot and Contently also have a wealth of articles. We at Comm&Sense are also building our own library to help out the Filipino digital marketer.
As a final point, we hope providers would stop offering these misleading “certification” programs. Not only is it deceiving, it also does the industry a huge disservice because the high price tag and made up title that comes with it discourages people from joining the profession.
We are missing out on future digital marketing rock stars, all because training centers are imposing this wall of certification, which may be good for profits, but in reality, is unnecessary and imaginary.##