Stellenbosch Open Day.

Book your seat for Stellenbosch’s Open Day on the 30th of January 2021. RSVP before the 27th of January 2021.

Project Management Fundamentals Short Course. This short course will teach you how to effectively and efficiently approach and execute projects. more info.

Project Management Fundamentals Short Course. This short course will teach you how to effectively and efficiently approach and execute projects. more info.

Benefits of online short courses (2021)

Online short courses in 2021

Will a short course take your career to the next level?

The job market is becoming increasingly more competitive regardless of the industry you are in, this means that having a certain expertise is no longer sufficient and to truly thrive in your career it is recommended to take an approach of continuous learning.

There is nothing employers seek more than employees who are committed to self-improvement. If you are adamant to take your career to the next level, there is no better way to do it than online short courses.

What is a Short Course?

A short course is a learning programme that gives you combined content or specific skills training in a short period of time. Short courses generally are more practical of nature and have less theory than a university course. Short courses therefore leave you with more practical experience within your specific field. The duration of the short courses depends on the discipline, the workload and the aim of the programmes, but are not longer than one year.

Short courses play a pivotal role in developing South African job seekers and those already in the workspace. They are generally affordable, easy to take, and provide a way people can become skilled, upgrade their current skills if they need to, or acquire different skills.

Why should you do a short course?

Short courses are designed to teach you a new skill that you can easily apply in your working life, short courses can be a great help to anyone who wants to upskill themselves. Short courses give you the opportunity to learn a new skill that you can apply to your work or use to find a better job. You will also receive formal recognition upon completion of a short course, which can bolster your CV.

It can be disheartening to think that if you want to pick up a skill you must complete a whole 3–4-year degree or diploma just to get started. Fortunately, short courses are the solution to this problem. Short courses will help you upgrade your skills and knowledge and help you ensure that you have chosen the correct field of study.

Education is one of the fundamental building blocks to success by way of broadening your skillset and expanding your knowledge. With many different institutions now offering an array of online courses, it provides people with exciting opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise, in the process making them more employable in South Africa’s competitive workforce.

Short courses allow you to continue your current lifestyle while improving your skills and your CV.

What are the benefits of taking an online short course?

Affordability

Education is expensive and not many people can afford longer expensive programmes. Online short courses take care of these issues as they allow professionals and students to learn in the most affordable way. Less costly does not mean that these courses do not offer quality education. They are developed and delivered by experts of their field.

Flexibility

Online short courses are conducted via correspondence which does not require you to be physically present. One of the main benefits of online short courses is that it provides flexibility where students can access their course materials and the lessons as and when they need it. Students also have an array of different mediums through which they can communicate with their lecturers and fellow students.

Mobility

Physical education requires that you commute every day and, in some cases, even have to relocate in order to study. An online short course only requires a stable internet connection and offers mobility, which means you can browse study material on your laptop, tablet or phone even while on the go.

Variety of options to choose from

There are short courses suited to everyone’s needs, budget and fields of interest. Ranging from anything between 1 and 12 months, at different costs and in any subject you might be interested in, short courses are definitely the way to go when looking at options to upskill yourself and further your knowledge.

Short Courses are for everyone

Whether you’re already in the working world trying to improve on your skills or you’re fresh from high school, everyone could benefit from short courses.

For individuals who just completed matric, doing a few short courses is a great opportunity to determine what field of study you want to enter.

Instead of not doing anything during a ‘gap year’, short courses are the best way to help you move forward without losing your momentum. During a gap year it’s easy to forget how to study, write exams and do assignments – short courses keep your mind working, and improve your knowledge simultaneously.

Short Courses make you more valuable

Even though short courses are not always accredited, they do show your employer or prospective employer that you are proactive and that you value continual learning and you don’t allow yourself to become stagnant.

Courses that focus on self-development, leadership, workplace communication and conflict resolution could show your potential employers that you are in fact ready for a more important role in the workplace.

Conclusion

While the idea of partaking in University education is merely a dream for most and not possible, there are other viable alternatives. The most practical way in which one can build on their skills or learn something entirely different is through online short courses.

