In the ever-changing world of business, one thing is for sure – the rules change. What was once regarded as standard practice is no longer sufficient – and vice versa.
The proliferation of online courses represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of business education. Previously, knowledge was largely restricted to privileged individuals who could afford expensive degrees and professional qualifications. Thanks to the internet, anyone with a laptop and an interest can now learn anything – for free.
Nowadays, anyone can become an expert in areas such as marketing, sales, and customer service. As a result, businesses must adapt to this new reality by providing courses that equip customers with the skills they need to succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace.
Why Online Marketing?
The rise of online marketing represents the ultimate win-win for business. Not only is it accessible to anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet – it’s also completely free. No costly education required!
To cite one example, HubSpot’s free marketing suite includes a popular email marketing software called MailChimp that can be used to send out email campaigns – without requiring any sort of technical expertise.
Thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), all of this is now at your fingertips. The digital marketing expert who was previously considered an expert can easily become an “expert user” of digital marketing tools like MailChimp, thanks to AI and the ubiquity of big data.
So if you’re looking for an online marketing course that can equip you with the skills you need to succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace, then look no further.
The Evolution of Online Learning
It’s been a long time coming, but the concept of delivering education online doesn’t exactly date back to the earliest days of the internet. In 1994, the University of Hawaii’s Internet Business Academy (UH iBA) launched the world’s first accredited online MBA – and since then, the global MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) movement has grown by leaps and bounds.
Thanks to technology advancements such as virtual learning environments and adaptive learning – the ability to learn at one’s own pace and in accordance with one’s existing knowledge – a world of opportunity awaits those who want to dip their toe in the water.
The rise of technology-driven disruption has paved the way for a complete restructuring of the way we learn. Gone are the days of rote learning and long, laborious lectures. Thanks to the online marketplace, self-paced learning is the norm, and traditional brick-and-mortar learning institutions such as universities are adapting and transforming to keep pace with the times.
The Benefits of Online Learning
Thanks to the internet and the evolution of online learning, the world is your oyster. No longer does one constraint curb your ability to learn. You can obtain knowledge on any subject you desire – from anywhere in the world – at any time you want, with no prerequisites. Your only limitation is your own imagination.
Traditional universities may teach you the basics of marketing, and perhaps even how to effectively use social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube – but the ability to become an expert in online marketing, and all of the associated tools and software, is available to you for free, via an accredited online course.
Unlike traditional universities, which often require you to pay thousands of dollars in tuition fees and aren’t always able to provide you with adequate job placements once you graduate, the average online course doesn’t require that you pay a cent – and it also provides you with a steady stream of highly-paid jobs once you complete it.
On a personal note, I would highly recommend all of the courses that I’ve taken over the years – from photography, to web design, to marketing and sales – all of them have proved beneficial, and none of them were expensive. Thanks to digital marketing learning curves have become much steeper, and with that – so have the earnings!
Before you begin your digital marketing course, it’s important to set some fundamental prerequisites. First and foremost, you must have a solid foundation in HTML and basic web design skills. Without these, you won’t be able to effectively program the various tools you’ll need to become a proficient digital marketer.
After you’ve established a basic understanding of HTML and web design, you can then proceed to the next step – establishing your personal web page with a domain name. For example, my personal web page is johnpfeiffer.com. Once you’ve established your personal web page, you can then begin building out your portfolio of web pages that you’ve designed. This can be something as simple as a blog with a few web pages or a website with several pages.
While professional web design skills are essential, so is a basic understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Simply put, SEO is the process of getting your website to show up when someone searches for your product or service in a search engine – like Google.
Once you’ve established your personal web page and started gathering web design and SEO portfolios, take some time to analyze what you’ve created. Look at the keywords and search terms that are bringing in the most traffic, and use this information to help establish a presence on the World Wide Web.
Marketing Mix & Performance Measurement
After you’ve established your personal web page, it’s time to start investing in marketing. Like any other form of business or entrepreneurship, you’ll need to determine how you’re going to spend your money – is it going to be on leads, sales, or marketing?
The Marketing Mix is a combination of the following 4 elements:
Each element plays a crucial role in a successful marketing strategy, and it’s important to understand how each one fits into the big picture.
In order to establish your authority as an expert in the field of marketing, you’ll need to prove that you know what you’re talking about. One of the best ways to do this is through marketing research and analysis. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the performance of your marketing efforts – such as the number of leads generated through organic search traffic or the success of your social media campaigns – to determine which elements are working and which ones need to be tweaked or replaced.
Customer Segmentation & Loyalty
In marketing, as in any other form of business, it’s important to segment your customers. Not all customers are created equal, and it’s important to understand which ones you’ve got, and which ones you should be working towards attracting.
Depending on how large your business is, you might have a list of customers who’ve been with you from the very beginning – these are your first-time, regular customers. You might also have a list of existing customers who’ve been doing business with you for a number of years – these are your repeat customers. Finally, you might have a list of potential customers who’ve never done business with you but who you believe would be valuable to your company – these are your ideal customers.
While it’s important to understand what segments of your customer base you currently have, and what you should be doing to attract more people to your side of the business – it’s also important to retain your existing customers. Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to accomplish this virtually, without having to resort to overly invasive customer engagement tactics such as cold emailing or calling your customers.
Customer loyalty programs exist to provide you with proof that you’ve got an existing customer base you can depend on. One of the simplest and most effective tactics is to provide special deals and discounts to your loyal customers. You can also use technology to monitor your customers’ behavior, and reward them for their efforts. Not only does this earn you their loyalty, it also enables you to better engage with them when you have new products or services to promote.
SEO, PPC, & Content Marketing
An important part of any digital marketing strategy is SEO. As mentioned earlier, SEO is the process of getting your website to show up when someone searches for your product or service in a search engine – like Google.
To improve your website’s SEO, you’ll need to do the following: