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Learn marketing online with courses and certifications

Marketing continues to transform as businesses find new ways to reach customers. For professionals interested in careers in marketing, an online marketing course or certificate program can be one way to acquire the skills necessary to compete in the field.

What is marketing?

There is more to marketing than building awareness about goods and services and closing sales — it is the process through which products and services transition from providers to consumers. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”Footnote 1 Marketing involves researching target audiences; providing guidance on tailoring products to consumers’ needs; determining the prices of products and services; choosing how to communicate with customers; and developing and implementing strategies to improve and promote a brand’s image, product, or service. 

There are a variety of roles marketing professionals play — from research, to design, to public relations — and, often, stakeholders with different areas of expertise collaborate to support an organization’s broader marketing goals. Read on to learn about marketing, including digital marketing courses and diverse marketing jobs.

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Learn marketing online through courses and certifications

Online digital marketing boot camps, courses, and certificate programs cover a range of marketing techniques — from conversion funnels, to search engine optimization (SEO), to lead generation — and can help professionals build the skills and expertise required to pursue a career in marketing. 

Introductory marketing courses, as well as boot camps, can help professionalslearn digital marketingbasics, such as the importance of market research, digital marketing strategy, and integrated marketing communication. More advanced digital marketing courses may cover specific topics such as marketing analytics, digital reputation management, or leadership in marketing. Other courses may teach marketing strategies specific to different industries or products, such as tourism, food or mobile apps.

Marketing course curriculum

Marketing boot camp programs typically take 12 to 24 weeks to complete, and they may take more or less time depending on a learner’s schedule, other time commitments and the course itself. 

Online marketing courses may cover a range of topics, including:

  • Brand strategy, campaign objectives, lead generations, conversion funnels, and competitive research. 

  • Web tools and technologies for digital marketing, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, and WordPress. 

  • Search engine optimization, paid search strategies, machine learning in marketing, and online testing.

  • Social media marketing and analysis.

  • E-commerce buyer behavior and consumer decision-making.

Explore marketing jobs

There are a variety of careers in marketing that individuals may explore within the field, and marketing professionals may have a range of responsibilities depending on their specialty — from writing and editing, to art and design, to research and analysis. Marketing jobs include:Footnote 2

  • Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers: Advertising and marketing managers create plans and budgets for marketing campaigns and programs. They negotiate advertising contracts; initiate market research studies, and evaluate the findings to better understand customers; consult with clients to provide marketing advice; and hire and oversee marketing, promotions, and advertising staff.Footnote 3

  • Advertising sales agents: Advertising sales representatives sell advertising space across different types of media to individuals and businesses. They build relationships with prospective clients, prepare promotional materials to explain the efficacy of various types of advertising, estimate advertising costs for clients, and deliver advertising proofs to clients for review and approval.Footnote 4

  • Art directors: Art directors oversee designers and artists, and determine how to visually represent advertising concepts. They work with clients to determine visual style and approach, review and approve designs and art, develop budgets and timelines for projects, and ensure clients’ brands are accurately conveyed to customers.Footnote 5

  • Editors: There are different types of editors in marketing, including copy editors, assistant editors, managing editors, and more. Generally, editors are responsible for planning, coordinating, and revising content for publication in advertisements, on websites, blogs, and press releases, on social media pages, and in other media. Editors help plan content ideas; allocate space for different forms of media; read drafts and correct spelling, grammar, and style; work with writers to refine copy; check facts; and approve final versions of text before publishing.Footnote 6

  • Graphic designers: Graphic designers and graphic artists use computer software and/or hand illustration to create visual concepts that inspire and inform consumers. They make complex ideas more accessible to help market and sell products. Designers work with a variety of stakeholders, including art directors and clients, to understand design goals; use visual editing and layout software to create visual elements like logos and illustrations; present concepts that incorporate both text and art to art directors and clients; and edit concepts before sharing them.Footnote 7

  • Market research analysts: Market research analysts monitor and forecast marketing trends. They measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies, collect and analyze data, and present findings to clients and management. Analysts help companies better understand their own positions in the marketplace, and determine potential customers and prices to help organizations market their products or services more efficiently.Footnote 8

  • Public relations managers: Public relations managers help develop and maintain an organization’s corporate image through reports, statements, press releases, speeches, and other media. They help clients communicate with the public by helping clarify an organization’s position to the public, assist and inform an organization’s leadership and spokespeople, supervise and assist public relations staff members, and handle internal communications in an organization.Footnote 9

  • Public relations specialists: Public relations, communications, and social media specialists help create and maintain an organization's positive public image and identity by getting their clients’ stories covered instead of purchasing or selling advertising space. They communicate with the public and investors, respond to media inquiries, use social media to understand public opinions of their clients, and evaluate the effectiveness of advertising and social media campaigns.Footnote 10

  • Writers: Marketing writers develop content for different types of media — from blogs, to advertising copy, to social media posts. They conduct research and fact-checking, work with editors to shape copy, and adhere to style and branding guidelines to write about topics of interest for organizations and clients.Footnote 11

How to begin a marketing career online

Earning an online business degree may be a good place to start for learners interested in launching into a marketing career. Individuals can either complete a bachelor’s or master’s program in this subject area. To learn about marketing in greater depth, learners may also consider taking digital marketing courses or marketing certificate programs that offer more insight into the areas of marketing that interest them. Depending on the type of marketing career an individual plans to pursue, professionals may want to focus on developing specific competencies, including analytical skills, strong written and verbal communication, creativity, leadership, interpersonal skills, and organization.Footnote 12 Footnote 13