At Rame Marketing we seriously believe in keeping our marketing skills up-to-date and we’re happy to put our money (and time) where our mouth is. So in September last year I signed myself up for Squared Online, the digital marketing qualification developed with Google and I’ve just recently graduated. So what’s it all about, was it worth it and why should it matter to you?
Read on to find out.
The Squared Online digital marketing programme has been designed with input from leading employers and is presented by expert tutors and renowned guest speakers. It’s stated aim is to update the knowledge of digital marketing and digital strategy to a wide-ranging audience from marketing managers seeking a better understanding of the digital world to marketing directors who want to stay ahead of the field.
The course runs for over 6 months and that’s definitely something to consider before committing. Each course comprises of 5 modules based on individual and group activities presented through weekly webinars. However the pre and post work required around each webinar equates to a total of 156 hours (or roughly 6 hours a week) of practical learning.
The initial modules are based on individual work but as the course progresses there is a heavy emphasis on collaboration through virtual project groups.
Module 1 is an introduction to the digital world and provides an understanding of how technology is driving marketing change. It highlights a number of tools, technologies and platforms to consider and focuses on how social is impacting consumer behavior and business strategy.
Module 2 discusses how businesses are harnessing new digital marketing technology to reduce barriers to entry and disrupt traditional business models and industries. Relevant business model frameworks are examined with an emphasis on the relevancy of mobile.
Module 3 covers how larger brands engage with their target audience and how we can learn from their successes. Here the emphasis is on integration across the whole marketing journey including the importance of linking digital and traditional marketing methods.
Module 4 explains and highlights the importance of data with an emphasis on how data needs to be distilled to provide insights to drive actions. Here we’re introduced to Google Analytics and the importance of optimization. This was definitely the module that most students struggled with.
Module 5 provides a basis for the team to draw on everything learnt in the previous modules by analyzing, applying and presenting recommendations from a real life business scenario.
I went into this venture with an open mind wondering just how much I’d get from the course seeing as how I’ve been involved in digital marketing for more than 10 years. Overall I’d say it was worth the time and cost but like all training courses there were a number of Pros and Cons, here are my highlights:
- Google are behind this so if anyone can tell you what’s happening online, they can
- Interesting presentations and interactive discussions based on real life business scenarios, case studies and campaigns
- Good insight into digital trends
- Introduction to a number of interesting business model templates
- Good step-by-step approach as an introduction to digital strategy and planning
- Great introduction to working in virtual teams based on a collaborative approach
- Good learning experience of group dynamics and having to give and receive feedback from team members
- Industry recognized certification
- Great for networking
- It’s not theoretical; most examples can be ported over to your own business
- Time required over a 6 to 7 month period
- Cost, it’s not cheap but great if you can get your company to pay
- The case studies placed a heavy emphasis on large companies. I would have liked a more balanced approach to include more SME examples
- Multi national virtual teams can create issues with time differences and language
Overall I’m glad I completed the course and I am now officially one of Google’s Squares (as we’re affectionately called). I learnt more than I thought I would and it changed the way I think about some aspects of marketing. A great deal of what was learnt can now be transferred to my clients ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest thinking and best practices in digital marketing.
I believe that businesses that collaborate will always have an edge over their competitors and for anyone looking for experience in this area, the course provides a great introduction.
Google are really pushing this course and it’s getting industry traction as can be seen by the companies recognizing the award and providing testimonials based on the course content, structure and the end results. Over the next 5 years it’s reckoned that there will be a deficit in the number of digital marketers required in the industry. So whether you’re reasonably new to digital marketing or like me you’ve been around a while, there’s something for everyone here as long as you are willing to contribute the time and effort required. For many of you setting out on the digital journey this could be a great springboard for future success.
Why should this matter to you?
Digital marketing is evolving exponentially. As the need for digital services increases, the number of companies and individuals moving into this field and offering those services will increase and in most cases, that’s a good thing. Competition keeps everyone on their toes
My advice to any business looking to engage or employ a digital marketing agency, digital consultant or individual is to make sure to carry out your due diligence and check websites, LinkedIn profiles and discuss with previous clients prior to taking a decision. A little bit of time and effort up-front could pay massive dividends later.
If you’d like more information on how to get involved in digital marketing or want to know more about how we can help with your Marketing Strategy or any other aspects of Digital Marketing, call 01803 413481 or email i[email protected].