When Gina Garner began her career in educational publishing 20 years ago, there were 2,000 independent classroom supply stores in the United States. Today there are 450.
The radical shift in the publishing world—from brick and mortar stores to online—prompted Garner to broaden her skill set and better serve her customers. Her job involves B2B sales with companies like Staples, Office Depot, and Lakeshore Learning.
She completed the UVM Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate Program, an eight-week digital marketing online offering that covers everything from e-commerce and SEO to paid search and email marketing.
“When you look at digital marketing from the outside, it looks like an easy process,” says Garner, director of national accounts at Carson Dellosa Education in North Carolina. “But it’s way more than people realize. You have to think about the customer journey as well as brand strategy behind your product placement. It’s a much deeper conversation now.”
When it comes to classroom books and supplies, Garner explains that teachers have many more options today than they did a decade ago. All of the various channels—including online, catalog, and retail stores—makes digital marketing in the publishing world more important than ever.
“My customers have been greatly affected by the migration from retail to digital, and I had felt particularly challenged in the e-commerce area,” she says. “I started the UVM program as a way to gather knowledge so I could speak intelligently with my customers.”
A Digital Marketing Online Program for Professionals
The UVM program served several purposes for Garner. It created opportunities to discuss the customer journey with her customer base and to examine ways she can guide them. On a personal level, she said it was helpful to expand her professional knowledge base.
“At first, I was very intimidated with the process of taking an online course. But once I sailed past a couple of lessons, I really enjoyed learning the material and interacting with the other students,” she says. “The program is well planned. Each module has a different teacher who is an expert in the subject matter. And the lead teacher, Erik Harbison, is a power-house communicator and sincerely interested in the people taking this program.”
The award-winning digital marketing online program allows professionals to learn the holistic value of digital marketing through research and development of an actionable marketing plan. Every week, the program highlights a specific digital marketing topic, from mobile and email to SEO and analytics.
Garner, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, describes herself as self-motivated and enthusiastic about professional development.
“I love to learn. I was worried about going back to school, but I’m so happy I did now that I’m on the other side of it,” she says. “It takes persistence to go back. But it opened up so many opportunities for learning new things and creating new connections. “