It is always important for professionals to expand their knowledge and expertise, but it is not always convenient to start a degree program. The answer at the intersection of that conundrum is a free online course. With courses offered from the top business schools in the nation, applicable courses are available to everyone, including this list of free online marketing courses.
Free online marketing courses offer insight into customers and growth strategies without the price tag that accompanies a more traditional program. Also, students can find relevant courses more easily without being locked in or penalized as they might be with a more conventional and structured curriculum.
Free online marketing courses are a worthwhile endeavor. Marketing benefits the business professional in various ways, and it is essential to a successful business. The marketing student learns how to better interact with his customers, as well as maintain and grow their patronage. Additionally, students learn how to better succeed in expanding a business. Marketing offers avenues of research into markets that allow a business to more effectively reach customers than competitors do, giving the astute company an edge over their rivals.
To find the best, free online marketing courses, free beginner, middle, and upper-level classes on leading MOOC websites were examined, namely Coursera and edX. Classes were considered in a broad range of marketing topics. Class selection is further honed based upon affiliation with the country’s top business schools.
#1 Branding – SUNY
Strategic Self-Marketing and Personal Branding is a free online marketing course. Like branding a cow to distinguish which ones belong to which rancher, branding a product differentiates them from one another through features such as names, symbols, or designs. This course approaches branding at a more micro level. It takes the traditional concepts and goals of branding and applies them to the student in terms of self-branding. Students learn about a professional image, relationship marketing, and impression management. Students also learn to assess their efforts per a performance metric. The overall goal is to enhance one’s career development. The concepts in this free online marketing class apply to the professional world on a broader scale. Entrepreneur.com points out that branding takes many forms. Among these forms, one finds excellent logos, catchy taglines, and a unique “voice.” Ultimately successful branding adds value to products and services. This value is often a perception or an emotional value, but it is real in customers’ minds and sometimes allows companies to charge more for their products in a sea of similar products. A sense of credibility is transferred to a product or provides a product with an established position, which provides a leg-up in the customer’s decision-making hierarchy. Branding is an essential aspect of marketing in that it has the potential to hold an enduring place in a culture and garner a somewhat totemic power.
The State University of New York (SUNY) system comprises many institutions found all over the state. Forbes identifies some of the best among these colleges and universities as Stony Brook University, Binghamton University, the University of Buffalo, and the University of Albany. Forbes highlights Binghamton’s School of Management as a top business school in the SUNY system. It offers a graduate degree in accounting and an MBA. Additionally, students have the option to pursue a Ph.D. in Management. Students also have an opportunity to pursue additional free online courses through the SUNY system that encompasses a vast array of topics. Included among these topics are International Cyber Conflicts, Advanced Manufacturing Process Analysis, and Principles of Management.
Course Name: Strategic Self-Marketing and Personal Branding
#2 Content Development – University of Pennsylvania
Some concepts stick, and some don’t. Sometimes a song gets stuck in one’s head, and it’s referred to as an earworm. The more effort someone makes to get rid of it, the louder and more entrenched it becomes. The goal of this free online marketing class is to teach students how to craft marketing earworms. The course begins by illustrating how these ideas catch on, and then it shows how to best apply them in the marketing environment. It teaches how to make these ideas syrupy sweet and sticky so that through influence, word of mouth, and social networking, they catch on. Forbes speaks to the importance of content development and gives ten reasons that back it up. The first reason is increased customer trust. New content carries with it a sense of expertise and, when presented in a positive way, inspires confidence among customers. A second reason is that it builds a library of content that will add up over time, helping to brand a company. A third reason is that content creation brings in new viewers. When customers find helpful information from a source, they are more likely to follow that source regularly. Ultimately, content development goes hand-in-hand with marketing campaigns and is indispensable as part of a business model.
This free online marketing course is available on the Coursera platform and is offered by the University of Pennsylvania. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Pennsylvania in its top spot of #1. The University’s Wharton School is a well-established source of excellence. As the world’s first business school, Wharton has 135 years’ worth of students to its credit. In addition to Wharton’s Full-Time and Executive MBAs, this respected business school offers various executive education opportunities that include Leadership, Marketing & Sales, Strategy & Innovation, Advanced Management, and an Executive Development Program. Along with these, the University offers a large number of free online marketing courses through Coursera. Students will learn necessary skills through classes like Business Foundations and Entrepreneurship. More advanced opportunities are available in courses such as Introduction to Marketing, Customer Analytics, and Glamification.
