The Direct Marketing Association has officially announced their Certification Program in Search Engine Marketing today. The first modules are being offered at DMA06 in San Francisco in October. There will be two levels of certification focused on agency and in-house marketers:
- Level 1: Designed for individuals able to work under the direction of an advanced search engine marketer. These individuals would know and be able to employ current best practices in organic or paid search marketing.
- Level 2: Designed for individuals who are capable of devising, creating, and managing effective search engine marketing programs within agencies or as lead members of in-house marketing teams. At this level, individuals can seek advanced certification in organic or paid search.
Here are the four Level 1 modules (out of ten) that will be available at DMA06 and the corresponding trainers:
- Introduction to Search Marketing – Jeannette Kocsis of Harte Hanks
- Search Engine and Directory Submission/Inclusion – Detelev Johnson of Position Technologies
- Site Indexing Challenges and How to Fix Them – Matt Bailey of Sitelogic Marketing
- Search Engine Basics – Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing
Overall search engine marketing certification content strategy and planning is being performed by Dr. Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit. Here is a quote from the press release from the DMA:
Search engine marketing is the fastest growing direct marketing channel, with 40 percent annual growth and over $5.7 billion in search advertising spending in 2005,” said John A. Greco, Jr., president & CEO, DMA. “There’s a growing need in the search community for training that is both credible and that enhances performance of DMA members practicing search engine methods as part of their multichannel marketing strategies.”
No major association has launched a search marketing certification program before and this announcement is sure to generate some interesting dialogue. All I can say at this time is that the DMA is very enthusiastic about this program and I am very much looking forward to participating in the program. There’s an awful lot of disinformation out there about search marketing, both organic and paid, so a structured program could be a well-needed resource for in-house and agency marketers.