Preparing for Digital Transformation: Certificates and Courses

Digital transformation continues to create business opportunities and enables startups and established companies to become more efficient through social media, mobile, analytics, and cloud computing. By successfully implementing digital technologies companies are able to create innovative business models, increase growth, improve customer experiences, and reduce costs.

Especially established companies have a hard time to adopt due to bureaucracy that is created through all sorts of processes. Any change requires already scarce management attention and therefore change is often difficult to implement. Startups often have no processes and can implement changes much faster. Processes have to enable innovation and old ones that hinder fast progression have to be redesigned so that new trends that pop up in the digital world can be easily integrated.

Most established companies create incubator programs. For example, in Berlin Axel Springer launched Plug and Play, Deutsche Telekom the hub:raum, Lufthansa the Innovation Hub, and Microsoft the BizSpark. That is where founders of startups and leaders of international companies meet together to exchange idea and collaborate. It is this exchange of thoughts between start-ups and grown-ups that fosters creativity and inspiration.

Once realized that digital transformation has to be prioritized, the organization has to start learning skills for mastering internet marketing. The following list of certifications and courses are what the digital world offers at this very moment.

1. Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certification

Want to be approached by recruiters on LinkedIn? My brother works as a recruiter and according to him, having Google AdWords and Analytics on LinkedIn certainly increases the chance for receiving marketing-related opportunities.

Which certificate you should take depends on what you plan to do with it. You could take both. They are free, not very difficult, but take a lot of time. Each certificate requires reading a 400-page syllabus.

Google Analytics

Google AdWords

Additionally there is a Digital Marketing course which prepares for the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC). It is designed to educate students and professors in the area of Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing Course

2. HubSpot Certifications

In 2012, when I was in New Zealand, I started an internet marketing business with two other growth hackers. We made a decent amount of money in a relatively short time and HubSpot contributed a lot to our growth as it was and still is a pioneer for everything related to internet marketing. Check out their Inbound and Email Marketing Certifications.

HubSpot Academy

3. Coursera Course on Digital Marketing

In the past years I have taken several Coursera courses and highly recommend their MOOCs. For this article I researched the most exciting courses related to digital transformation. You can take extended specializations or single courses, depending on your available time. I have also listed courses on leadership for enhancing people skills when working in marketing teams.

Digital Marketing Specialization

Marketing in a Digital World

Leading People and Teams Specialization

Building Your Leadership Skills

4. The Digital Garage

Google offers the Digital Garage that supports you to master internet marketing. From who else should you learn more than from the people who established one of the most significant platforms of the digital world?

Digital Garage

5. Udemy

Udemy, differently from Coursera, offers single tutors the ability to share their industry experience and become an industry expert. After researching their platform I found a few interesting courses on internet marketing and business in general. To get a better sense of the interrelatedness between internet marketing and the general business environment, take their course An Entire MBA in 1 Course. If you market one or more specific online products, their course Become a Product Manager could be interesting for you.

The Complete Digital Marketing Course 2017

An Entire MBA in 1 Course

Become a Product Manager

Furthermore, if you ever plan to take a PMI PMP certification exam to validate your project management skills (absolutely necessary when working in internet marketing), take the following course where you can also earn the 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam application.

Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Prep Seminar

6. University of Oxford

Digital transformation requires a grand understanding on various tools, however, behind each computer screen is a human being. Something growth hackers could easily forget. Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) such as CPM, CPC, CTR and CPA really means to understand human behavior. Therefore, to improve these skills, take an introduction course on psychology covering biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, and social theories. I have followed a psychology course from the University of Oxford and highly recommend it. It is expensive but worth every penny.

Psychology: An Introduction

7. Miscellaneous Courses on Social Media

For deeper insights into each marketing platform, check out the following courses that were created to educate its users on best practices. Noteworthy, to be successful in the digital world, an integrated channel strategy is required — one that is flexible enough to evolve with technology trends, so check every now and then whether there are new social media platforms that fit to your buyer persona.

Facebook Blueprint

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Twitter Flight School


Glenn Carsten-Peters. (February 05, 2017). Digital. Retrieved May 02, 2017, https://unsplash.com/photos/npxXWgQ33ZQ

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