When the Internet shook the civilized world more than two decades ago, marketers were the first to catch a whiff of what was to come, and they started out for making the killing. And marketing began getting digital - earlier, faster and more than any other profession and function could. It hasn't looked back ever since.
Marketing maybe still remains the most heavily invested of the business functions when it comes to the internet. Together with advertising, it accounts for almost all the dollars billed by the global web behemoths even as we read this. That's a juicy cross-industry spend of around 11℅ of gross revenues, if we care - with almost 66% of the marketers trying to scramble up some hike in their budgets!
That marketing may just be dead without the digital is an old hat fact now. And to carry on selling and growing customers and market-shares, businesses are harnessing digital marketers into their marketing systems with a vengeance. Pure vanilla MBAs with diplomas in sales aren't hot any longer. "Show me a digital marketing qualification, if you have one..." the marketers are brusque in their demand.
How just mammoth a horse sense the digital has become for companies can be seen from how quick they want to commit to the emerging digital platforms like Social Listening centers. 71% of global 500 Chief Marketing Officers are already set for spending at least 10% of their digital marketing budgets on SLCs. That's an indication of just how badly companies need digital talents who're smooth on stuff like HootSuite and Marketo, rather than just those old-fashioned marketing professionals.
And trust us, these marketers aren't just needlessly fussy about choosing folks with specialist digital marketing certifications. Digital Marketing is a science, an art, and a bunch of technologies, unlike anything conventional marketing has ever seen or addressed. First came the banners, then came mailers and then they kept on coming. Analytics, Emails, Social Media, PPC - the list is endless and so are the possibilities of future developments. Native Advertising is no longer the newest entrant, as most may believe. It is Augmented Reality.
Quite clearly, the guys who will have to handle this for marketing, hence, have to be better be ready with a proof that validates their proficiency, promise, potential and passion for handling the digital piece of it! That's where a certification that validates knowledge in the latest practices and technologies of digital marketing becomes a must to melt employers.
Marketers still respect traditional MBAs for their capacities to analyze deeply and design strategies – things that are taught best in universities and business schools. But university qualifications are not reliable-enough validations on skills or knowledge of techniques, because university education is designed to build broader intellectual capabilities of decision making, and does not scope-in skill-development. Digital Marketing, however demands high-speed decisions on actions to be taken to drive results – using a lot of technology and analytics backed up by sound marketing logic.
EMPLOYERS SEEK CREDENTIALS – But even then, these reasons aren’t as compelling as the simple fact that unlike other professions, Digital Marketing, in spite of being in existence for close to a decade in some form or the other, does not have a global standardized professional credential like Project Management or Financial Analysis. The most favored certifications, or the ones most successfully marketed, aren’t vendor or platform neutral. The digital marketers of the future “WILL” most certainly require a neutral and globally recognized professional credential to apply for the premium jobs in the international market.
98% of Chief Marketing Officers across large corporations, in a 2016 research, said they look forward to transforming their “Digital Marketing” efforts into “Marketing in A Digital World”. Not only does this imply a rapid rise in global digital marketing spends, but also a closer focus by vertical heads into exploring the possibilities of doing more with digital. And they are actively seeking out Digital Marketing Talent that meets both the skills and the professional credentials to deserve that spend.