The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines and E-Learning Edge formally launched the International Institute of Digital Marketing (IIDM) to reflect its beefed-up certification programs now supported by a growing A-list of partner marketing agencies.
C-level mentors from top agencies owned by WPP, Aegis Group, IPG, Omnicom and Publicis will be teaching in 12 modules under IIDM, offered exclusively to marketing practitioners.
Students who pass all the modules will be given the title Certified Digital Marketing (CDM), which is also the name of one of the six certification courses offered by IIDM. The rest of the courses, which picks modules from CDM, are for marketers who want to train in specific disciplines under digital.
Rather than a re-brand, Hans Eric Roxas-Chua, chief executive of E-Learning Edge, said IIDM is the "evolution" of the original CDM program launched in 2008 to reflect its international slant.
"We recognized that our partners are not just local. Also we want to show that CDM has now grown more as an institute than a sole certification program."
Speaking with Marketing, Chua explained that digital marketers must be able to think on their feet, considering the pace digital consumption and technology is growing. Besides speed, he also said digital is global, demanding an open eye on trends while keeping grounded on what works best locally.
Aside from the core CDM program, the rest of the six certification courses include social media marketing, digital media planning, digital marketing analytics and eBusiness. The newest course on offer is the Certified in Digital Public Relations program.
Undergraduate students can avail of IIDM courses through a special program called Digital Marketeer. IIDM is designed as a distance-learning course to appeal to marketers with tight schedules.
Chua, who is also the co-chair of the IMMAP Digital Measurement Board, said the IIDM is recognized globally, but explained that it doesn't work like how governments do to certify lawyers and doctors.
"To have a global certification body is possible but digital is moving target. To have it centralized seems like an impossible task."
While it enjoys clout from its top agency partners, E-Learning Edge puts effort on keeping up to speed with digital by tweaking the courses each time they run it to reflect new trends.
Chua also explained that the Certified Digital Marketing title is only valid for just a year. To renew it, graduates are required to earn points by talking in conferences, practicing digital and mentoring students in the program.
Coni Cruz, director and education chair at IMMAP, said the demand for marketers with digital know-how is huge, but are posts that are difficult to fill in.
"That's exactly what we want to address. We want to mold professionals that can deliver hard-hitting digital campaigns."
"Its helpful for the industry for everyone to teach everyone the right basics to eliminate stupid mistakes, she said, referring to the difficulty of compelling clients to go digital with past bad experiences, she adds.
E-Learning Edge has produced more than 120 graduates since it started CDM around five years ago and currently have 100 students enrolled in different modules and certification programs.
IIDM partners include the Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines, Philippines Association of National Advertisers, Philippine Marketing Association, Philippine Retailers Association, Public Relations Society of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University.