Course Name: Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content
Business School: The Wharton School
#3 Customer Aquisition – Babson College
The next course on the list is all about customer acquisition. Titled Marketing Fundamentals: Who Is Your Customer? This free online marketing class stresses that finding and targeting customers is the most critical decision that a business makes. It also teaches how to identify customers that need to be let go. Then it explains how to assess the value companies provide to the customers and the value that the customer holds for the business. Students can take the free online marketing class online with a four to six-hour commitment weekly over four weeks. A Forbes article about customer acquisition strengthens the argument about the importance of customers. The posting stresses that even with the most exceptional product in the world, there is no meaningful impact without customers. Without someone to purchase it, a widget, no matter how amazing, is just a widget on a shelf collecting dust. Another crucial aspect of the customer is that it’s pretty standard across industries that it costs a great deal more to bring in a new customer than it does to sell to one that a business already has. Given the importance of the customer to the success of a company, no marketing course is complete without a method of acquiring them.
Babson College offers this free online marketing course through the edX platform. Babson’s business school, the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, provides some impressive stats. The business school is highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #72. Also, U.S. News ranks Babson’s online MBA at #31 and its MBA in Entrepreneurship at #1. Students have several additional options when it comes to Babson’s F.W. Olin. Master’s degrees in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Finance, and Business Analytics are available. Interested students also have the chance to earn a certificate in Advanced Management. Through their open enrollment website, many executive education opportunities are available through Babson, both online and in-person. EdX offers many other free online marketing courses and business courses from Babson. These programs include Customer Centric Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Conscious Capitalism, Digital Strategy and Action, and Financial Accounting Made Fun: Eliminating Your Fears.
#4 Customer Engagement – Northwestern University
How does one proceed to engage customers? The goal of this free online marketing class is to help answer that question. In Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies, students learn popular methods that solve the aforementioned question. Students will learn metrics used to measure success. They are exposed to infographics and ideal landing pages. All of this is available in the nine-hour free online marketing class. This class assumes some knowledge of customer engagement. What is meant by customer engagement? Like many definitions of business terminology, the definition likely varies, depending on who is asked. Forbes published an article attempting to answer the question. The article points out that while there is a large variety of definitions for customer engagement, they do have some commonality. That commonality is centered upon the development of ongoing and loyal relationships. Many companies see this process boiled down to getting their customers to spend more money and do it more often. However, it’s more complicated, or at least it should be. The relationship should go more in-depth. Successfully achieving this more effective customer engagement is what this free online marketing class is all about. Take, for example, Carhartt, a company that connects its website users to advocates. These advocates are customers themselves or at least big fans of the products. This process leads to much higher user satisfaction and more substantial and frequent purchases. A result of better customer engagement is a happier and better customer.
Northwestern University offers this free online marketing course through the Coursera platform. Northwestern’s business school, the Kellogg School of Management, is a renowned name in education and has more than a century’s worth of students to its credit. Ranked by U.S. News as the #3 business school, Kellogg offers a distinct air of credibility to any associated program. Kellogg students can choose from graduate degrees that include several MBA options, ranging from a one-year MBA to an Executive MBA. The school additionally offers a multitude of executive education opportunities that cover topics such as General Management, Family Enterprise, and Marketing & Sales.
#5 Digital Marketing – University of Colorado Boulder
According to the AMA, digital marketing is on the cusp of surpassing traditional marketing in importance. What began as an experiment has exploded with the growth in new technology. That being the case, Introduction to the Digital Advertising Landscape attempts to make sense of the overwhelming tide of available digital media platforms. This free online marketing course narrows the view down to the major platforms and shows the business owner how to best use these platforms. This course is part of a digital advertising strategy series and is meant for beginners, requiring about thirteen hours of commitment. Digital marketing is basically any marketing that is conducted through electronic devices. Advertisers attempt to reach through customers’ smartphones and computers through media such as websites, blogs, social media, and search engines. One of the most distinguishing factors of digital marketing is its interactivity, allowing two-way communication between customers and businesses. Digital marketing allows companies to extend a hand to its potential and established customers during the customers’ everyday activities. There are many benefits to doing this. Included among these benefits are a Low Cost of Entry, Measurable ROI, Immediate Connection, and a Global Reach. Any business, from the large corporation to Joe’s Corner Store, has the opportunity to benefit from digital methods. Digital marketing is not only a valid part of traditional marketing, but it may even overtake its more conventional cousins in importance.
