As we enter a new year, for many of us it’s a time of fresh focus as we look to achieve our professional goals, but it can also be worth taking a moment to reflect, taking stock of what has been achieved and the challenges overcome during the year gone by. It’s important to remind ourselves of the journey taken, as we plot the course ahead.
It’s hard to believe that, this time last year, we had only just commenced work on developing the concept of Membership with the Digital Marketing Institute – 2018 was certainly an eventful one for everyone involved in the project, particularly when you consider that we launched Membership just over six months ago.
The healthy position we find ourselves in today is a testament to the hard work of many people involved. This includes our senior management who envisaged the project to start with and supported it consistently ever since, key staff members who have worked tirelessly to bring the vision to life, as well as a fantastic group of contributors and subject matter experts who have delivered high-quality content in spades.
As the Membership Manager, I am extremely grateful to all of them for their fantastic efforts in delivering a best-in-class product and service for a global audience. The Digital Marketing Institute prides itself on “setting the standard”, and I certainly feel the bar has been set high with Membership.
Our Global Industry Advisory Council (GIAC), made up of senior digital marketing leaders around the world, has also been a huge source of strength and guidance, bringing an immense weight of expertise and experience to the table. While their contribution permeates through the entire organization, it is particularly valuable with Membership getting off the ground.
However, all of this is also due in no small part to you, the member. Your appetite for this service and your strong engagement with it has been central to driving the project forward. We now have some 36,000 members around the world. Members are regularly consuming new content, reading interesting case studies, using our practical toolkits, joining our live webinars and reaching out to the Membership team directly.
With such busy schedules, including work and personal commitments, as well as many of you taking on educational programs, it’s encouraging to see a strong level of engagement with the service so early in its lifecycle.
Our content library is one key cornerstone of the Membership offering, as it delivers enormous value to you, our digital marketing professionals. We are delighted with its progress in such a short space of time, since launching in mid-2018. At the end of December, we had 260 content items live on the platform, offering great depth of expertise across a broad range of digital marketing and sales topics.
We are already building upon that library since the turn of the year, continuing to roll out fresh content daily. This year, as in the one just gone, we are placing a huge emphasis on delivering content which is informative, practical and future-focused, as well as being high-quality in terms of writing, visuals, production and presentation.
We have delivered content in a range of formats, and will continue to expand this range throughout 2019. So whether you have 15 minutes or three hours to spare, whether you prefer to consume information by reading it, listening to it or watching it, whether you’re new to digital marketing or have years of experience under your belt, our content library will deliver what you need, when you need it, and in a voice you can trust.
Already there are some real highlights among our bank of content, which the team is extremely proud of. We set ourselves a target of delivering 20 toolkits by the end of 2018, and delivered on that promise. These toolkits and template documents are designed with you in mind. They are truly practical resources which will assist you with real-world digital marketing tasks.
I’d like to direct you to a few of the outstanding examples among these toolkits:
In addition, 2018 saw us publish two original white papers on the platform – Guidelines on Data Privacy for Digital Marketers and 20/20 Vision: A Marketing Leader’s View of Digital’s Future. Both papers are rich in data, full of vital information and make for interesting reading for marketers.
Our creative team has done an amazing job on the Membership platform overall, delivering a high-quality, intuitive design and user experience. This is very apparent in our content library, which means that your learning experience is fun, entertaining and engaging – not terms often associated with professional development!
Our live webinars also marked another significant milestone in the development of Membership’s content and community, with our subject matter experts presenting and taking questions on topical issues, which drew plenty of positive engagement from members.
These monthly events kicked off in September 2018, and we were amazed by the spectacular growth in the numbers registering and attending. The results show that, across the four hour-long webinars in total, over 3,000 people registered and over 1,000 attended, with an average engagement in the sessions of over 95%. This culminated in The State of Digital live session in December, which had an impressive attendance of 446 and a very active Q&A session.
If you missed the webinars live, don’t dismay, as they are all recorded and available to view here, along with accompanying slide presentations.
Our continuous professional development (CPD) program is another key benefit of Membership, as it maintains your certification and demonstrates your knowledge and skill on an ongoing basis.
It also comes with a designation – which are those lovely letters after your name, letting everyone know that you are qualified, your skillset is up-to-date and you are continually learning. And all of these statements are completely verifiable through us, your CPD provider.
With continued education and learning so essential to career progression these days, we know CPD addresses a vital need for the industry and for the professionals working within it. CPD is a necessity for professionals who are seeking to grow and develop, particularly in digital marketing, which evolves and changes so rapidly.
By consuming our content and taking part in learning activities, you can record CPD credits, and therefore maintain your qualification and designation. Through Membership, our CPD program is included free of charge for all current certified Digital Marketing Institute members.
Just log your credits into the CPD section of your membership account. We currently have almost 12,000 members registered within the CPD program. If you are certified and want to know more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
If you want some quick wins with your CPD credit collection, you can take in a short course. These are original short courses designed exclusively for the Membership platform, and on completion of each course you can log three CPD credits. Our most recent short course launched in December and can be viewed here: UX Short Course.
The GIAC members are bringing their expertise directly to you through the Membership content library, including Microsoft’s Frank Hattann, whose thoughts on how to leverage LinkedIn can be viewed here, and David Moore of WPP Digital, whose thoughts on improving your professional skills can be read here.
This direct input from GIAC members will expand significantly in 2019, so watch out for our live webinar with Mark Evans of Direct Line Group, and our video interview with Brian Lavery of AccuWeather in the coming weeks.
With all that said and done, the team has no intention of resting on our laurels, with loads more great content and benefits on the way for members in 2019. The plan is to deliver over 175 new, original content items on the library during the year ahead, add seven further short courses, 12 live webinar sessions and roll out an extensive program of video interviews.
The variety of formats in the content offering will continue, and indeed it will be expanded, with plans afoot to produce a regular podcast.
2019 will also see a significant expansion of the community aspect of Membership. Planning for this has already started, with the introduction of discussion forums, where members can exchange insights and opinions on industry developments, providing a valuable space for shared global expertise and advice among members.
Overall, I feel we have a very solid foundation in place with Membership, with industry-leading content and a world-class facility. It is exciting times ahead, both for the Digital Marketing Institute as a whole and especially for Membership.
This, of course, is running in parallel with a time of exceptional growth in the digital industry generally. Whatever your current career stage, it is my sincere hope that Membership gives you the defining advantage to progress and succeed moving forward, and I wish you the very best with everything in the year ahead.
If you have any questions regarding Membership, please contact our team at: