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September 5, 2013
Highlights of Digital Marketing
 
Seasoned online marketers Trina Albus and Corinne Crockett recently discussed some highlights of their ten-week digital marketing course taking place this fall at General Assembly LA. Online marketing has undergone quite an evolution in recent years. It is important that businesses keep up by continuously educating everyone involved.

You want to “be able to target the right audience and create engaging multichannel content while developing your brand’s voice, story and community,” said Crockett. "It is so important to properly analyze data, including key performance indicators via tools like Google Analytics. It “is critical in order to run a successful digital campaign,” she stressed. 
 
Some of the leading key performance indicators include:
 
Clickthrough Rate: A measure of ad and keyword effectiveness based on how many users click on your ads.
Conversion Rate: A measure of effectiveness based on how many sales or leads are generated from your ad, keyword, offer, or page.
Cost Per Lead: What your cost is for each qualified lead from a given campaign.
Lifetime Value: Anticipated sales from the typical customer over a lifetime. This needs to be considered when you budget your advertising dollars.
Profit: What is the bottom line; revenue less expenses (including product cost, ROAS, and office overhead)
Quality Score: Google’s assessment of the relevance, quality, and predicted user satisfaction of your ads and pages.
Return on Ad Spend: What is your return for each dollar you spend on advertising?

And budget is the glue that determines how far you can go. You want to stretch it and make the most of it. It's far too easy to burn through your budget on all the wrong strategies.

“If someone gives you $100,000 as a marketing budget, you have to learn how to spend on ads and make these decisions based on how customers think and feel,” Albus said.

Though digital marketing tactics that increase traffic to websites are paramount, it is also really important to create a well-designed website. We are visual creatures, for starters. And perhaps more importantly, your site needs to be intuitive, useful, quick, and easy to use.

“Think of the times when you clicked on an effective ad, only to be led to a non-functional, troublesome website. With that said, I’d argue that UX (user experience) is fundamental to your customer retention (strategy). Depending on its quality, users will or won’t return to your website,” said Crockett.

Effective digital marketing will keep all these factors on the table, never focusing so much on one that the others get neglected. Analyze, budget, design, and offer your customers a service like no other.
 
More About the Course
Albus, who collaborated on marketing projects with Crockett at e-commerce startup BeachMint before launching Magenta Agency, explained that the course (which takes place bi-weekly from September 16 to November 18 and costs $3,500) has a track record of empowering a wide range of students.
 
“Our last Digital Marketing class included students who were marketing consultants, business owners, and even an entrepreneur who is launching her own iPhone app startup. The five units in this course run the full gamut, from marketing strategy to growth patterns,“ said Albus, who has served as a Social Media Week advisory board member and speaker since 2009.

Crockett, who previously taught courses on User Acquisition Marketing and Growth Hacking at General Assembly, said that marketing analytics and user acquisition were some of her favorite aspects of the syllabus.
 
General Assembly LA Education Producer Mike Brennan, who manages admissions and other aspects of this course and promotes it online via the “LA Startup Community” Meetup group, explained that future students could expect to learn in a variety of ways.
 
“We also offer our digital marketing course at our campuses in New York, San Francisco and London. However, our students can avoid being isolated because our website features a chat portal where any of them can discuss aspects of the course while they are taking it,” said Brennan. 

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Elias Kamal Jabbe is a Los Angeles-based Journalist and PR Specialist and the Founder of Multicultural Matters, an online media outlet focused on multiculturalism and international entrepreneurship. Feel free to connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.com/Elias213 for more information.
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