Doing a short course is the smartest move to make to improve your knowledge, skills, and marketability within a specific field. A short course primarily develops and enhances your skills. While also helping you to continue your education and become a lifelong learner, someone that is consistently growing and developing.

Persons who rely on experience alone oftentimes learn by making mistakes before learning how to correct it, and in a corporate or business environment mistakes can be extremely costly. When climbing the ladder to a management or leadership position without preparing yourself to make the move will leave you short-sighted, as even if you have a good understanding of your current position, the lack of formal input may mean that you lack the necessary knowledge needed to excel. A short course can be the perfect option to help you close that gap if you feel like you might not have the necessary skills to progress your career.

IMM have developed an array of online short courses across a wide variety of subjects including marketing, project management, international trade and more. Reap the many benefits that online short courses offer you and take your career to the next level with our industry leading short courses.

Follow the link to browse our variety of short courses, sign up, or utilise our try before you buy option to ensure the short course contains the content you are looking for. https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/

 

5 Reasons why brand management is important

brand

$84.02 Billion US Dollars – the brand value of Coca Cola in 2020.

1.9 billion – The estimated number of Coca Cola sales per year.

94% – the percentage of the world’s population that can explain what the Coca Cola logo is associated with – joy and happiness.

So, what’s the key to Coca Cola’s longevity and resilience? Brand management!

What is brand management?

Brand Management is a series of techniques that increases the perceived value of a product, service or brand over time. Successful brands are built on the foundation of a meaningful brand strategy that provides the framework for what a brand stands for and how it will be communicated to the marketplace. Strategic brand management involves the design and implementation of marketing programmes and activities to build, measure and manage brand equity. It also builds brand Identity which represents how the brand wants to be perceived.

“A ‘brand’ is not a thing, a product, a company or an organisation. A brand does not exist in the physical world – it is a mental construct. A brand can best be described as the sum total of all human experiences, perceptions and feelings about a particular thing, product or organisation. Brands exist in the consciousness of individuals and of the public.”

James R. Gregory, “Leveraging the Corporate Brand.

Here are five reasons why brand management is important:

1.    To buy your brand, consumers need to know your brand.

Brand awareness is one of the key components of brand management. Customers won’t think of your brand when it’s time to make a purchasing decision if they don’t know who you are. This will result in them rather purchasing your competitor’s product or service.

 

2. First impressions are important.

Have you ever heard the saying “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression?” The packaging of your brand for example, is the first contact point between your brand and your customer. Brand management gives you the opportunity to keep your branding fresh and memorable, making a lasting impression on customers, throughout their journey with you.

Consumers offer their trust and loyalty with the implicit understanding that the brand will behave in certain ways and provide them utility through consistent product performance and appropriate pricing, promotion, and distribution programmes and actions. To the extent that consumers realise advantages and benefits from purchasing the brand, and if they derive satisfaction from product consumption, they are likely to continue to buy it. In certain product categories, customers perceive significant value in brands as they enable them to communicate something about themselves. In such cases brands are used as symbolic devices because of their ability to help users express something about themselves to their peer groups.

3. Consistency is key.

Brand management in highly competitive and in dynamic markets will only be effective if the brand itself stays close to its core values and uniqueness. It’s therefore extremely important for brands to have a consistent tone and feel in every brand touchpoint. Brand management gives you the opportunity to ensure that both the intangible and visual aspects of your brand are aligned.

A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand. According to branding author Keller, a brand is more than a product, because it can have dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same needs.

Here’s an example of how Coca Cola has evolved over time, while maintaining a level of consistency and brand recognition.

4. Brand loyalty.

The world has become smaller with the rapid growth of e-commerce, and more and more consumers are buying products from outside their countries. It is therefore important to look at managing brand equity in different types of market segments and to also consider international issues and global brand strategies, where relevant.

If consumers recognise a brand and have some knowledge about it, then they do not have to engage in a lot of additional thought or processing of information to make a product decision. Thus, from an economic perspective, brands allow consumers to lower the search costs for products both internally (in terms of how much they must think) and externally (in terms of how much they have to look around). Based on what they already know about the brand – its quality, product characteristics, and so forth – consumers can make assumptions and form reasonable expectations about what they may not know about the brand.

Therefore, when your brand is managed successfully you will see a definite increase in brand loyalty.

