Digital Marketing Course Comparison MindEdge

Which digital marketing course should you choose?

One of the most common questions asked of OMCP is “Which Digital Marketing Courses are right for me?” For Fall 2019, OMCP interviews the leaders of five digital marketing course providers to learn the differences.

We interviewed Jefferson Flanders, President and CEO of MindEdge Learning who shared what the industry can expect from the MindEdge Learning digital marketing courses now, and in the future.

Listen to the interview on iTunes or on Google

Michael:
All right. Welcome back to the OMCP studio, and with us today is Jefferson Flanders, President and CEO of MindEdge Learning. I’m your host, Michael Stebbins, and today we’ll be discussing digital marketing training and some of the differences you should be aware of. Jeff, welcome to the podcast.

Jefferson:
Thank you, Michael.

Jefferson Flanders, President and CEO MindEdge

Michael:
Really glad you’re here and excited to get into some of the differences in MindEdge. I know that MindEdge was founded by some highly educated people with a passion for learning. You’re in the role of President and CEO. What drove you to get into business of education and training?

Training Background

Jefferson:
I worked in the newspaper industry for 20 years, and in 2000 I made a career shift. I’d always been interested in education and I shifted, and I started teaching at NYU and at Boston University. I also spent time with Harvard Business School Publishing. Then I came to MindEdge in 2004, and from that point on I’ve been focused on adult learners, which is our target market. Those are the sorts of people that we want to help, and our motto, which is, Improving the Way the World Learns, I think, aligns and dovetails perfectly with people who are looking to advance themselves in their professions and careers.

Michael:
When people are participating in the courses, how would you measure the success of that type of learning that you just described?

Measurements of Success

At the moment, we’re at a 96.5% learner satisfaction rate

Jefferson:
We ask learners, we give them the opportunity at the end of every module and every course to assess how well they feel that training has progressed. At the moment, we’re at a 96.5% learner satisfaction rate. Our goal is 98%, which is going to be tough, because as you know, there’s a little bit of subjectivity that goes into that.

First we look for learner satisfaction, and then we also look for their success when they move on to take a certification exam. We, essentially, have a money-back guarantee, which we have to this date never had to actually … We’ve never really had a problem with that, because if you can pass our courses, we’re very confident you’ll be able to pass the certification exam that they’re aimed at.

Michael:
Now, I know you cover a lot of practices and disciplines, but asking specifically about the digital marketing courses that you’ve just come out with, who’s the ideal customer or the ideal candidate for the courses for MindEdge?

The Ideal Course Participant

Jefferson:
I think it’s anyone who’s looking to learn about digital marketing and is looking for validation through OMCP, either with an OMCA or OMCP credential. We’re big proponents of the notion that employers look to these certifications as a way of, in advance, knowing that the candidate can actually come in and start from day one and be successful in digital marketing.

That’s one of the reasons we turn to OMCP. We wanted standards and a book of knowledge, as it were, that would make sure we were covering the waterfront. When a candidate takes our courses, when a candidate takes the OMCA or OMCP exam and get certified, employers know it is the gold standard, and the person’s going to arrive ready to go to work.

Michael:
Just some news for our listeners. MindEdge courses just went through the very stringent evaluation process, and congratulations, Jeff, that those were approved. The evaluators, I’ve got to say, were really impressed with the thoroughness and the depth of the content. What will participants find in your courses that they’re very unlikely to find anywhere else?

What’s Unique in the Courses

Jefferson:
One of the things that we try to blend theory and practice, so we have significant numbers of practitioners who’ve contributed to these digital marketing courses, largely with video segments, talking about what it’s really like in the real world. We are a continuous improvement company, so we’re constantly looking for ways to teach in a more effective and optimal manner.

  1. Blend of theory and practice
  2. Games/li>
  3. infographics
  4. Video Lessons/li>
  5. Quizzes

I think one of the things that characterizes our courses is the variety. You’re going to get video, you’re going to get text, you’re going to get infographics, you’re going to get games, you’re going to get quizzes. We really try to keep the courses moving in a way that keeps the learner engaged, so you’re not staring at a video screen for five hours. You’re being engaged, and it’s a way for you to really immerse yourself in the content.

Michael:
Anyone out there, Jeff, that you admire, that you think is doing training right or is on the cutting edge?

Who Else is Doing it Right?

Jefferson:
This is not digital marketing, but I think Duolingo, their language training is an extremely interesting way to teach. I’m a terrible language student, but I’m brushing up on both my French and German through Duolingo, and they make it relatively painless. The issue, of course, is to find the time. But I love their bite-sized approach where they teach in small microbursts, and we have a lot of that in our courses, as well.

Michael:
That’s great. You know, you’re the second leader to point them out as somebody who’s doing it right, so there’s a trend there, and we’ll have to check that out. Now earlier, Jeff, you mentioned gold standard or a industry standard that people can know is worthy of achievement. What are your thoughts on working with industry certifications like OMCP?

Thoughts on Idustry Certification, Like OMCP

We were drawn to OMCP by the clear, the deep thought, that had gone into the building of the standards, and also, the high level of professionalism in terms of coming up with a course of study that would prepare students.

