Digital Marketing Certificate

Grow your career by building and sharpening your digital marketing skills.

Program Fast Facts

  • Start date: September 9, 2024
  • Monday evenings
    Electives meet once per week, schedules vary.
  • On Campus
  • As little as six months
  • 3,995 Priority Tuition
    (expires 8/26/24)
    $4,245 Standard Tuition


The SMU Digital Marketing Certificate consists of three required courses and three electives.

For students enrolled as of Spring 2024, the following courses are required: Digital Marketing Strategy & Management, Best Practices in Social Media & Digital Communications, and Digital Marketing Analytics.

Required Courses

Digital marketing varies dramatically across companies and industries, but every organization faces ever-increasing disruption from new technologies, new data privacy laws and new customer habits. Using real-world examples and case studies, this 21-hour introductory class will give you a firm, foundational understanding of the core mechanics that power successful digital marketing. Regardless of your industry or where you are in your career, this class will help you cut through the jargon and confusion of digital marketing, helping you think more confidently, strategically, and holistically. After each lesson, you will leave class armed with new practical, tangible frameworks and tools you can apply to your job the next day.
You will learn:
  • How to approach and plan digital marketing strategically
  • The eight elements need to create a holistic digital marketing strategy
  • The six ways digital marketing channels are different from traditional channels and how to spot them
  • The three immutable laws of business, regardless of industry
  • How to connect business, brand, marketing and channel strategies
  • How to conduct a digital marketing competitive audit
  • The 4 Ps of marketing – revised for the 21st century
  • Brand-centric digital marketing with performance-based digital marketing
  • How harness customers’ ever-dwindling attention spans
  • The four types of customer journeys
  • Digital marketing strategy as Art vs. Strategy
  • Digital brand strategy and four ways a brand can compete
  • How to conduct a message architecture workshop at your company
  • The two most important KPIs of any website
  • User Interface vs. User Experience vs. Customer Experience
  • Decipher good email design from bad email design
  • Search marketing: PPC vs. SEO. How they work and why you need both
  • Social media, content strategy, and how to balance paid, owned and earned
  • Media theory: Reach vs. Frequency and dwindling customer attention spans
  • A/B testing and campaign performance optimization
  • The TAO of digital marketing measurement
  • The rise of Agile Marketing and why basketball team dynamics are more relevant than football team dynamics
  • How to prepare and present a digital marketing strategy for the C-suite
Register for the class
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have always been fundamental to a successful digital marketing strategy. Yet, they must still be understood as the digital landscape evolves rapidly. The field is becoming even more complex with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Search Generative Experience and AI-powered search platforms like Bing with ChatGPT. This course aims to demystify these cutting-edge developments, equipping you with the skills to understand and harness them for your business advantage.
This course will provide the essential building blocks, tools, and strategies to navigate this fast-paced and ever-evolving field. You'll gain hands-on experience setting up, implementing, and measuring the effectiveness of an SEO/SEM campaign using contemporary best practices, informed by some of DFW's leading experts. Furthermore, you'll learn to incorporate these techniques into your company's in-house operations.
As a bonus, you'll have the opportunity to engage with DFW's SEO business leaders, who will share unique insights and real-world experiences to illustrate what truly works in today's dynamic market.

You will learn/gain:

  • How to develop your AI-enhanced SEO/SEM strategy
  • Fundamentals and building blocks for SEO/SEM in the AI era
  • An overview of modern SEO tools, websites, and AI-enabled software: making the right choices
  • Advanced keyword research, planning, and optimization in the context of AI
  • An understanding of what AI-powered search platforms like Bing's ChatGPT, Google, and other search engines look for in your website
  • Link-building and citation strategies in the current digital landscape
  • AI-informed content writing for SEO
  • The synergy of SEO, SEM and Social Media in the AI era
  • Local SEO and mobile SEO strategies
  • How to integrate SEO and SEM into your overall digital marketing strategy
  • An understanding of Search Generative Experience and how it impacts SEO/SEM
  • Anticipating future trends in SEO/SEM and developing an adaptive strategy
The ability to analyze, understand and use your data has become a fundamental component of the marketing profession and nowhere is it more prevalent than in digital marketing. Using a variety of analytics tools, with an emphasis on Google Analytics, you will learn:
  • How to align measurement with strategic objectives
  • Measurement methodologies and tools for different digital marketing channels
  • An overview of analytics tools: what to use when and how to use the most important tools
  • Insights from data: customer profiles and segments
  • Conversion funnels and goals and conversion optimization
  • Attribution methods, models and how to put an attribution system in place
  • When and how to merge online and offline data
  • Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
Microsoft Excel is a powerful and widely used tool in data analysis, and digital marketing professionals must demonstrate expertise using Excel and its features. In this hands-on workshop, learn and practice the most important components of Excel. You will learn:
  • Functions: the most useful functions to support data manipulation and analysis.
  • Formulas: essential Excel formulas that every digital analyst should know.
  • Tables: tools to organize, structure, and present data to provide informed answers and drive decisions.
  • Text to Columns: built-in tools to merge and separate data points to analyze information more effectively.
  • Data Visualization: features like graphs and other graphic elements to align with your audience and brand.
  • Forecasting: methods and tools to predict future KPI trends, including applications for metrics like traffic and revenue.
  • Camera Images: an exciting tool to support dashboards and reports.
  • Macros: features to automate processes in recurring reports for efficiency.
 This course is an optional course for students enrolled in the full program at no additional cost.

Elective Courses

Competing in business today relies on your ability to build a strong relationship with your consumers and anticipate their needs in the digital world. Understanding how artificial intelligence and personalization play a role in building a solid foundation and utilizing information can be the key to successful campaigns, web conversions and sales opportunities. In this course, you will learn the concepts from basic to advanced – and give you the ability to leverage these two powerful tools to enhance your organization’s digital strategy including:

  • Concepts and Basic Foundations of both Personalization and Artificial intelligence
  • Web personalization – why it’s needed, how to use it and when is it too much?
  • Understanding practical applications for Artificial Intelligence and what’s viable for you
  • Using Artificial Intelligence to get attention, to continue retention, and to persuade
  • Ethics and Regulations
  • Audiences, testing and tracking and measuring success
  • How to get started at your company or enhance your current strategy with personalization and artificial intelligence – what are the starting points and what are ways to succeed


From AI to regulation to customer engagement, 2023 promises to bring a number of challenges. This course will equip students with an analytical toolkit to tackle strategic questions facing the modern marketer. We will progressively dig deeper into using data to guide marketing decisions. 


In this digital world managing a brand has become less about advertising and much more about engaging with customers and having conversations. Each digital platform has its own unique set of branding considerations, and a specific audience of users who also interact with your brand in a variety of contexts. It's your job to engage across all digital platforms, with different audiences in a variety of contexts while maintaining a consistent brand message that is both personalized and integrated across all channels. Sound daunting? This class will get you well on your way to developing a strategy to manage this enormous challenge.

You will learn:

  • How to create and nurture a brand online
  • To determine how your customers experience your brand digitally
  • To understand the nuances and differences of branding across all digital channels: social, mobile, paid, email
  • Messaging, visual and creative considerations and tactics in mobile, social and email
  • Brand engagement, interaction and loyalty strategies across digital channels
  • How to integrate your digital channels
  • Best practices in online brand guidelines: development, implementation and compliance
  • Foundational online brand reputation management

Learn how to leverage the most powerful marketing channel in your toolbox. Email marketing generates better results than most channels and yields high returns on investment and conversion rates. Gain tools and techniques to ensure that your email marketing is well-integrated, social-savvy, personalized, and designed for multiple platforms to engage people in a variety of contexts.  

PPC and Paid Search and Social are the most measurable and effective methods of selling product and generating leads. However, many campaigns and accounts are unsuccessful because they are not set up correctly and monitored appropriately. This hands on course will cover the best practices in how to use Adwords and measure your success and best practices in paid search and social, including:

  • Setting goals and measurement
  • Understand how ads are chosen and clicks are priced
  • Keyword Research and writing an effective PPC ad
  • Bidding basics and strategies
  • Mobile considerations for PPC, paid search and social
  • Audiences and Remarketing
  • How paid social works across the different platforms
With over two thirds of the US adult population making a smart phone an extension of their body it's not a matter of whether one needs to master mobile marketing…it's a matter of how quickly you can get up to speed. This fast moving and intensive course will guide you through the key considerations and tools necessary when developing and driving a mobile strategy as a key part of your digital marketing arsenal.
You will learn:

  • An overview of mobile systems, platforms and processes
  • How to develop a strategy and plan for mobile: understanding what mobile is ideal for and what its limitations are
  • To determine how your market is using mobile and where there are opportunities
  • What you need to know about mobile ad formats and branding on mobile: how to communicate brand values and emotion via mobile
  • To create customer experiences that reflect your brand and will be enjoyed by subscribers
  • Messaging for mobile and how to develop push and pull programs and strategies for driving customers to accept location
  • Banners vs. video on mobile and how to use native and in-stream ads effectively
  • Mobile coupons: what works best and when
  • Moving beyond banner ads and text messaging to real time digital experiences
  • Best practices in mobile web development, sites, mobile apps and responsive design
  • Combining mobile with your other channels: integration and cross marketing opportunities
  • Budgeting for mobile: how to estimate your costs related to mobile
  • Location based marketing: the art and science of geo-targeting, geo-fencing and beaconing guerrilla marketing with mobile
  • Mobile payments: understand the emerging landscape and the implications on your business
  • Mobile marketing analytics and developing relevant and realistic KPIs for mobile
  • Privacy laws and emerging standards in mobile marketing
There are only two kind of businesses: those that currently use video in their marketing and those that will.

No one can deny that in today’s always-connected world we are bombarded with millions of bits of information vying for your attention. Our brains have become so good at filtering out the noise that we don’t consciously see the constant SPAM.

Therefore, as marketers, how do we connect with our potential customers? How do we cut through that clutter and engage? How do we connect with our audience without being SPAMMY?

The answer is Video.

Video is the tool in our marketing toolkit that EVERY marketer needs to know in order to acquire more customers, retain existing customers and grow social media audience across the various platforms. During this class you will learn:

  • What EXACTLY is Video Marketing? (hint: it's NOT what you think)
  • The 10 Types of Video Marketing that anyone can do
  • How to use video throughout the Sales Funnel or Flywheel
  • What equipment is CRITICAL for video
  • How to plan, film and tell a good story
  • How to measuring video performance
Strong copy and content writing and the ability to write engaging content is one of the most valuable and marketable skill sets to both small and large organizations alike. This hands on and interactive workshop style course will help you expand upon the writing skills you already have. During this course you will learn:

  • Copy and content writing mechanics and principles and putting them into practice
  • Write for social media, email, landing pages and websites.
  • Write for print, from advertisements to print brochures
  • Writing in different voices, developing your own style and adapting your style when needed
  • How to be persuasive and compelling
  • Using imaging, metaphors and story telling

Choose the electives that best suit your needs, interests and timeline.


Upcoming Start Dates

September 9

Monday evenings 

Electives meeting once per week, schedules vary

6+ months

On Campus

February 2025

Monday evenings

Electives meeting once per week, schedules vary

6+ months

Live Online



Hear from SMU Digital Marketing Certificate program student Courtney Spencer about how she and her classmates worked together.


Digital Marketing Certificate Program Completion

If required and elective courses are taken concurrently, the certificate can be completed in as little as six months. You will have 18 months from your first day of class to successfully complete the program. In the event that you experience personal or professional reasons which delay your completion of the program or fail to successfully pass required exams, see Certificate Completion Policies.