5. Brand maintenance never ends.

There have been various changes in marketing in recent years. The customer has changed drastically and the benefits they derive from the products sold by companies have changed. Modern marketing has had to adapt to the digitalisation of the world.

Once you have your brand, the real work begins.  Maintaining your brand is a continuous task.  Logos, taglines, and editorial messaging should obey brand guidelines. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram updates should express a similar brand tone and feel as brochures and mailers. The responsibility of brand management is to continuously enhance and improve the brand over time.

The shift to digital has decreased the extent of control that a brand manager has over brand meaning. With today’s many-to-many communications model the growth and proliferation of large social media platforms has ushered in an era in which dynamic and real-time conversations are taking place among consumers on a massive scale, making the control businesses have over brand message and co-creation of brand meaning limited.

As a digital age marketer or brand manager, you must consider online branding in your strategy and how you can use online channels to support your brand.

Do you want your brand to be the next Coca Cola, or even better?

 

Enhance your brand management skills.

The IMM Graduate School has a cutting-edge up to date 6-week Strategic Brand Management online course that is perfect if you want to become a better Brand Manager.

It contains four fast-paced modules and will help you to develop practical skills in branding and brand management.

Follow the link to sign up for our Strategic Brand Management Course today <https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online-course/strategic-brand-management/>

Why you should continue with marketing communications during a recession

The South African economy is officially in a recession and the COVID-19 pandemic has sent it into a flat spin. Many businesses have been forced to close their doors and those that are still open are looking where they can start cutting costs. Unfortunately, many make the biggest mistake of cutting costs on marketing communications first.

Here are 3 reasons why you should continue to communicate to your market during a recession:

  1. It allows for re-positioning of your brand or presents you with an opportunity to introduce a new product.
  2. Advertising becomes less expensive during a recession.
  3. A consistent and stable brand during a recession gives consumers a positive impression and reassurance that you are not going out of business.

 

What is marketing communication?

Marketing communication’sultimate objective is to convince consumers to buy the company’s products.  There are various marketing communication mix elements that a company can choose to communicate their message to selected target audiences including:

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is about making direct contact with existing and potential customers to promote your products or services. Unlike media advertising, it enables you to target particular people with a personalised message using a variety of different methods, direct mail, email, telephone marketing, and SMS.

Publicity/Public Relations

As with advertising, public relations seeks to inform, educate and persuade to action. But unlike advertising, which controls its messages and media through paid placement, public relations builds relationships and creates an ongoing dialogue of interaction and involvement with an organisation’s target audiences and those who influence those audiences through articles, collateral materials, newsletters and websites.

Personal Selling

Personal selling may be the most customer-oriented promotional activity, but it requires exceptionally skilled people. Once you know what kind of salespeople you require, you need to make sure you recruit them effectively, provide appropriate training and compensate them appropriately to maximise the potential of the sales force.

Sales Promotion

Most advertising does not deliver sales quickly, since it works on the mind of the consumer. Sales promotion, however, works on the behaviour of a consumer. When consumers hear of a sale, such as two for the price of one, a free gift or the opportunity to win a prize, they typically react. The easiest way of distinguishing sales promotions from other promotional methods is that it always has an expiry date.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship is the supporting of an event, activity or organisation by providing money or other resources that is of value to the sponsored event. This is often in return for advertising space at the event or as part of the publicity for the event. There are many kinds of sponsorship such as television and radio programme sponsorship, sports sponsorship, arts sponsorship and educational sponsorship.

Advertising

Advertising is known as a paid, non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor (usually an organisation). The paid element means that every advertisement, whether it be read in a newspaper and magazine, heard on the radio or seen on television or the internet, has an organisation that is paying for it. The non-personal part of the definition talks about how advertisements usually make use of the mass media (e.g., TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) in order to convey the message to a large target audience, often making use of several media options at the same time.

Digital or Internet marketing

The Internet is considered to be the most consumer-friendly advertising medium because it allows the audience to control their interaction with the advertising message. The most popular formats of Internet advertising include:

Search engine advertising – A method of placing online advertisements on Web pages that show results from search engine queries.

Banner advertisements – An image that can be placed just about anywhere on a Web page containing text, images, or animations.