Offered as part of the University of Colorado Boulder curriculum, this free online marketing course is available on the Coursera platform. The University of Colorado Boulder boasts a top-ranked business school by U.S. News & World Report, which places it at #70. This AACSB accredited Leeds School of Business hosts a full-time and evening MBA program, along with master’s degrees that include Accounting, Business Analytics, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management. Founded in 1906, Leeds is the eighth oldest business school in the country. In addition to many other offerings on Coursera by the University of Colorado Boulder, students will round out their digital advertising knowledge with free online marketing classes in Digital Advertising Strategy and Social Media Advertising.
#6 Influencer Strategy – Rutgers the State University of New Jersey
Located on Coursera, Influencer Marketing Strategy is a free online marketing course. The class offers a technical-sounding definition of influencer marketing. It is defined as “the practice of engaging internal and industry experts with active networks to help achieve measurable business goals.” Two approaches are utilized in this free online marketing course. The first is a strategy where students learn to customize their plan of approach to a business, consumer, and nonprofit. The second approach is tactics. The class culminates in the creation of a pitch deck, illustrating a social media influencer strategy. This class requires a modest commitment of six weeks and a total of 26 hours to complete. Texas A&M Today has an article about Influencer Marketing. The article points out data that shows influencer marketing potentially offers a substantial return on investment. The data purports to show that forty-nine percent of consumers rely on recommendations made by influencers and that campaigns earn more than six dollars for every dollar spent. For example, it offers an excellent way for a somewhat obscure product to be introduced instantaneously to a broad audience. There are downsides, however, to both the company and the influencer. Bad press on either side can bring negative consequences to either the brand or the endorser, so there is somewhat of a gamble on both sides. The professor cited in the article admits that the concept is very fluid and subject to rapid change, but she is confident that influencer marketing is here to stay.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey offers this free online marketing class through Coursera. Rutgers has an extensive system with multiple locations and business schools in New Jersey in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden. Master’s degrees run the gamut from accounting to Women’s Gender studies. Every year Rutgers has more than 5,000 available continuing education programs available. Professional development topics covered through these programs include Business & Management, Communication, Exec Ed & Leadership, and Information Technology. Class availability further extends itself through Rutgers offerings on Coursera and includes numerous courses on supply chain-related concepts, Analytics, and Healthcare.
Course Name: Influencer Marketing Strategy
#7 Infographics – Michigan State University
The term infographic is likely something that sounds familiar, but what is an infographic? This course, titled Design and Make Infographics, answers that question, but it also teaches students how to make their own. Students who choose to take this free online marketing course learn how to accomplish this effectively, but they do so with a real-world project that is meaningful to them and their business. The course spans the gamut from teaching what makes a compelling infographic to how font and color choices affect how successful the result is. Students will complete this 14-hour course over four weeks and walk away with a finished professional-quality product. Infographics take many forms. They include comparisons, lists, timelines, and statistical representations. It’s important to note that, while many use the terms infographics and data visualization interchangeably, they are not the same. Infographics are pictures that represent facts, events, or numbers. They tell a story and attempt to persuade an audience. Data visualization, on the other hand, is a visual representation of data. There is no agenda. It is more akin to a hard news source. So, while infographics might incorporate data visualization, it does not work the other way around. Infographics are another tool in the arsenal of the marketing mix that attempt to persuade a viewer toward a particular line of reasoning. Graphics tend to be easier to grasp quicker, at least for those who are more visual, and thus are a popular choice among marketers.
Michigan State University offers this course through Coursera. The University is accredited through the HLC and hosts a top-ranked business school, the Eli Broad College of Business. This AACSB accredited business school is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #40. Broad’s Master’s in Marketing Research program excels in its commitment to hiring market industry CEOs as teachers and regular CEO lectures. Broad offers executive development programs covering several business-related topics such as Marketing & Sales, Business to Bagels, and Management and Leadership. Other free online marketing courses available through Coursera include Launch Strategy: 5 Steps to Capstone Experience and Influencing People.
