This blog outlines who the DMI is, what the CDMP certification covers, why I studied for it and how I was successful in obtaining it.
What’s in this blogpost – who is it for?
If you’re in business it will give a very high level view of what’s involved in digital marketing, and where to learn more so that you can get the very best return on your marketing investment.
If you’re planning on taking the CDMP qualification it will give the steps I took that resulted in a 86% mark in the exam.
- Background to the CDMP course
- Background to me/my business
- My study method to pass the CDMP
- The exam experience
- What next?
What is DMI
The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) is the proven global standard for digital marketing certification with 190,000+ members and over 25,000+ certified professionals.
It operates in 135+ countries and works with the global marketing teams of blue-chip brands and with the world’s leading education brands.
The Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) certification covers the essential skillsets within digital marketing. 120 hours of training leading to a 3 hour examination consisting of 190 questions.
The skillsets covered include:
- Introduction to Digital Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Paid Search (PPC) with Google Ads
- YouTube and Display Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Website Optimization
- Analytics Using Google Analytics
- Digital Marketing Strategy
The overall aim is to:
Find your audience using the right media channel. Win hearts and minds and make your followers grow and grow and grow
Make your website visible to more humans thanks to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
Drive the right traffic to your website through smarter Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
Create compelling digital display campaigns
Capture, segment and manage subscribers for fruitful email marketing campaigns
Discover what works by measuring and optimizing social media campaigns. Then discover what works even better
Leverage mobile marketing for a precision micro-targeting edge
Create a cohesive digital marketing strategy for your business
Background to course
Following COVID various grants have been available to help economic regeneration and it has been recognized that marketing was one area that businesses needed to up their game in, in order to not only get back on their feet but to grow and flourish.
Digital Marketing is an ever more important piece of the marketing puzzle and one where there’s a lot of learning to do in order to make the most efficient use of the latest technologies and approaches and the best possible us of marketing budgets.
In the East Midlands Anicca was chosen as one of the organisations to deliver the globally recognized Digital Marketing institute Certified Digital marketing Professional qualification. What sets Anicca apart from the other organisations is that they actually do this stuff every single day. Walk the talk.
So they put together a programme with 120 hours of tuition, exam entry and DMI membership.
I run a business that builds web sites and helps businesses to grow by getting the maximum value out of their website. Part of that encompasses SEO (getting their website well ranked), part of it Email Marketing to build relationships with visitors once they’ve found the website and part of it is Digital Strategy to help each business develop an overall plan of how to help the business grow.
So the CPDM qualification seemed a perfect fit to help me to offer even more value to my clients.
The financial help that the East Midlands Chamber and D2N2 offered made it too good an opportunity to miss – my biggest challenge now was finding 120 hours in a three month period on top of a full time job running my own business. I won’t lie – it’s been a challenge!
Anicca delivered a module per week for ten weeks, with each delivery session lasting 8 hours.
They have an online resource of DMI sourced quizzes and how-to videos.
On the DMI website there are also a series of quizzes, mock exams and slideshows.
There are approximately 5 quizzes for each module.
On the Anicca site when you take a quiz you are told immediately if you have the answer correct and if not are given three attempts before the answer is revealed.
I chose a quiz and if I got 2 or more answers wrong once the quiz had ended I noted that fact and progressed through each quiz in the module. I then repeated any quiz where I had got 2 or more wrong and kept doing that until I could do all quizzes in a module with only 1 or 0 wrong answers.
Over a period of 2-3 days I took this approach until I had completed quizzes for every module.
Next I took a mock exam from the DMI website, simulating exam conditions at home. The mock is half the size of the real exam in both length and questions asked. Once you have finished the exam you see your score and all of your answers, and where you made mistakes it shows the correct answer. I read through both my right and wrong answers and made sure for the wrong ones I understood why they were wrong. On my first mock I got 23/100 wrong.
Then I let a week pass and started the whole process again, using the quizzes on the DMI website. There is some overlap with the Anicca quizzes but plenty of new questions to think about. On the DMI website you don’t get an immediate yes or no to your answer so you only try each question once. I used the same approach as above to get to a point where I was getting most answers right.
I then re-took the mock exam – so about 2 weeks after the first attempt – and this time got 92% which really boosted my confidence for the real exam.
You can choose to take the exam at a centre or at home. I went through the procedure to test out my home environment and having done that decided I wanted to take the test at a centre. This was because the criteria for establishing an acceptable home environment were just too stressful on top of the natural stress of taking an exam. In addition, for me personally, the psychology of leaving home and going to a test centre put me in the right frame of mind to take a test – plus had I failed, I didn’t want it to be at home where I’d be reminded of that every time I sat down at my home computer.
When I arrived at the Pearson Vue test centre I had to show some ID (driving licence in my case) and was given a locker to store my phone, keys, watch, pen and absolutely anything in my pockets. I had to pat down all my clothing and turn up my shirt collar to show nothing was written underneath. I had to take my fleece off – so make sure you have the right clothing to be a comfortable temperature.
The exam is three hours long. You are not allowed anything to drink, not even water. Three hours is a long time without a break too, so be conscious of how much you drink before you go into the exam!
You sit in a cubicle and there were other people taking other exams in the room. At the start on the screen you have the option of taking an orientation of how the exam works. I did this, it takes under 10 minutes.
The exam is in 3 sections, each approximately one hour and each with approximately 60 questions. There is a countdown timer and a question number in the top right of the screen. The question number is in the format of 17 out of 60 so you can easily see how far through you are. You can hide the timer if you want to.
You can flag any question you are not sure about and then come back to all your flagged questions at the end of each section. At this stage you can also look at any questions that you just skipped. I didn’t skip any because if I didn’t know an answer I guessed and flagged it. I found there was plenty of time at the end of each section to look at the flagged questions and decide if I wanted to change any answers.
The questions are in various formats:
Pick one right answer from four
Pick two right answers from four
Drag and drop options from one column to match options in a second column
There were no click on the correct part of the screen questions (unlike in the quizzes)
After you finish the exam you leave the test room and once you have collected all your stuff you are handed your result in a printout. It shows for each module what your score was and your overall percentage and therefore whether a pass or fail.
By the end of the exam I was very tired! If you have driven to the test centre have some snack, water and perhaps coffee ready in your car.
I’ve already had success with getting client websites consistently well ranked on Google, as they have in exceeding sales targets. Next will be building upon that with a wider range of digital services to offer even more value. Whilst I now have a solid understanding of each of the modules covered in the DMI Pro course, there is only one of me so I’ll be looking to partner with specialists in specific areas.
If you’re interested in how digital marketing would benefit your company, or you are interested in providing expertise, then please use the contact button below and let me know which camp you belong to.
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