Jefferson:
We work with a number of certifying bodies, including Project Management Institute, PMI, and SHRM for human resources, and HRCI for human resources, several of the cybersecurity. We were drawn to OMCP by the clear, the deep thought, that had gone into the building of the standards, and also, the high level of professionalism in terms of coming up with a course of study that would prepare students. Because the last thing in the world we want is a learner taking our course and getting a certification, and then discovering that it doesn’t apply to the industry that they’re in. We were delighted. I think the praise I would give OMCP is, it reminds me very much of PMI in terms of the depth and the thought that goes into the creation of the standards.

Michael:
Well, I appreciate that input. In fact, it’s no secret, listeners, that we’ve been modeled after PMI and actually advised by some of the people who started PMI, or at least built it over the last two decades. I’ll give a little pre-release here. Mark Langley, the former CEO and leader of Project Management Institute, has formally joined our advisory board, and will be advising us, in times to come, how to model after that standard. That’s an exciting change that affirms your choices, Jeff, so I appreciate that. What is your vision in terms of the future of training in some of your topics or especially in digital marketing? What’s next?

The Future of Digital Marketing Training

Jefferson:
We continue to look at … We have a investment in an artificial intelligence company named Cognii. We look at ways that that can possibly be leveraged for more engagement. Specifically, digital marketing, we are looking at the potential for establishing a sandbox, possibly, where students or learners can actually experience some of the modeling and other aspects of digital marketing. Anything that can provide greater engagement, typically, is what we try to add.

We are also looking at adding some courses in more specific proprietary technologies. Things like Google Analytics, possibly a course on Facebook, which would be supplementary to the overall sort of standards that OMCP has, in the sense that clearly some of the proprietary technologies are going to change over time. I think it’s, the most important thing is for a learner to actually get the fundamentals, and the philosophy, and the approach cemented before they turn to the proprietary softwares.

Michael:
We can’t ignore that that’s an important part. Things like Facebook Platform, or Adobe Experience Manager Platform, or some of the others like the Google Ads Platforms. OMCP gives credit for somebody who’s gone through Facebook Blueprint, or to get certified in Google Analytics, or some of the other platforms as this is what the industry has asked for. That sounds like a great blend, and we think it’s a great direction to go, Jeff.

Stats Blitz

Michael:
This is the section that we call “Stats Blitz”, and we just ask a few questions that we’ve asked the other leaders, as well. I know there’s a couple of exceptions for you, but, so I’ll put it in this context, which you can share. How many participants have been in your digital marketing courses over the last three years?

..about a hundred individual courses per month

Jefferson:
We are currently selling about a hundred individual courses per month. That’s not the entire … I think there are eight courses per certificate, so you’d have to divide that by eight to get the number of participants, but we have seen increasing velocity in the sales of the digital marketing. It’s clearly a extremely hot topic. We have a very broad reseller network, which includes colleges, and universities, and consultancies, and they’re telling us that there’s a widespread desire for the sort of self-paced training that, online, that our MindEdge courses offer. We’re really bullish about prospects for additional participants on the go forward.

Michael:
Can you share what ratio of people complete the courses as you set them out?

Jefferson:
That’s a really interesting question. I’d have to research that, but my guess would be we’re in the high nineties on that. We have very high completion rates for our professional development courses. Typically, because the students involved are looking for a continuing education credits, or are driving towards trying to take an exam. We often have a situation where we’ll … We have a capability where people can extend access to the course, and typically, instead of abandoning the course, that’s what you’ll get. You’ll have someone come back and say, “My family life or my work life has really been challenging, so I can take the course in an extension at no additional charge.”

Michael:
Jeff, for somebody entering the MindEdge digital marketing course, how many hours of training, interaction, immersion can they expect from the program?

Jefferson:
Our online self-paced program runs for 30 to 35 hours. We do find that some learners spend more time and it can run between 40 and 45, depending on how deep they want to engage with the material. We try to keep our learning segments … We try to cut to the chase, because we know that’s something that adult learners really appreciate.

Michael:
Okay. What is a statistic that we didn’t ask that you’d be willing to share with us?

Jefferson:
We’re really proud that this year we’ll serve 500,000 learners, and, hopefully, a growing portion of that will be learners seeking more knowledge and skills from digital marketing and pursuing their OMCA certification.

I think that starting with a solid foundation, and I think OMCA is a perfect example.

Michael:
Jeff, you’re at the forefront of a lot of the online education processes out there. What advice do you have for a learner who’s looking to get into the digital marketing world?

Advice for a Learner

Jefferson:
I think that starting with a solid foundation, and I think OMCA is a perfect example. Starting with a program that both provides skills and also offers you a way to demonstrate to employers that you have those skills. That’s where certification comes in. We’re employers as well. We look at that. We look at what, on a resume for a potential employee, a candidate, what can they show us in terms of the certifications that they’ve earned, and that’s a good signal to us that the person is serious about their career.

Michael:
Now you have several channels where people can get access to the courses. Where should people go to take advantage of these?

Where to Sign Up

Jefferson:
I would go to SkyeLearning.com and you can find the digital marketing certificate and program there with a quite nice 20% discount.

Michael:
Okay. A big thank you to you, Jefferson, at MindEdge. You can check out his courses and his company’s courses at SkyeLearning.com. Of course, these are courses from MindEdge. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us today.

Jefferson:
Thank you, Mike.

Michael:
I’m your host, Michael Stebbins, and you’ve been listening to the OMCP Online Marketing Best Practices Podcast, with a special session just for digital marketing training. OMCP maintains the certification standards for the online marketing industry in cooperation with industry leaders, just like Jefferson and MindEdge. We’ll look forward to seeing you in the next OMCP podcast.

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