Passed Facebook Ads Online Tutorial. Now I’m a marketer, right?
Ehm, not really. It’s very easy to start learning “marketing” by attending these online tutorials. There is no barrier – the courses are free to use for everyone, in the financial terms, I mean. Of course they have to be free. Facebook (and Google) actually need people to teach how their ad platform works. It’s a simple logic – learn people how to work with your tool, let them spend money on your platform, and via tracking pieces of code, get their business data. So, yeah, in the end, they are not free at all – but that’s another story.
Anyway, there are at least (you will probably come up with some more) two problems with these “pseudo” marketing tutorials offered by Facebook and Google.
Marekting isn’t only about ads
Let’s start with the first one. When you pass some of the Facebook Blue print courses, you’ll gain a basic overview of how this specific ad platform works. After completing the entire tutorial, you get a certificate which, by the way, looks pretty cool on your LinkedIn profile, right? So, you pass more of these online courses, read a number of tips and tricks about the Facebook ads, and here we go. Somehow, you get a job as a “Performance Marketer”, “Marketing Specialist”, or whatever fancy names these jobs have. Or, maybe, your company has just decided to finally “do marketing”, so they tell you to take the courses and start advertising on Facebook. It just happens that you’ve a completely new role in your company as a marketer.
But, please, don’t get me wrong, I know that if you want to start learning something totally new (in this case marketing), you probably have to attend a course, read some books, articles, whatever. But the problem is, that after attending these Facebook or Google courses, you perceive yourself as a marketer – but under “marketing” you see only Facebook or Google paid ads. Marketing consists a lot more than just advertising on these platforms. In general, ads are only one piece of the whole marketing ecosystem.
So, we’ve slightly touched the second problem, which I think is even more serious. The main thing with these free online courses is that you pass a lesson about, let’s say targeting, and you think that you understand the whole logic behind. But if you see a term “STP strategy”, you’re done, because you have no idea of what’s going on there.
These online pseudo marketing courses, in my opinion, also contributes to what Mark Ritson has described pretty well in one of his talks – and that’s the problem with 4ps. They are slowly being shrunk (or already have been shrunk?) to only 1p – promotion. So marketers are not marketers in the right meaning any more (not just because marketers are no longer involved in other Ps), but for many of them, marketing presents only the part they learnt in these pseudo coursers – the promotion part. They miss the three remaining Ps – product, price and place. And that’s wrong.
And, yeah, if you look around you can see many of those “certificated marketers” out there. Creating a fancy personal blog, writing tips and tricks about marketing, speaking at local conferences…without actually having any decent expertise in the field. True, they might be skilled in setting up campaigns, but probably not in marketing. If they start reading a client’s brief describing their marketing campaign and what role the OOH channel will be, they just start laughing and start googling what the abbreviation means.
It really happened to one “PPC Team Leader” who was regularly presenting marketing strategies to the key accounts. Funny, right?