(Updated on 24th December, 2015)
With the global internet population at over 3.3 billion and growing at a steady rate, increasing number of customers now make their purchase decisions online and buy online. Businesses the world over have begun to make digital marketing an integral part of their overall marketing strategy and spends. This has led to a massive growth in the digital media marketing services industry which in turn has spawned a new demand for trained professionals with knowledge and experience in the field.
With the industry, especially in India, showing an enormous projected growth potential and an expected paucity of trained professionals, many students, graduates and young professionals are looking to get on the digital marketing bandwagon. This has created a need for courses in Digital Marketing to provide the requisite knowledge and training to excel in the field.
The increasing popularity of these courses can be gauged by the Google Search trend for the keyword “Digital marketing courses”, both globally as well as in India
As seen above, Worldwide, the search interest in digital marketing courses has been in a steady up trend (or a secular bull market if you are a markets enthusiast) for over five years. In India, the trend caught on late during the end of 2012 but since then, has seen a steady rise. With the growing internet penetration and social media popularity, this can only be expected to rise further.
To cater to the growing need for these courses, a number of companies and organizations have started various courses on Digital marketing. Digital marketing is a broad field and comprises various disciplines including Display advertising, Search Engine Marketing(SEM) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Social Media marketing(SMM), Email marketing, Mobile Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. Each of these is a field in itself and there are field-specific courses being offered as well.
Criteria for evaluating courses:
Before opting for a digital marketing course online or offline, here are some pointers to evaluate the desired institute or course structure.
- Certification: Certification is no substitute for skills learned and hands-on industry experience but, nevertheless, can add to the CV of a fresher making an entry into the field or for a professional looking to make a career switch. Opt for certification courses recognized by various educational bodies and corporates.
- Course Curriculum & Faculty Expertise: Gauge the institute or the course offered based on the curriculum, faculty expertise, training modules and relevance to the current industry trends & practices.
- Reviews and recommendations: Check for reviews and recommendations from industry experts & former students through online education portals or discussion forums. Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn/Twitter for their direct feedback, where possible.
- Placements: Explore the institute’s placement opportunities or institutional tie-ups for live projects & hands-on experience on acquired digital marketing skills.
Here are some of the popular websites/companies/institutes offering Digital Marketing courses (in no particular order) which will save you a considerable amount of time in research if you’re looking for one for yourself. Please do also read our post on Top Digital Marketing Blogs in India as these blogs can help you get started on the learning path.
Online Digital Marketing Courses in India
Digital Vidya is Asia’s leading Digital Marketing training company and the first to launch Social Media Marketing course series in India. Since January 2010, they claim to have had participations from over 5000 professionals (including CXOs) and students, from over 2500 organizations and institutions such as Philips, Google, eBay, Reliance, Star TV, Cisco, SAP, Naukri, Citibank, GM, Toyota, ITC, CNBC, NIIT, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow, in more than 200 Digital Marketing training programs conducted by them. Digital Vidya also offers Digital Marketing (CDMM), Mobile Marketing (CMMM) and Social Media Certification programs (CSMMP) in association with V-Skills, a Govt. of India initiative. They also have an active placement cell with digital marketing employment opportunities for their alumni.
Founded in 2007, Online Marketing Institute (OMI) provides online certifications programs that cover a wide range of topics, taught by leading industry practitioners and thought leaders. Every certification course includes carefully curated content that helps individuals to learn, develop and execute digital marketing strategies and improve career opportunities. On the Corporate front, OMI is also known for their customized e-learning programs and solutions for small teams and large companies to educate employees and improve marketing outcomes.
TalentEdge provides a Specialised Executive Programme in Digital Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur, ideal for early beginners and working professionals. They claim to have reached over 8,00,000 registered learners who have benefitted from the live lectures, case studies and content structure designed by XLRI faculty & industry experts.
Manipal Global Education Services is a reputed organisation that offers online and classroom based courses on digital marketing. Their online certification program spanning 30 hours of learning covers various aspects of digital marketing such as SEO, SEM, ORM and Analytics. Those interested in learning Google AdWords and advanced online marketing techniques can opt for their Digital Marketing Professional Program – a joint certification by Manipal ProLearn and Google India, that comprises of e-learning, classroom training and live projects.
Simplilearn is one of the leading platforms for online training and professional certification programs. They have around 30 courses in digital marketing that provide hands-on experience in various Digital marketing domains. Accredited by OMCP, these courses are aimed at helping working professionals & aspirants stay ahead of the digital curve with relevant skills.
Internet & Mobile Research Institute, headquartered in Bangalore is a full-service international digital media training centre. IMRI conducts a one-month Executive Programme course in SEO, PPC advertising, SMM & Web Analytics, a six-month Professional Program In Digital Marketing (EPDM) and a one-year Graduate Program for aspirants to jumpstart their digital marketing career.
A leading digital marketing education firm that was acquired by Digital Vidya recently. They offer two short courses that focus on specific digital marketing domains, while their flagship program – Digital Marketing Certification Course comprising of 13 modules takes a holistic approach.
The All India Management Association (AIMA) along with Digital Vidya offers a joint Certification Programme in Digital Marketing and Analytics. The major digital marketing tools covered in this course are email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, affiliate marketing, digital display, mobile marketing, online video and social media analytics. Spread over a period of three months, this online course is divided into 6 modules, costing Rs. 36,000 + service tax.
Digigyan, a digital marketing institute based out of Delhi NCR region, offers e-commerce and digital marketing courses and trainings to students, professionals, entrepreneurs and corporates. The online course is certified by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
Choosing between Online and Classroom courses:
Online Courses are generally more convenient for most people, especially working professionals as they can be attended from the comfort of one’s home/office without having to travel to a training centre. The travel might even have to be to another city for those who live in cities where good classroom training courses are not conducted.
Also, with technology having improved, online instructor-led virtual classrooms are as good as actual classrooms, with webinar software allowing for both peer to peer interaction as well as student-teacher interaction. Webinar recordings are also available for those who miss out on sessions.
Classroom programs would only work best for you if you are the personality type that prefers learning in a classroom environment or if you’re not too comfortable with learning in a live webinar format.
Digital Marketing Classroom Courses
For those of you who prefer classroom to online training, here is a list of institutes which conduct digital marketing classroom courses and workshops in various Indian cities:
NIIT Imperia, in association with Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) Ireland, offers a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for graduates and working professionals at their centres in most major cities in the country. This course is accredited by Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) of Ireland.
Digital Marketing Training Institute conducts a Post Graduate Program in Digital Media Marketing in Mumbai. The course is a one-year, full-time program that focuses on the strategic and practical aspects of Digital Marketing. They have an active placements cell as well which helps course participants get jobs in the digital marketing space.
EduPristine is one of India’s leading training providers for international certifications in Finance, Accounting and Analytics. They also conduct digital marketing classroom courses in 11 Indian cities. The course covers 60 hours of digital marketing classroom training over 12 Sundays. They also have a 48 hour online course spread over 6 weekends. On completion of the course, the participants are awarded with a Certificate of Excellence in collaboration with “Microsoft IT Academy Program”.
The Delhi School of Internet Marketing conducts an all in one advanced digital marketing live classroom course for working professionals, business owners and job-seekers, at their training centres in Delhi and Bangalore. They conduct an online instructor-led course as well on weekends. However, they do not seem to offer any digital marketing certification for participants who complete the course.
Chennai-based Echovme offers various digital marketing certification courses and workshops. They conduct guest lectures and digital marketing programs for corporates as well.
15. Simply Digital
Simply Digital, started by a group of IIT-IIM alumni conducts digital marketing and big data courses at their centres in Delhi and Gurgaon. They also have a placement cell to help students get internships in digital start-ups & final placements at all levels across sectors.
Learning Catalyst, based out of Mumbai, specializes in niche web/mobile/digital related programs directed towards a wide segment of individuals with marketing, design and tech backgrounds. They have centers in 7 Indian cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) where they conduct courses of various durations on SEM, SEO, SMM and a 6-week integrated digital marketing program. They conduct an online course on Google hangouts as well.
The Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication conducts a Certificate course in Digital marketing at their campus in New Delhi. The 4-month course caters to graduates and under graduates, working professionals and business owners.
Bangalore-based Online Marketing Institute & Training conducts Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM and SMM training at their center in Bangalore. The course duration is two months with classes from 9am to 6pm, six days a week.
19. Digital Nest
Digital Nest conducts an Advanced Digital Marketing Training Course in Hyderabad. The course includes 48 hours of classroom training with weekday/weekend classes. They also conduct workshops/seminars and webinars for corporate bodies and educational institutions.
20. Social Samosa
Social Samosa, one of the most popular social media news and information portals in India, conducts workshops and seminars on the basics of Social Media, Facebook and Twitter marketing in Mumbai. These one-day sessions can serve as a primer for those who want to gain a basic knowledge of the space.
Executive Programs in Digital Marketing
Most of the courses listed above are best suited for students and working professionals. If you are someone in a fairly senior role who has more than 5 to 10 years of work experience under his/her belt, then it might be worthwhile considering doing an executive digital marketing course.