#8 Marketing Analytics – Columbia University
Illinois Tech offers up an enticing description of marketing analytics. It states that “data is the oil of the digital era.” There is a lot of data free-floating around the ether of the internet. Some of it is extremely useful, and some of it is not so useful. Marketing analytics is the process of making sense of the data and utilizing it to gain a competitive advantage. This free online marketing course teaches students how analytics maximizes the return on investment. Students learn how to create quantitative models and how to use data, statistics, and artificial intelligence to predict outcomes and marketing impact. This free online marketing class requires twelve weeks to complete, and will likely consist of eight to ten hours of work per week. Harvard Business Review published an article on its website titled Why Marketing Analytics Hasn’t Lived Up to Its Promise. While this article points out the shortcomings of marketing analytics, it also speaks to its potential. One of the primary issues that companies face when making use of available data is that the analysts don’t have the necessary skills to accurately translate data into action. However, the lure of being able to give customers what they want, when they want it, and to do so in a way that appeals to them holds vast potential for companies that get it right.
Columbia University offers a free online marketing class that provides a step in the right direction. Columbia’s Business School is highly rated by U.S. News & World Report at #8. This AACSB accredited business school makes a particular point of translating theory into practice. Through opportunities such as their Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program and its Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, Columbia provides hands-on experience to students and opportunities to work with experienced professionals. Columbia business school offers two MBA programs and multiple master’s degrees, including a Master’s in Business Analytics, a collaboration of both the business and engineering schools. Columbia also offers several continuing executive education opportunities, such as its five-day Business Analytics class focused on identifying and capturing value through data.
#9 Marketing Management – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Marketing Management I is a free online marketing course. Students of this course learn about how businesses create something that brings value to their customers. The course imparts necessary background knowledge for students through studying the main aspects of the marketing mix. All of this happens through the lens of the marketing manager responsible for overseeing the entire process. This free online marketing class is a piece of a seven-course series on Value Chain Management. It lasts four weeks and requires 12 hours. The American Marketing Association describes marketing management as the process by which goals are put forth by an entity. Also included in the description are how these activities are planned and put into motion. Finally, this cyclical process is measured so that changes or updates keep the operation running smoothly and efficiently. One of the critical roles of a marketing manager, as described by the Houston Chronicle, is maintaining communication between departments and ensuring that open lines are utilized to maximize relevant insights. Marketing managers are responsible for providing data that supports product or service creation and justifies direction.
The Higher Learning Commission accredited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a free online marketing class titled Marketing Management I. The University’s Gies College of Business is fully accredited by the AACSB and is more than a century old. Gies takes pride in its ranking system. Claiming to be “fundamentally different” from other MBA programs, the business school chooses not to participate with other ranking sites and instead uses its methodologies to rank itself. The fully online iMBA, which incorporates a version of the free online marketing class in marketing management, is beginning its fifth year, is rapidly growing, and receives high marks from its students. In addition to its celebrated iMBA, the Gies College of Business provides master’s degrees in areas that include Accounting, Finance, Engineering, and Management. A Master’s degree in Strategic Brand Communication combines the strengths of the Gies College of Business with the College of Media to combine the latest marketing and advertising curricula. Additionally, the University offers a free online marketing class titled Marketing Management II.
#10 Marketing Operations – Doane University
Marketing operations, a free online marketing course, lasts approximately four weeks, and it requires a commitment of seven to nine hours each week. In a general sense, this course dives into the historical development of marketing. Another critical component of this free online economics course is noting the effects of globalism and technology on contemporary marketing practices and operations. Exploring how social media continues to affect peoples’ relationships with information, students are taught how these massive shifts affect marketing paradigms. Marketing operations consist of techniques and technology that are part of the fabric that allows marketing efforts to function like a well-oiled machine. According to Square 2 Marketing, marketing operations professionals are often more detail-oriented than the rest of the marketing department, who tend to be more right-brain types. Those in operations also tend to have backgrounds in finance and engineering. Plus, they like to have an instruction manual and guidelines in place around the creative process. Marketing operations helps companies, large or small, in specific ways. Examples of how marketing operations are useful to businesses include: the alignment of sales and marketing efforts, alleviating communication and execution inefficiencies, bringing consistency to the process, and ensuring that deadlines do not fall by the wayside. The primary goal of marketing operations is to alleviate inefficiencies brought about by wasted time and money.
