The Biggest Drawback of Typical Marketing Training Courses

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Workshops, masterclasses, certifications, online courses, seminars… the list of possible training options for marketers is substantial. 

Arguably the most popular choice is a formal certification, or one of the many online marketing training courses that are reputable, part-time and self-serve.

I’m not here to bash these options as ineffective.

In fact, I completely agree that for marketers with little to no theoretical understanding of digital marketing, formal certifications like those offered by the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) and ADMA can be hugely valuable.

Likewise, there are thousands, if not millions, of Udemy-style online marketing training courses that are low-cost and easy to navigate at your own pace. 

Although, many of these are low-standard and it can be a nightmare navigating through the self-qualified ‘experts’ to find the real gems.

Again, for those who are just getting to grips with marketing and the digital landscape, hunting down a well-reviewed online course can be worth it.

However, there are drawbacks to typical marketing training courses that need to be considered before a cent is spent on them.

What are standard marketing training courses missing?

In many cases, they teach theory, not real-world management of digital channels.

For marketers learning digital to be able to confidently apply what they’ve learned, they must also learn the practicalities of planning, managing and measuring activity.

In the context of SEO, this could mean training in creating SEO activity calendars, choosing appropriate backlink opportunities and crafting outreach messages, or learning how to monitor SEO performance using Google Search Console reports and third-party tools.

In the case of marketing automation, it requires training in theory and technical skills alike, from mapping out a lead generation and nurture program to correctly setting up an automated workflow.

Not all formal certifications and online courses teach the practical skills marketers need to take action.

It’s one thing to learn the basics of a digital topic and another to be able to apply this right away to improve results.

Yet that’s not the biggest drawback.

In my opinion, the major drawback of pre-planned certifications and courses is that they are generally one-size-fits-all.

Whether you’re a recent graduate new to your team and tasked with the job of launching a solid digital strategy.

Or an experienced marketer with a background in traditional channels who needs to take a good understanding of digital to the next level so that you can rely less on outsourced agencies.

You access the same course content and it’s down to you to assess how it applies to your business.

Sure, you might choose between a ‘Beginner’ and ‘Advanced’ version of a course topic.

But the course content is pre-populated and designed to serve hundreds of students at once.

Most marketing training courses are not tailored to you.

Even more so, they are not tailored to your business circumstances, your current understanding of the topic, or your marketing and business plans for the coming months or years.

The training needs of a startup with a team of two, compared with an established business already active in the digital space and looking to improve, are very different.

From a budget perspective, would you rather invest in a catch-all style course that teaches a topic for all marketers, or a tailored training program that has been designed for you, your business and your goals?

I’m betting it’s the latter.

The benefits of engaging a marketing training company to develop training programs that are the perfect fit for your level of digital knowledge and your overall marketing strategy are clear:

  • Only learn what you don’t already know.
  • Stay focused on the tactics that will help to roll out your planned marketing strategy.
  • Be more engaged in training content because it’s completely applicable to your role.
  • Feel confident in the digital marketing topics that you will direct and collaborate with others on.

I could go on but we’re verging on the territory of promoting Insourced Digital Marketing right now and that’s not my intention (promise!).

Have you taken a marketing training course in the past that didn’t fit the bill? What do you think the future of training marketers is? Drop a comment below and let’s have a conversation.


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