In 2022, there were 16 million US businesses that conducted all of their operations online, according to the Digital Market Analytics Association (DMAA). That’s 72% of the entire economy! In 2025, that number is projected to surge to 35 million, or about 88% of the entire economy.
There are multiple pathways to achieving digital marketing and e-commerce (DME) certification. You can develop in-house expertise and undergo formal training in digital marketing. Or, you can find a reputable partner to provide digital marketing and e-commerce training to you and your staff.
Formal training programs can range from a few weeks to several months. After completing a DME certification program, you’ll have the opportunity to sit for certification exams that gauge your knowledge of SEO, PPC, content creation, email marketing and more.
Certified professionals in digital marketing and e-commerce will have a distinct advantage over those who do not hold the certification. According to GAP, a marketing research firm, 76% of employers consider the digital marketing certification to be a pre-requisite for a marketing job.
Join A Respected Organization
The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) sponsors the 4A’s Marketing Excellence Awards. These awards recognize outstanding digital marketing practices. You can join 4A’s to access their peer-reviewed recognition, marketing toolkits and access to influential leaders in the industry.
Take Advantage Of The Growing Number Of Online Courses
More and more people are gaining the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital world through online courses. The advantage of these online courses is that they can be accessed from anywhere at any time. You can learn digital marketing and e-commerce on your own time and at your own pace. Additionally, you can take the course with other people and complete it in a group. If you’re looking for flexibility in your learning, consider an online course.
Start A Blog
Blogs can be a useful tool in your digital marketing and e-commerce arsenal. Not only do they provide content for web visitors, but they can also function as a sales tool to boost organic traffic to your site.
Starting a blog is relatively simple and can be done for little to no cost. The most essential tool to start a blog is a domain name. To get inspiration for your blog name, check out other established blogs in your niche. You can also use free blog tools such as WordPress.
Build A Portfolio
Regardless of your experience level, a portfolio is essential for any professional in today’s job market. A portfolio can include anything from case studies and website screenshots to pitch decks and SEO reports. The goal is to have a varied set of content that demonstrates your ability to execute on projects.
You can build a portfolio in a variety of ways. One way is to simply ask your clients to review you online. You can also set up a blog where you showcase your work or start a Twitter account to share your work. In addition, you can use free tools like Portfolioback, which allows you to create a public portfolio that is searchable by employers and potential clients. Finally, you can purchase a small business portfolio website, like WooCommerce, which provides you with a robust blogging platform and a fully functioning e-commerce store.
Find A Mentor Or Senior Associate
Mentorship is a valuable experience for any young professional in today’s job market. According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), 42% of employers expect to see some sort of seniority on a job candidate’s resume. A mentor can provide valuable guidance on all aspects of your professional life, from career choices to day-to-day responsibilities.
If you’re looking for a senior associate or mentor, consider approaching a well-established business in your niche. You can also look for individuals who’ve achieved the certification you’re pursuing and see if they’ll agree to be your mentor. Remember: you’re not necessarily looking for a one-to-one relationship, but instead, a professional who can guide you along the path to success.
Participate In Research Studies
As a marketing or social media manager, you will have the opportunity to participate in research studies. These studies can help you gain a better understand of how people behave online and allow you to tailor your strategies accordingly. The data collected through these studies can also be used to create reports that will help you and your team win more clients.
The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) reports that 63% of employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate initiative and the ability to solve problems. In order to prove your ability to solve problems, consider participating in a research study.
Now, you may be wondering how to get certified in digital marketing and e-commerce. The good news is, it’s quite straightforward. All you need to do is pass a certification exam. The first step is to join a reputable organization. The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) offers a 4A’s Marketing Excellence Awards, which recognize outstanding digital marketing practices. You can also become a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) to access their marketing toolkits and connect with other members.
Once you’re a member, you can search for the certification opportunities that interest you. In order to sit for a certification exam, you’ll need to complete an equivalent number of hours of approved professional development. To get started, you can use a tool like Study.com’s free certification prep tutor, which can guide you through the process of getting certified.
After you qualify, you’ll have the option of taking your certification exam online through a third-party certification vendor. Answering multiple-choice questions is not required, but doing so demonstrates your knowledge of digital marketing and e-commerce. As long as you score at least a 70% on the exam (which is generally accepted as passing), you’ll be able to claim professional development in digital marketing and e-commerce. In some instances, you may be required to pay a small fee to officially claim the qualification. But, the investment in learning is definitely worth it.