More than a year after a wave of digital marketing courses became popular, it seems the field is on the cusp of becoming mainstream again.
The first major digital marketing class in the country, hosted by the Canadian Marketing Association, was held last week in Vancouver.
It attracted more than 100 participants, many of whom were looking to expand their knowledge of the field.
“It was a very positive experience for us,” said Sarah McFarland, the director of marketing at Vancouver’s Stampede Valley Park.
“There were many of us who were interested in this new field, who were looking for a way to get a taste of what we’re up against.”
The class was held at a new space at the park that had recently opened, where it was hosted by one of the first online courses in the world.
“I thought this was a great way to start that conversation,” said McFarley, who is a marketing and brand management major at the University of British Columbia.
“People really liked the experience, and they really enjoyed the material.”
McFarland said she believes the class will bring in new students and help them learn the industry they are trying to sell online.
“We’ve seen that we’re a really popular choice for students from the outside,” she said.
“And we want to make sure that we continue to provide the best online learning experience possible for students who want to get into the industry.”
The program has also attracted several new instructors.
The first one to attend was Mark Gorman, a Vancouver marketing consultant who specializes in digital marketing.
Gorman said he’s been attending the classes for a while, and has been impressed by how many people he’s met and how much they love the industry.
“The level of interest that we’ve seen is pretty incredible,” Gorman told CBC News.
“One of the things that’s interesting about this is that there are so many new opportunities out there, so it’s exciting that it’s being used to help students.”
McDonald’s is also making strides to promote the courses.
In November, it launched a website called the Marketing Academy that has featured an ad featuring a young woman on the front page of the website, and a message saying: “The future of digital media is here.”
The academy is also launching an online course called The Marketing Academy for the 21st Century.
“That’s an exciting time for our industry,” said McDonald’s vice president of marketing and digital services, Tom McInnis.
“We see a great opportunity to grow our business and to bring new students into our network and into our brand.”
McInnis said the new courses offer the chance to learn more about the industry, but the real value is in the connections students can make with people who have already been doing digital marketing for a long time.
“If you’ve been in the industry for a little while, you can find out who’s been doing this for a really long time,” he said.
“This is going to be a great resource for people who are looking to get in, to get the industry started, but also to have some hands-on experience and some feedback.”
The new courses are a welcome addition to the industry and will certainly be popular, said McInnes.
“They’re very well-known,” he noted.
“I think that’s great.
The fact that they’ve brought people into the classroom and are giving them an opportunity to get an understanding of the industry is a really positive thing.”
The courses are also helping to make it easier for those looking to enter the field to find other opportunities.
“All of this information is now available to them,” said Gorman.
“So they can do some research, they can look into different things and they can come up with a great online course.”
For more information on the marketing industry, visit https://www.marketing.ca/