Digital marketing certification is complete BS. Here's why

Digital Marketing Certification is complete BS. Here’s how to fix it.

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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., 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 A Google search for Udemy promos will help you land discounts where you can score courses for P500 each.


  1. 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. 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.

Udemy also has a complete course on digital marketing, but we highly recommend getting their more up-to-date growth hacking with digital marketing course.


  1. 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.##

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Point well made!

    Certification surely not required. Competency can be gained with practice, time and discipline.

    You just saved me some good money.

  • King says:

    Thank you for this honest and informative post!

  • Gregg says:

    Interesting point you shared here.

    I never thought the best way to start in online marketing is to learn how to build a website. This definitely set things in perspective.

    But perhaps there are multiple reasons why some would prefer taking up courses aside from the flashy certificates up for grabs. Like: the confusion of where to possibly begin in the online space. We all know it’s an industry on it’s own, and an expansive one in fact. Where should we begin? There has to be a foundation or base knowledge in digital marketing.

    Another would be the time and self-discipline. Some would prefer a learning environment and dedicated time, in their hectic schedules, to learning these things thus they’re willing to invest the extra money. Online courses are definitely great but some might still prefer the old school classroom learning with actual instructors to ask questions to 😉

    Don’t get me wrong, I 100% agree with these insights esp the part about how it “discourages people from joining the profession.” That’s why I rely on online courses, forums, and on online blogs, like yours.

    I’m a fan of your No BS policy, which I think is really needed in today’s landscape, esp here in the PH.

    Send me updates for more of your blogs. You have my email 😉

    • Pauleen General says:

      Hi Gregg! We’ll add you to our subscriber list so you can receive updates from us. Thanks!

  • That’s really good research you have done. Thanks for the great information. Great article!

Leave a Reply