MIT: Digital Marketing Analytics

Over the past couple of months, I was a student of MIT’s online Digital Marketing Analytics course. As an SEO, I thought it was important to understand the impact that all digital channels have on each other and how when strategically integrated, they could improve both digital marketing and business KPIs. This course provided me with just that in 6 weeks.

The program is taught by Sinan Aral, MIT Professor of IT & Marketing and Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society, through lecture videos and notes. In addition to these materials, supplemental readings & videos, quizzes and enrichment activities through student engagement forums also contributed to the online learning experience. A case study portraying a digital business with digital data allowed students to practice what we were learning through weekly assignments, including a final paper recommending a holistic digital marketing strategy.

Topics covered in the course include the digital marketing channel mix: search marketing, display advertising, social media marketing and mobile marketing and their analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Then it dives into predictive analytics and its application in digital marketing, as well as, what is involved in a predictive model and how to implement it. Lastly, the course covers how to optimize digital marketing strategies to improve ROI, and how advances in AI and Machine Learning can impact critical decisions.

One of my favorite aspects of the course was being able to work in R. While using R was not a requirement for any assignments, the program did provide supplemental materials teaching how to create linear regressions in R, in order to generate simple linear predictive models. R was also beneficial for exploratory analysis of the data, which greatly helped me in making recommendations for the case study’s digital marketing strategy.

Most importantly, I appreciated that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was covered in this course. Unfortunately, being an unpaid channel, there is the tendency for SEO to be left on the back burner, but this course explains how important SEO is from the analytics perspective within an integrated digital marketing strategy. Understanding how users behave on a website not only gives insight into the performance of the website, but also the performance of the overarching digital campaign. This provides a more holistic approach to recommending a change in digital strategy.

Now that my little spiel is over, if you are at all interested in Digital Marketing Analytics, I would highly suggest taking a look into this course!

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