This Marketing Operations course is offered by Doane University, a Higher Learning Commission accredited institution. Doane’s College of Business offers an MBA that is available both on-campus and online. The MBA is tailored to the student through multiple areas of emphasis options. Doane also offers master’s degrees in Management and Counseling. They offer several undergraduate degrees in various areas of communications that include Media Communication, Strategic Communication, and Organizational Communication. Doane shines in its edX offerings. It offers many free online marketing courses and additional courses in several other areas. Marketing related offerings through its DoaneX platform include Marketing Essentials, Marketing Foundations, Marketing-Delivering the Value Proposition, and Sustainable Agri-food Marketing. There is also an available final exam covering all of Doane’s marketing courses that make up its MicroBachelor’s Program.
#11 Marketing & Sales – Arizona State University
Another course in this series of free online marketing courses is titled Business English: Marketing and Sales. This class, one part of a four-course offering, requires thirty hours over six weeks. The class’s primary goal is to teach students more efficient use of English in the context of dealing with professionals all over the world. Students taking this free online marketing course learn how to best communicate with others during various marketing processes. Beginning with product brainstorming, students progress through product perceptions, product promotion, persuasive techniques, and sales pitches. Sales and Marketing are essential aspects of sustaining and growing a business. The Houston Chronicle states that sales and marketing are organized somewhat differently, depending on the size of a company. Larger companies have a marketing department that serves as an umbrella covering many functional areas such as advertising, public relations, and sales. The sales department provides customer feedback to the marketing department, and the marketing department helps the sales staff to better focus and offers tools to make them more useful. Smaller companies trend to more of a sales focus where marketing is underneath the sales umbrella. Sales departments take the lead, and marketing provides support to help meet sales goals.
Arizona State University is home to the W.P. Carey School of Business. This AACSB accredited business school partners with organizations all over the world. Additionally, The W.P. Carey school offers an online MBA program highly ranked at #10 by U.S. News. Also recognized as a top business school, it is ranked #35. ASU offers a Global Marketing Graduate Certificate through its Thunderbird School of Global Management. Students focus their studies on brand management, marketing research, and global business concerning both private and government entities. The Thunderbird School offers programs with many executive education opportunities covering areas such as Global Oil and Gas Management, Global Leadership and Management Essentials, The American Express Leadership Academy, and the Small Business Leadership Academy. Numerous additional free online classes are available through Coursera that include certificates in Cybersecurity, Big Data, AI and Machine learning, and Software Engineering.
#12 Product Management – University of Maryland, College Park
“Here Be Dragons.” Old seafaring maps are often depicted to contain an uncharted area with little to nothing filled in where monsters reside. This free online marketing class describes the field of marketing innovation as containing perilous waters of its own. Quick decisions are needed based on not enough information, products and services suffer high mortality rates; many businesses likewise don’t make it through the process alive. Marketing Innovative Products and Services is a free online marketing class that offers tools necessary to travel these dangerous waters. It teaches product strategy, go-to-market strategies, and strategies for growth. It aims to strike a balance between the conceptual and the application of concepts and practices. According to the American Marketing Association, product managers are akin to mini-CEOs. When it comes to launching a product and maintaining that product, product managers make sure that all the I’s are dotted, and all the T’s are crossed. Product Managers oversee all aspects of a product, including operations, design, marketing and sales, and finance and legal. The project manager’s job begins and ends with the customer, keeping an eye out along the way for potential product improvements and growth opportunities such as potential new markets. Marketing, as part of the product mix, is ultimately a cog in the wheel of a new product or service. Being directed by a savvy project manager results in all the gears coming together to make a successful wheel.
This free online marketing course comes to fruition through the University of Maryland, College Park. The University is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additionally, the University’s business school, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, is highly honored in its own right. U.S. News recognizes this business school as #44. With recognizable alumni like Carly Fiorina, who graduated with an MBA from Smith in 1980, and Kevin Plank, the founder and CEO of Under Armor, among its ranks, Smith is a respected business school. Smith offers unique executive education opportunities such as its Gettysburg Experience and its Innovation and Improvisation Challenge. Furthermore, additional free online courses are available through the edX platform.
#13 SEO – University of California, Davis
This free online marketing course, titled Introduction to Search Engine Optimization, is a basic knowledge class that introduces students to the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Students will learn the fundamentals of how search engines do what they do. Students will also learn about the changes that are reshaping the way that search engines work and opportunities in the pipeline for the future. Strategies to obtain more organic results are discussed, as well as things not to do to avoid penalization by search engines. This free online marketing class is 19 hours over four weeks. It is vital for a business seeking to expand its borders or hold onto territory in the online marketplace to have a strong SERP (search engine result page). An American Marketing Association article quoting Jorge Leger, founder of Astound.Media, defines SEO as “the process of making your website’s content relevant to the keywords that your customers are searching online.” Customers won’t purchase what they can’t find. Another critical element is that people see SERP results as a trust ranking – the more prominent they are to the beginning, the more trustworthy they are. Additionally, if the best results are on the front page, there is no reason to continue scrolling through five or ten more pages of results. Ideally, a business’s website needs to be the first result of looking for that business’s brand.
