Online Marketing Classes: What’s the Right Fit for You?

In the age of the Internet, smartphones, and social media, it’s no secret that marketing courses have evolved. What was once considered “traditional” marketing—print advertising, billboards, radio spots, and so on—has been significantly altered by the digital revolution.

As a result, what is considered “marketing” has changed, as have the expectations of those pursuing this particular career path. Thanks to the numerous online marketing courses available today, anyone can gain the knowledge necessary to enter this field and thrive.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Put yourself in the shoes of a digital marketer for a moment. What do you consider “traditional” marketing, and what do you consider “digital” marketing?

If you’re like most people, you’d say the two go hand-in-hand. After all, isn’t all marketing on the Internet, in various forms, such as SEO, paid social media campaigns, or online ads?

But consider this: Did you know that over 80% of American Express survey respondents cited “learning new marketing methods and tools” as the most important factor when considering whether or not to pursue a career in digital marketing?

Or that 59% said they needed practical experience while only 40% said they wanted to learn theoretical knowledge?

So if you’re looking for a career in digital marketing, where should you start? How about an online marketing course?

Why An Online Marketing Course?

Now, here’s the good news: You can begin your online marketing coursework anywhere you like. It doesn’t have to be in a classroom setting. In fact, you can complete an entire course, from start to finish, from the comfort of your home.

This is great if you’re looking for flexibility. Maybe you’re a working professional who wants to take a class in the evening after hours. Maybe you’re a parent who wants to take a class while your kids are sleeping. Maybe you’ve got a previous engagement and don’t want to miss a class.

Whatever your situation, you can find a convenient time slot, complete the coursework, and continue pursuing your career—all without leaving the comfort of your home.

Now, the bad news: While the above scenario is very appealing, it comes with its share of caveats.

To reap the benefits of an online marketing course, you must be equipped with the right tools. And what better tools could there be than your very own personal computer and Internet connection?

However, not everyone has a PC at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of online alternatives. You can access most of the same content via a mobile device or tablet. So even if you don’t have a PC, you can still reap the benefits of an online marketing course.

Here are a few other things you should know about online marketing courses:

Scarcity Value

One of the biggest issues that can arise when you’re considering an online marketing course is a feeling of scarcity. After all, there are only so many slots available, and you, or at least the person you’re advising, wants to make the right choice.

While it’s great to have flexibility in your schedule, there also needs to be some sort of financial motivation behind the decision to pursue an online marketing course. The reason is that once you complete your coursework, you’ll have a theoretical knowledge of marketing methods and tools. If you want to further your education and gain the practical experience you need to flourish in this field, you’ll have to find the money somehow.

This is why it’s important to consider the financial aspects of an online marketing course. If money is a concern, it’s best to look for a free online marketing course or a cheaper alternative that doesn’t cut corners. In this case, the scarcity value of an online marketing course isn’t as high as you might think, especially if you’re considering the more expensive, traditional classroom route.

Blended Learning

One of the things that make an online marketing course so appealing is that it provides the opportunity to learn at one’s own pace. With a blended learning approach, you’ll be learning in an online setting, but you’ll also be doing some of the work yourself. With a course that utilizes a blended learning approach, you can expect to spend a little more time completing your coursework. This time will vary depending on the course, but you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days a week, studying. The rest of the time, you’ll be using your personal computer, or another device, to complete assignments. Think of this like a vacation where you’re always going at your own pace and don’t have to follow a strict schedule.

On the other hand, a completely online course provides you with everything you need, including a personal computer, to complete your coursework. In this case, the only difference between taking a traditional classroom course and taking an all-online course is the amount of time you have to commit. A completely online course doesn’t give you much more flexibility than a traditional classroom setting.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. So, what is your situation? Is it possible that you could benefit from an online marketing course?

Hopefully, some of the information above was helpful. If you want to gain more insight into the various types of marketing courses available today, visit the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) website, which provides an in-depth look at the various specialties within marketing and the requirements for each.