Case Study: Earning Credentials in Internet Marketing

Electronic marketing is a recent and rapidly evolving profession. Legitimate credentials are uncommon. ASPE-ROI, in partnership with Saint Louis University, offers one of the few. We asked an employee of their John Cook School of Business to describe his experience earning our credential.

As one of the nation's leading providers of professional training, ASPE has developed a proven foundation upon which every training division is built. Our ROI training division is no exception. You can expect the high-quality training, experience, and rapid transfer of practical skills that has always made ASPE stand out above the competition.

Brett Delaria is web coordinator for the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, where he recently completed the ASPE-ROI Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing. With full disclosure in mind, the certificate program is endorsed and accredited by Saint Louis University, but Brett proved to be an archetypal example of a professional who can benefit from the SLU credential. He was enthusiastic and diligent as he completed the series of courses required to earn the certificate.

Because ASPE had a relationship with the Saint Louis University, we asked Brett to keep notes about his experience and share his thoughts with us about the program. Nothing we can say carries as much weight as the voice of our customer, and we are proud to present the following experience in Brett’s own words.

Getting Started in Internet Marketing  

Brett Delaria, Web Marketing Coordinator for Saint Louis University

I was finishing my undergraduate degree when I was offered the opportunity to apply for the web marketing role at the John Cook School of Business. I took the opportunity. I knew that I had a skill set that would give me a solid foundation in this type of career, but I knew I would have to be adaptive and learn more.
When I found out about ASPE-ROI’s certificate it was a perfect match. I had a strong background, but I needed more education to solidify myself as an internal expert about internet marketing. The combined courses offered me the ability to gain the expertise I needed, innovate with colleagues, bridge my art/design knowledge with the statistical and analytical knowledge, and do it quickly to bring the greatest amount of ROI for my own career and job.  Working in the education industry, we’re constantly trying to stay on the cutting edge and ensure that we are positioning ourselves in the marketplace to be a visible and viable choice in the competition. We had been lacking, hence the creation of my role, and this program was the catalyst needed to ensure that I was able to produce desirable results for the school and university.

ASPE-ROI: How did you find working with our customer service and training advisors throughout the certificate program? Easy? Difficult? Would anything make it easier?

BD: In all my experience I have never had such a smooth process of communication with registration. I worked worked hard to find classes that would work around my schedule. The training advisors offered other dates if a class was full or had changed. They continually checked in with me to check on travel and hotels, and offered various options to find lodging in cities where the courses were held. In addition to their phone calls they were in constant communication via email sending confirmations and reminders for the upcoming events. They are also knowledgeable and shared additional resources to help me get the most out of the certificate program.

ASPE-ROI: We asked Brett to briefly describe the five individual classes required to earn the Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing – what he learned, what was most valuable, what he immediately implemented after each class and what he thought about the instructor for each class.

  • COURSE: Google Online Marketing Boot Camp with instructor Jon Parks

    BD: From this class I gained a better understanding of how Google is shaping the marketing business from SEO to AdWords to social media. The most valuable part of the experience was our instructor, Jon Parks. With his great insight and knowledge he really helped bring the class up-to-speed on what Google is doing and how they’re changing the web game. After class I utilized the skills I learned by closely working with the vendor we use to examine our paid search strategy and making recommendations about the paid advertising to better optimi
    e our return on investment. I came into these meetings with new insight and knowledge which really helped me be able to have an in-depth look with them as an equal. Having the same knowledge and skill level as them, I was able to better our ads for the school.

    Would I recommend/hire Jon? Absolutely. Hands down. Jon is exactly the type of individual we look for when working to bring in experienced professionals to teach at the university level. He is up-to-date, professional, innovative, creative, and personable. Jon has taught me so much and has empowered me to leverage my own career potential as well as the University’s digital potential.

  • COURSE: Mastering Google Analytics with instructor Rob Sanders

    BD: If you’re looking to really get a hold and wrangle in Google Analytics, this is the class to take. Coming into my specific job without much experience with Google Analytics, this really got me up-to-speed and helped me master and gain control of the valuable data our website was producing. Our instructor, Rob Sanders, covered so many important items, and truly helped each person master using the tools for effective reports. Upon returning from the course, I immediately set to work creating new reports for administration that truly captured the most important data. We’ve used the reports to examine our marketing plan and to rethink where and how we need to market the school based on the data gathered.

    Rob is brilliant. He is a passionate and driven individual and on the cutting edge of web marketing. He brings about a friendly and warm personality and truly desires to share his knowledge to see others succeed. Making himself available even after the sessions and setting up a LinkedIn group to answer questions speaks volumes to his professional character, and the value of this course.


  • COURSE: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Boot Camp with instructor Bob Walton (virtual session)

    BD: Bob helped me move from a basic knowledge of SEO to becoming a strong asset to my workplace. He truly reaffirmed that this is helping our organization not only move in the right direction, but move beyond our competition to establish ourselves as a major player in organic search. Throughout the course we received very personalized instruction and a variety of tools to use to help figure out a plan of action in ensuring that our website is found. Since the class, I have gone back and begun working on a plan for a content refresh for our website, and am working with my colleagues to investigate and improve our SEO.


  • COURSE: Social Media Boot Camp with instructor Jon Parks

    BD: I reconnected with Jon Parks again in Atlanta by pure accident. I cannot tell you how excited I was and how much more I was looking forward to our course when I found out that Jon was teaching ASPE-ROI's Social Media Boot Camp course. Having worked in the industry for some time myself, and growing up in the social media generation, I was skeptical of what I would learn. Jon proved me wrong again. He provided deep, cutting edge, and behind the scenes insight on how to best maximize a business on multiple platforms. Jon's teaching technique was the same, making me feel at ease with no pressure and open to asking questions. 


  • COURSE: Content Marketing Boot Camp with instructor Phil Buckley

    BD: When Content Marketing Boot Camp was added to the roster I jumped all over this opportunity. With my career so heavily in marketing and my background grounded in another competency, I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and expertise. The greatest benefit of the course was the brainstorming and team work combined with individual workshops to then expand on the ideas. The class taught me and reaffirmed things that we need to be doing in the field of blogs and news stories, as well as provided new ideas and ways to tackle these issues. We since have taken the items and ideas from the session and have begun formulating them into our marketing plan to figure out the best way to utilize these valuable techniques.

ASPE-ROI: You took both virtual and classroom sessions. Which do you prefer and why? What were some of the benefits and drawbacks of both?

BD: I found the virtual and classroom sessions both very beneficial. For my personal style of learning I am much more an “in-person” learner, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from either option. I found the classroom setting to be largely more collaborative. With more individuals there were larger discussions and brainstorming sessions. In essence we were our own marketing group think tank, working to help each other out with their job by generating new ideas and possible things that they could do to improve their business.
I found that the online courses were a more intimate setting and allowed for more one on one attention. For the SEO class, [the virtual environment] was beneficial to me, because we were able to look closely at our sites and make real deductions and recommendations because we spent so much more time focusing on our personal

needs. Both formats work. The online courses are great for more individualized attention, a budget-conscious business, or if you can’t miss a few days of work. It allows you to remain present at your job and the session and multitask. The in-class allows a group setting, encouragement, brainstorming, and great networking opportunity with others in the field.

ASPE-ROI: How did you originally hear about the certificate program?

BD: I originally found out about the [ASPE-ROI] Google Online Marketing Boot Camp from a coworker. He flagged it as something that might be of interest to me. Upon reading through the material we noticed that this was one of the partner programs for which our university teams up with ASPE, so I immediately became interested in the entire certificate program and not just one course.

ASPE-ROI: What do you think are the top 3 benefits of going through the certificate program?

  • Web/digital marketing is a constantly changing field. You have to keep on the up-and-up if you want to remain competitive and bring about the biggest benefit for your company.
  • Networking. The people you meet will share a lot of the same frustrations as you. You develop a strong network of individuals to lean back on to bounce ideas off of and share insights.
  • New Perspective. You not only gain perspective about how big internet marketing is to the future, but how important your role is in ensuring that your company is following the trend, and with that help others gain new perspective in how important a strong internet/digital marketing plan is to the future of the firm.

ASPE-ROI: How do you see acquiring this certificate as an impact on your future?

The certificate is already helping redefine my current job and changing it to be a much more valuable position than originally intended. With the addition of the certificate to my education portfolio, I believe that I now have additional knowledge to help market myself, and new skills that companies need in order to succeed. Through the course content, instructors and networks, I believe the certificate will increase my ability to grow into a position that is both mutually beneficial to me, my current employer, and anywhere else I work in the future.

ASPE-ROI: Do you have any other comments you’d like to share?

I highly recommend these classes. The return on investment from these classes is unlimited, but it depends how willing you are to learn, to take back what you learn and apply it, converse, change minds, and stay strong to the principles learned. It won’t be an overnight change for your company, but the long-term benefits for you and your firm are endless.