Continuing Education to Keep Your Marketing Skills Sharp

Professionals in any industry can benefit from additional training and continuing education, but marketers should consider professional development an essential component of doing business rather than a bonus qualification on a resume. In the age of digital marketing, the industry sees significant changes in short periods of time, requiring that marketers stay sharp in their skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for continuing your marketing training and learning new ways to reach your audience. As you collect new certifications and knowledge, it’s easier to create the right content solutions for a successful digital marketing campaign.

At Pennington Creative, our team is encouraged to seek out professional development opportunities and hone their skills on company time—it’s just that important. Below is a look at two of the training resources we’ve tapped into to continue delivering effective, relevant inbound marketing materials to our clients.

PCM, Digital Marketing

Though there is no certification required for most marketing positions, it does not hurt to have some fancy letters behind your name to quickly convey your expertise. The American Marketing Association has you covered with their PCM, Digital Marketing certification. Completing this certification will build and showcase your knowledge of SEO, content marketing, user interface, email marketing, social marketing, online advertising, and the metrics behind each of these conversion opportunities. Certification is valid for three years, provided you continue your marketing education with 10 continuing education units completed over the certification period. To prepare for your AMA certification exam, you’ll want to explore the AMA-Approved Learning Path from LinkedIn Learning. There are 45 hours of videos available through this path, and each course completed will provide its own certification badge to bolster your LinkedIn profile.

  • Cost: $249 for AMA members, $349 for non-members + LinkedIn Learning Subscription to access study materials
  • Time Commitment: 1 week – 1 month
  • Who It’s For: AMA certification covers all aspects of digital marketing, including the behind-the-scenes work of SEO, such as user experience design and conversion metrics tracking. On our team, these skills are important among our Digital Marketing Managers, who oversee account management, content creation processes, and client engagement.
  • Study Tips: Watch the entire Learning Path of videos. There are likely subject areas where you’d already consider yourself an expert, but each video provides concrete examples and best practices to reinforce your skills and get you ready for the test. Full disclosure: The exam for this one is tough. It has 120 questions, and you need an 80% to pass, but you get three attempts to take the test. This provides the opportunity to see where exactly you need to go back and review, since the test is divided into clear sections with a detailed readout of your score. Bottom line: Don’t sweat your first test attempt. Take advantage of the attempts you have and take your time. The test will not be exactly the same with each attempt, but your first attempt can guide your study process for the next time around.
Marketing Education at HubSpot Academy

Where certification through the American Marketing Association feels more formal and rigorous, HubSpot Academy offers quick crash courses in various marketing specialties. From content marketing and email marketing to growth-driven development and inbound marketing essentials, you can explore a wide range of subjects in bite-sized courses, each offering their own certification at the end. What’s really great about these courses is that they can be tailored to your own professional development goals, whereas AMA certification is more of a comprehensive test of your overall marketing skills. Here you can specialize and work at a more relaxed pace. Each course provides an information-rich overview of the subject area with plenty of case studies and real-life examples to demonstrate best marketing practices in action.

  • Cost: Free, requires sign up for a free HubSpot Academy account
  • Who It’s For: Because HubSpot’s coursework and certifications are more flexible, some level of HubSpot training can be appropriate for any member of the content team. The Content Marketing course, for example, was ideal for our Digital Marketing Specialists who focus on copywriting and editorial calendar planning. Marketing teams who integrate with sales teams may also benefit from HubSpot training, which can bridge the gap between these two departments to smooth out kinks in the lead nurturing process.
  • Time Commitment: 1 day – 1 week
  • Study Tips: Don’t skip the quizzes at the end of each video module. The questions here are eerily similar to those on the certification exams.

Marketing is a rapidly evolving field, so it helps to be sure that your partners in content marketing know what they’re doing. When you partner with Pennington Creative, you will have the confidence of working with a well-trained team that’s constantly striving for improvement. Get to know what we can do by checking out our services and sample content, or set up a discovery call for a personalized consultation with our marketing team.

About the Author

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Marissa Storrs

Digital Marketing Manager, Client Engagement

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