The University of California, Davis allows learners to take this free online marketing course through Coursera. The University’s Graduate School of Management is highly distinguished. In addition to certification by the AACSB. UC Davis’ Graduate School of Management is recognized by U.S. News & World Report with a solid ranking of #48. The business school offers full-time, part-time, and online MBAs plus master’s degrees in areas that include accounting and business analytics. Executive programs cover topics such as leadership, negotiations, and excellence in operations management. UC Davis offers a specialization in SEO through Coursera that progresses through four additional free online marketing courses. The program lasts about five months and requires around seven hours per week.
#14 Social Media Analytics – University of Washington
Social Media Data Analytics offers insights into different APIs (Application Programming Interface) that gather data from various social media sites. Students learn how to make sense of that data through correlation, regression, and classification. Students will also gain skills in Python and R programming, Statistical Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis. This free online marketing course lasts about a month and requires a 13-hour commitment. That being said, what is social media analytics? According to Forbes, it’s an essential part of decision making. It gathers information and feedback from around the social media spectrum directed toward one’s business where scrutinizing the data aids in the business’s decision making. The article points out that this information is a potential gold mine for companies. However, the author also points out that the data is useless if it’s not accurate. A vital attribute of this concept is to keep feedback simple such as yes or no questions to customers. Simplified feedback results in more responses, which results in a better understanding of customers. In a more recent article, Forbes raises some poignant questions on the platforms used to measure Social Media Data Analytics. These uses come full circle back to accuracy. An engaging story may be very entertaining, but without certainty, it’s of very little value.
As free online marketing classes go, this course comes through a highly respected source. The University of Washington, accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, makes this class available through Coursera. Washington’s AACSB accredited Michael G. Foster School of Business stands tall in its own right with its U.S. News & World Report ranking of #20. With several MBAs to its credit, including the #10 ranked online MBA by U.S. News, the business school offers a large variety of additional graduate-level programs such as Business Analytics, Professional Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Supply Chain Management. Additionally, the Foster School of Business boasts many executive education programs. Some, like the Global Bankers Program, are comprehensive. Executive Seminars cover areas like Leadership and Soft Skills. Online courses offer insights into domains that include virtual team building and Growth vs. Fixed Mindset.
#15 Social Media Marketing – Boston University
Strategic Social Media Marketing is a free online marketing course that is part of a MicroMasters program in Digital Product Management. The course takes six weeks and requires four to six hours per week. Students learn how to make content that targets a particular audience and arrests their attention. The free online marketing course teaches how to identify influencers and measure the results of one’s efforts. According to Webfx, Social Media Marketing uses media like Facebook and Twitter to connect with and involve a chosen customer base to advertise products and services, website hits, and sales. Webfx offers several examples of highly effective social media marketing campaigns. Lay’s conducted a Facebook and Twitter campaign where customer involvement was solicited to come up with a new potato chip flavor. A cash prize went to the winner. Sales increased by 12 percent the first time they ran the campaign and involved four million submissions. Lay’s ran the campaign a second time and generated 14 million submissions. Successful examples involving nonprofits and joint company ventures provide a further illustration. Forbes makes a compelling case for business involvement with social media. Some benefits pointed out by the article include humanizing a brand, potentially double the ROI, bringing in new customers, and having the equivalent of a non-stop focus group at beck and call.
Boston University offers this free online Marketing Course about Strategic Social Media Marketing. Boston University is a New England Commission of Higher Education accredited college. Its Questrom School of business, accredited by the AACSB, adds to the University’s prestige through the business school’s #48 U.S. News & World Report ranking. A recent CEOWORLD article ranks Questrom as #12 on a list of the World’s Best Business Schools for Aspiring Business Women. Students of Questrom have the option of pursuing several MBA degrees, including an online version. There are also multiple Joint MBA degrees, such as MBAs with an MS in Digital Technology and an MA in International Relations. Through edX, BU offers additional free online marketing classes such as Product Management with Lean, Agile and System Design Thinking; Digital Transformation Strategy; and Digital Product Management.