It’s surprising to see that not many business schools in India are offering executive or management development programs around digital marketing. The few that do exist have been showcased below and we have tried to find a mix of programs that focus on digital marketing, ecommerce and analytics. If you have attended any of these programs please do leave your feedback in the comments below.
Indian School of Business has a lot of executive programs, and the one that got our interest was the Marketing & Analytics Programmer for Ecommerce. This is a 5 day programme and ideal for CMOs, Digital Marketing Strategists, and Ecommerce entrepreneurs. With faculty from ISB & Emory University, the programme is designed to give senior executives a strategic and hands-on perspective of cutting edge topics in ecommerce & mCommerce marketing. The programme will give a holistic approach to omni channel retailers who are leveraging the ecommerce market place model and brick & mortar stores. Aspects like the purchase funnel and lifetime value of the customer are essential for an e-business and the programme focuses on how return on investment can be optimized for such businesses. A detailed review of the ISB programme can be seen here.
IIM Bangalore has a programme called “Digital Marketing for Business Growth” which they conduct three times in their academic year. The programme aims to give an overview of digital marketing with focus on the different social media marketing channels, search engine marketing (both search advertising & search engine optimization) and digital analytics. So it aims to give an overview of each of the key elements that can enable brands to get better engagement, leads and conversions. It also touches upon analytics and what metrics can be used to measure performance of the digital campaigns.
IIM Kozhikode also has a course on E-Commerce & Digital Marketing. Looking at the modules in the programme it does seem to be basic targeted towards mid-level managers and focusses on basics of digital marketing and how it can leveraged for e-commerce. The programme consists a mix of lectures, case studies, and discussions to showcase how to promote products and services online. They seem to have the programme 2-3 times a year so do check their calendar to find the dates of the next one.
IIM Lucknow does seem to have a programme on Digital Marketing by renowned Professor Moutusy Maity. She has done extensive research in e-commerce, m-commerce and CRM so the quality of the programme is likely to be very high. She has worked in the Industry (at Nielsen) and handled clients like PepsiCo and Eveready Batteries so she would definitely bring a practical experience to the table. We are yet to receive more details on the programme from them so we shall update it here shortly.
Great Lakes has a very interesting Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence for working executives which has a large focus on digital analytics. It is a blended program with classroom & online sessions. It also gives exposure to tools like SAS, R, Tableau. The entire programme is designed by experts in the Industry and the students have to complete a project under the mentorship of industry leaders. It is offered in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune & Gurgaon at the moment.
Global Online Digital Marketing Courses
Hootsuite, one of the most popular tools for social media scheduling and monitoring offers a program called Hootsuite Podium covering the fundamentals of social media marketing, with six free online courses. They also offer a paid certification exam, after passing which participants are listed in Hootsuite’s public directory of social media professionals.
27. Hubspot Academy
Hubspot Academy offers a free Inbound Marketing Course & Certification marketers, entrepreneurs and students. They also conduct classroom trainings currently available in 7 US cities.
This course, conducted by Google is a free course and covers SEM, AdWords, Display Advertising, Mobile, Social, Google Analytics and the Video landscape.
29. Market Motive:
Market Motive, co-founded in 2008 by Digital Marketing Evangelist Avinash Kaushik and acquired in 2015 by Bangalore-based Simplilearn, provides online education in nine digital marketing modules. The structured courses are web-based and are conducted by bestselling authors and established industry professionals, through videos and live webinar events The market motive course is also an approved preparatory course for the Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) certification.
Apart from the courses listed above; there are various courses available on online learning sites like Udemy, Udacity, Coursera and Gyaanexchange. If you are a self-learner keen on understanding the digital marketing space, there are various blogs, articles and real time case studies available online. Subscribe to an RSS feed about digital marketing news and join relevant LinkedIn groups to participate in discussions & connect with industry experts. Advertising and marketing news portals such as Afaqs, Campaign India and Social Samosa are also a great source for live case studies, market trends and career opportunities.
All said, Digital marketing is a field where just taking courses or following the industry alone will not make one an expert. Maximum learning can only be gleaned from actual hands-on, on-the-job experience. Hence, the success of these courses will eventually depend on the quality of digital professionals they send into the industry and how well they execute the acquired knowledge & digital skill sets.
Have you taken up any of these courses? Please share your experiences with us!
You could also get started with your digital marketing education by reading interesting and informative articles on social media marketing, digital advertising, SEO, brand marketing and website design on our digital marketing blog.
If you are looking out for digital marketing or social media career opportunities in Chennai, please visit our Career Opportunities page.