Pop-up advertisements – A form of Internet advertising in which advertisements appear in a separate window that materialises on the screen while a selected Web page is loading.

Video advertisements – Audio-visual advertisements that are compressed into manageable file sizes and range in length from 15 seconds to several minutes.

Blogs – Digital communities on the Internet where like-minded individuals exchange their views on issues of personal relevance.

Social media – Web-based and mobile technology used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. The overall idea is to integrate technology and social interactions to create value for users.

Affiliate networks – These are sites that maintain links for other organisations in order to receive a potential fee for generating traffic.

Keyword advertising – This occurs when advertisers pay internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing to add their advertisements in or near relevant search terms, based on keywords.

Companies that thrived during a recession thanks to enhanced marketing communication:

Toyota

During the 1973-1975 recession Toyota resisted the temptation to cut down on its marketing budget. By 1976 the company became the top imported carmaker in the U.S..

 

 

Lego

Lego decided to expand into a global market during the 2008 economic crisis in the U.S. and now   the company operates in 30 countries and has 50 companies worldwide. Its main business is the manufacturing, development, marketing, and distribution of the LEGO toy system. An estimated 300 million children have played with LEGO bricks.

 

Kellogg’s

The Great Depression in the 1920s led to the reduction in marketing of the leading cereal brand Post. In the meantime, their biggest rival Kellogg’s doubled its advertising spending, leading to their profit skyrocketing by 30%. Even now, a century later they are still the category leader.

 

 

Pizza Hut

When McDonald’s decided to reduce its marketing spend during the 1990-1991 recession, Pizza Hut took advantage of their reduced presence and focused their efforts to retain their own respective marketing activities.

McDonalds’ sales declined by 28% while Pizza Hut had a sales increase of 61%.

 

Amazon

Amazon used the 2009 recession as an opportunity to introduce a new product called The Kindle. As a result, Amazon customers bought more e-books than printed books on Christmas Day 2009.

 

 

 

Samsung

During the last recession Samsung decided to maintain marketing investment and focus on rebranding itself as an innovative company. In the beginning of the economic downfall Samsung ranked No. 21 in brand value but quickly moved to No.6 as a result of its marketing efforts.

 

The bottom line

Cutting on marketing costs during an economic downturn is not the way to go. During a recession marketing matters more than ever. Instead of cancelling traditional and digital marketing campaigns, businesses would benefit from ramping them up instead. COVID-19 and the related economic downturn is your opportunity to shine!

Upskill yourself with IMM Graduate School

Upskill yourself with one of IMM Graduate School’s many marketing and advertising short courses. These courses are perfect for students looking to enter the world of marketing as well as those who already have a job in marketing but need to fill out their marketing skill set and stay on top of this ever-changing industry. If marketing is your choice as a career, you should never stop learning. Visit the link to find the perfect marketing short course for you: https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/

The trend towards shorter, specific, skills-based courses in 2020.

The trend towards shorter specific skill-based courses in 2020

The first thing people associate with university degrees and diplomas is a guarantee of financial stability, but in recent times this association has been proven insufficient. Some employers are of the opinion that short course qualifications that are recent, relevant and specific of a person’s current skills requirements are of utmost important as an addition to a qualification which if received years ago may have become outdated.

While the demand for degree, diploma and higher certificate programmes hasn’t declined, there does appear to be an increase in demand for short courses and more specifically skills based online short courses.

What exactly is a short course? It is any non-accredited course offered by higher education institutions outside their formal structured undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. So, it doesn’t lead to a qualification on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework (HEQSF), but it is typically more practical and will certainly equip you with the workplace-relevant knowledge and skills needed to land a new job or advance your career.

People of all ages take short courses, either as a knowledge refresh, or to learn something completely new. Even people with families and steady jobs do it to improve their skills.

Why are short courses more popular and what benefits do they hold?

Lower cost- short courses are prices much lower than for examples a three-year degree or diploma from a university or college. It also usually includes all costs like course notes and seldom required a textbook.

Flexibility and convenience- with deadlines looming and an overloaded r schedule, it’s a great feeling knowing you won’t fall behind with your work, because your study time is flexible. Most short courses are online which means you can work from any location and at any time.

Fills the gap – short courses are a great way to fill the gaps in your knowledge and gives you an advantage when it comes to job promotions. Not to mention it gives you confidence to speak up and participate in meetings about topics that you previously shied away from.

Test run – short courses give you the opportunity to test a career path to see what type of skills and knowledge it requires before studying a full-time degree or changing careers altogether

Stay on top of the game – short courses are relevant, current and specific helping you to get to and remain at the forefront of your field.

Employable – It makes you more employable giving you skills that could qualify you for an entry level position.

Turn your hobbies into a career – Short courses can be a way of discovering new hobbies or turning your current hobbies into something more. Remember short courses aren’t always about serious stuff like business management or project management. For example, the IMM Graduate School offers a short course in developing your personal brand.

Information retention – Short courses help to retain information better because they make use of different techniques such as visual aids, videos, lecture videos and scripts.

Revision – Recorded lecture videos can be used as revision.

Finally, it kills boredom – When you have lots of spare time on your hands it is always be a good idea to do a short course. You will benefit greatly from any course that you do.

Popular short courses include business management, project management, marketing management and social sciences.

What does IMM bring to the table?

We are a distance learning institution with students from more than 20 different countries around the world. You can complete your masters, postgraduate, degree, diploma and higher certificate through our institution.

The important part is that we have an amazing online short course and express course programme designed for easy access and comfortable learning. You can choose to do these before signing up for one of our degree programmes, while studying or for top up skills after your graduate.

Our short course programme includes the following:

  • 16 short courses in marketing and advertising.
  • 5 short courses in supply chain and export management.
  • A general short course on personal branding.
  • And 20 one-week express courses for only R475 each.

Coming soon is a course in Project Management.

We have also developed a unique licence package option that allows businesses to buy bulk online short course packages for their staff. Choose any of our online short courses and save money.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

So, if you are aiming for that promotion, need to keep up to speed or just have some time to kill then short courses are a great way to expand your skill set. Visit our website for more information on our short and express courses https://www.imm.ac.za/onlineshortcourses/

How to ‘wing it’ as an ‘accidental’ project manager

You get into the elevator and your boss says, “Can you just run this project?”. You say yes, of course, but now what? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could snap our fingers and Voila! things – just – happen? In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. Organisations must use projects to drive change, step-by-carefully-planned-and-implemented-step.

 

What is project management?

Projects are how organisations make things happen. They process and deliver the changes that improve services to customers and increase organisational and operational effectiveness.

More formally defined, project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints (usually scope, budget and time).

 

What is the role of the project manager?

A project manager is a person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. Construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology and many different industries that produce products and services use this job title.

 

While there is no single way to ensure project management success, we have managed to scrape together these tips for you from proofhub.com. We have summarised them for you here:

 

  1. Know the project inside out

Identify the clients and the stakeholders and understand their interests and expectations regarding the project. Then develop a solid project plan where the roles and the job responsibilities are clearly defined. To make planning more effective, you can establish measurable and trackable success criteria to make sure if the project is on the track or not.

 

  1. Identify the project requirements

Project resources are the key factors that contribute in making a project successful. Once the plan is developed, create a team capable of implementing the plan effectively.

 

  1. Get a qualified project manager

In order to make sure the project is progressing in the right direction, it’s essential to appoint a qualified project manager. A project manager who is credible enough will leave no stone unturned to make the project a success. With the right training, this could be you!

 

  1. Define critical milestones

The success of the project depends upon the identification of the defining moments throughout the project. This can be done by providing the life cycle of a project which includes the main phases such as initiation, planning, execution and closure. You can perform an evaluation test after every phase.

 

  1. Communication is the key

To run a project smoothly, consistent effective communication needs to take place between the stakeholders and clients and new changes should be communicated to the team members to avoid ‘surprise attacks’.

 

 

  1. Tap into team members strengths and weaknesses

An effective manager will always make an effort to get to know about his team members inherent strengths and weaknesses so that he can allocate work accordingly. Tapping into the strengths of team members will definitely ensure faster task completion and better time management. With everyone in a team putting their best foot forward and making the most of their strengths, the project will be nothing less than a success.

 

  1. Use a Project management tool

Technology has given many gifts to the project managers with online project management software topping the list. The software acts as a big store-house of all the relevant project information. From files to documents, file-sharing to giving feedback, effective communication to seamless collaboration — project management software acts as a centralized platform for everything and everyone in the team.

 

  1. Manage potential risks

Risk management being one of the imperative project management practices today is essential for project success. Risks are the potential threats that can creep anytime and can jeopardize the whole progress in a project. To make sure your project is successful, potential risks need to be identified beforehand so that effective measures can be taken if they arise in the need of the hour.

 

  1. Test deliverables

To guarantee project management success, the deliverables should be tested at every critical milestone. Doing this gives you a fair idea whether the project is what it was planned to be. Testing deliverables are crucial to determine whether it is meeting or exceeding the expectations. If any fallacies are encountered, corrective measures can be taken immediately to bring it back on track.

 

  1. Evaluation of project

Each project can be a learning tool. An effective manager will always review the project as a whole, as well as analyse various project components. By doing so, he can note down the successes in a project, what went wrong in the project, and what can be improved for future projects.

 

If you want to take your project management career a little more seriously, then it’s time to upskill with the IMM Graduate School’s online short course in Project Management. This online short course will give you a broad understanding of project management, taking you through the cycle of a project (from conception to completion) and the requirements needed at each stage. You’ll explore a range of tools, techniques and standards developed by professional organisations for effective project management and you’ll take a look at your own organisation’s project implementation process. With a focus on the harder skills required in project management, you’ll master the practical capabilities necessary to define, create, plan, implement, control and complete a project successfully.

 

Because employees in all types of roles participate in projects, this course is suitable for people across the workforce. So, if you’re new to project management and wanting to lead or to contribute to projects more effectively, this course is for you. It’s presented by The Open University, a UK-based online learning and research university and an industry leader in executive education and upskilling the workforce. Their ultimate goal is to be world leaders in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning. How about making your next project personal…? You! Sign up, invest in yourself and learn to implement change personally and professionally with the IMM Graduate School. Go to:

 

During this course you will have the capable Christa Bonnet to mentor you.

 

Christa Bonnet: Head Tutor, Executive and Business Management Professional, Business Strategist and Transformative Trainer

While you study this course, you will be supported by your head tutor Christa Bonnet, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Christa will be your go-to person, facilitating online tutorials and discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your work-based activity.

Understanding Strategic Brand Management

The IMM Graduate School | Understanding Strategic Brand Management webBrand terminology and marketing jargon baffles even the most seasoned marketers. In today’s post we attempt to clarify commonly confused terms like branding, marketing and marketing communications.

What is Marketing?

If you are confused by ‘what marketing is?’ it’s because marketers often define what they do differently. The definition that makes the most sense to us is that of Dr. Philip Kotler, who defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.” If you wish to explore more definitions of marketing, you can find a list of 72 right here.

What is Marketing communications?

Marketing communications is essentially a part of the marketing mix. The marketing mix defines the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Price and Promotion). It is within the ‘promotion P’ that you will encounter the term and activity of marketing communications and the marketing communication mix. Marketing communication in simple terms is the message your organisation is going to convey to your market.

What is a Brand?

A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organisation or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

In a marketplace saturated with products and services to suit every taste and every consumer, from a chic young urbanite who knows what he wants to an aunty who won’t budge in her brand loyalty, your brand needs an identity strong enough to stand out from the crowd. Strategic Brand Management adds value to an organisation’s products or services by creating a unique identity in the marketplace. This signature identity, or “brand stamp” if you like, allows a company to differentiate itself from its competitors and communicate its message and positioning in a consistent, integrated way.

If you want to learn more about how to make your brand stand out in an arena where everyone is jostling for attention, then consider signing up for the IMM Graduate School online short course in “Strategic Brand Management”. In this course you’ll be given practical tools to create a distinct identity for your brand and successfully position your brand in a relevant, meaningful and dynamic manner.

You’ll also get an in-depth look at the brand identity development process and brand positioning, brand architecture and the creation of the customer brand experience, consumer behaviour and its influences, and the competitive advantage of strong brands. Designed for those wanting to make their market place “mark”, this course is perfect for anyone in branding, marketing or marketing communications, or small business owners and managers wanting to create brand awareness and cement loyalty. So how about you put your hand up for this short course and let your brand stand up, stand out, stand strong and stand true!

During this course you will have the capable Karen Roos to mentor you.

Karen Roos Course Designer & Head Tutor Expert Course Developer, Specialist Lecturer, Facilitator and Consultant in Strategic Brand Management While you study this course you will be supported by your head tutor Karen Roos, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Karen will be your go-to person, facilitating online discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your assignments.

The scope of a Digital Marketing Career

Marketing is an integral part of any business, so it makes sense that only the best of the best would be tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness and promoting a brand. It’s a highly lucrative career, but only if you have the right skills and training. Of course, there’s no shortage of guides and how-to’s online that promise to make you an expert in the marketing world – but these only scratch the surface. Industry experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and Jeff Bullas have all dished out a lot of articles explaining key marketing techniques and trends, but we wanted to find out why digital marketing specifically is a good career path. Sruthi Veeraraghavan addresses the question

“Why Choose a Career in Digital Marketing?” – we have summarised it here for you: 

The digital marketing industry is always advancing

The marketing industry frequently adapts to new strategies and best practices which means that marketers need to stay up to date with the latest trends. Because digital marketing has so many moving parts that are always changing along with technological developments and changes in consumer needs and demands, it’s hard to list every aspect of the industry. Some of the key components of digital marketing include:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Apps
  • Mobile marketing, including SMS
  • Content marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Growth hacking

Each of these can become a specialist area for a digital marketer to branch off into. However, a common trait of good digital marketers is the ability to communicate with people and get their online audiences to listen.

Digital Marketing Is the Future…

Digital marketing is here to stay, it’s the way things will be done from now on. One of the reasons for this is that digital marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing techniques. Another is that, instead of doing customer surveys and or research, marketers can track user response rates and measure campaign success in real time. This will ensure that your next campaign is planned effectively. Businesses that cannot adapt to the new marketing climate won’t make the cut. This highlights a need for digital marketers that have a feel for numbers and statistics. An essential requirement in any digital marketing role.

 Digital marketers are in high demand

With both large and small industries moving away from traditional marketing methods alone, digital marketers are becoming highly sought after. Digital marketers should find it easy to get employment and/or freelancing positions in their area of specialisation.

According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies (2017), four out of 10 jobs listed in marketing now call for digital marketing skills. In addition, the report states:

  • The demand for digital marketing skills almost doubled between 2011 and 2016.
  • Demand for content marketers rose 450 per cent during that time, while demand for digital analytics skills increased by 152 per cent.
  • Forrester Research predicts digital marketing will account for 35 per cent of all marketing spending by the end of 2019.
  • Digital marketing positions take 16 per cent longer to fill.

Digital marketing branches out into various categories, so take your pick – there is something for everyone.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a push messaging and outbound marketing tactic that consists of sending emails to customers as well as prospective customers (leads). The goal of these emails is to interact with the recipient of the email and advertise a product or service. Campaigns constantly need to be planned, conceptualised, developed, implemented and measured.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank well on search engines. SEO professionals analyse, review, and implement changes to a website and its content so they are optimised for search engines. SEO specialists are tasked with generating traffic and increasing the number of organic visitors to a website.

Copywriting

A Copywriter writes promotional text with the purpose of advertising a product or service as well as other forms of marketing. Their responsibilities include writing advertising and marketing copy, public relations copy as well occasionally editing and ghost writing. Sometimes they also write taglines, direct mail pieces, web content, online ads and email and consider the use of keywords and keyphrases so as to improve SEO.

Content writing

Copywriting and content writing are two different things. Content writers are tasked with producing interesting, engaging content with the purpose of drawing readers to a website, turning them into loyal followers and keeping it that way. Professional content writers have extensive knowledge of the internet as well as different writing techniques and are well versed in writing various forms of web content.

These are just a few of the fields you can pursue with a marketing qualification from the IMM Graduate School or by upskilling yourself with an online short course. At the moment the IMM Graduate School offers five Digital Marketing specialisation courses online. In just 12 weeks you could be steering your marketing career in a whole new direction. Find out more information here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/