How has marketing changed?
Marketing is a somewhat fluid concept. The AMA (American Marketing Association) reviews and changes the definition of marketing every few years to account for new technology and changes in society. Currently, the definition of marketing, as specified by the AMA, is “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.” There are five types of marketing. These types include Influencer, Relationship, Viral, Green, Keyword, and Guerilla Marketing. Traditionally, marketing is composed of the Four P’s. These are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Forbes published an article about The New Era of Marketing Strategy. The article states that four eras of marketing exist. The first era is Mass Marketing. Mass marketing is a blanket message to as many people as are reachable with no segmentation or tailoring of a message toward a particular customer base or region. The next era is direct marketing. Organizations attempt to reach a consumer directly without the benefit of mass media like television or a newspaper. The third era is digital marketing, taught in the free online marketing course from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Organizations reach out to consumers through media such as the internet, mobile devices, and social media. Lastly, there is the era of data-driven marketing, where the marketing industry finds itself today. Marketing is segregated and customized, like never before, through the use of collected data and algorithms. In essence, marketing has gone from impersonal mass communication to extremely personal and individual directed communication.
What are the benefits of taking free online marketing courses?
According to Inc., skills gained from free online marketing classes are “critical” to both marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. During the start-up days of a business, an entrepreneur will employ these skills to get a marketing effort going. However, even in the latter days of a start-up when there is a marketing team in place, the knowledge gleaned from online marketing classes is crucial for supervising and critiquing marketing efforts.
What other types of courses can be helpful for marketing professionals?
Many additional online classes are beneficial to a marketing professional and are a great addition to free online marketing classes. Knowing other areas helps one stand apart from the crowd, bet a better communicator, and be more efficient. The University of Michigan offers a course titled Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization. Even with a team at one’s company to handle this part of the mix, making adjustments to a site on one’s own can speed up the process and allow for better communication with the tech department. The University of Colorado, Boulder offers an online class that is free, titled Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization.
An article in Small Business Daily highlights many reasons why being a better writer is essential for someone in marketing. It is necessary that marketers know what to say and how to say it concisely. Plus, learning needs to be an ongoing effort due to continually changing techniques and standards. Grace College points out that there are significant differences between traditional marketing and entrepreneurial marketing. The gist of these differences makes themselves known in the way that entrepreneurs approach marketing regarding business orientation, strategic level, tactical level, and market information gathering. MIT offers a free online introductory course in Becoming an Entrepreneur on the edX platform.
What kinds of marketing jobs are available?
Fremont College has an article that lists some of the most common types of marketing jobs. The following are samples from the list, along with descriptions.
- The first is the Marketing Specialist. Professionals with this title often perform such duties as designing and creating campaigns, researching market trends, and delivering sales presentations.
- Another opportunity is that of a Social Media Manager. Social Media Managers manage the social media campaigns by ensuring they are regularly updated with content that is both relevant and engaging. Their main goal is to create brand awareness and ultimately to drive sales.
- Another possible profession is that of a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. This job requires that website rankings improve within search engines, which involves keyword content and appropriate tags.
- Another listed profession is that of a Marketing Analyst. These professionals analyze campaigns, identify trends, and relay the information to the marketing team. These trends are used to help create marketing plans and help determine the best products and services to offer.
Is marketing changing due to COVID-19?
Forbes published an article titled New Research Identifies 8 Ways Marketing Is Changing Due to COVID – 19. The first theme is how people are sharing their feelings more. The second is that marketing is a center point in handling a crisis, both regarding customers and employees. Third, methods were devised to allow content that best reflects customer moods and to do so much more quickly. Fourth, the sense of purpose is more prominent. Fifth, brands were compelled to provide news and new information, and those that were in a better position to do this well benefited. The sixth theme is that compressed, simplified content is now more critical than ever. The seventh theme is that some benefits resulted from the pandemic. These include more efficient company operations, fewer office politics, and stronger employee relationships. Lastly, virtual components are now a staple of events.
According to the Washington Post, more than 100,000 small businesses are shut down and will never again open their doors as a result of the current pandemic. Times such as these, where it is much more complicated to connect with customers and where routine business models don’t function, require new ideas and approaches. Marketing offers insight into changes that might work better in this environment. These changes might not work when things are “normal,” but they target the sweet spot during unusual circumstances such as those the world is currently facing.