Why we built this course: An interview with Tom Bowden

Published on August 12, 2021 by Alex Eade

UPDATE: It’s here! Take a look at the course for yourself at: learnonline.footprintdigital.co.uk


Our Online Course is nearly here! It combines all of our knowledge on a wide array of digital marketing topics (SEO, PPC, CRO and more) delivered by our in house experts, with interactive quizzes and practical activities that will help everyone from recent graduates to Digital Marketing Managers shoot down the highest paid person’s opinion with data, and make better marketing decisions.

To celebrate the course’s completion, and before we give you that all important launch date, we sat down with our Director, Tom Bowden, to find out why it was important to him to build the course. Here’s what he said…

Q: Why is education important to footprint?

A: For me it’s everything. We don’t know exactly what the future holds for digital – what systems, platforms or apps will exist in five or ten years time, and digital is ever changing. Our industry is in constant flux so to work in it you’ve got to be ready for that. The only way to do that is to be open to learning every single day!  A culture of education is absolutely fundamental to the work we do at Footprint Digital so we can all learn and grow as things change. That’s why we look for sponges when we hire – the sort of people who enjoy soaking up information.

Q: Why did you want to take our material online?

A: Turning our collective intellectual property into an accessible course seems like the logical next step in my journey with digital marketing. I came from an English Literature background and when I entered digital I didn’t know any of this stuff, but I was curious and throughout those years of learning the trade I picked up so much from people around me. I also learnt that whilst specialist knowledge is really important, it is not as powerful without the context of the whole – without the broader understanding.  

I wanted to create a way for fast tracking those early years in the industry. The idea behind the course was initially to get members of our team up to speed, giving them a way to get a broad view of everything and a really solid basis of understanding. The course is broad but it also focuses on what’s important. There’s so much stuff you’re told you ought to know and knowing what’s worth your time learning is difficult. We’ve tried to pick out the most important things for a Digital Marketing Manager to know. 

Q: Who is the course for?

A:  It’s for people who are moving into a role in digital or are already a Digital Marketing Manager and are trying to tackle this complex and varied ever changing space and make it more manageable. The course is primarily for Digital Marketing Managers, or people who want to become one. It began as a filler, really, for what university doesn’t teach.  We were recruiting uni students who’d studied marketing which gave them a strategic view, but people didn’t know about the tactical application of seo, ppc etc. This course was meant to be the bridge between academia and the real world including the practical skills a digital marketing manager would need in day to day life e.g. how to run a meeting, build a successful culture, and manage a project.

Q: What do you want people to take away from the course?

A: I want people who take the course to get an overarching understanding of all things digital and  the confidence to start doing interesting and creative work and push the boundaries. One of the biggest concepts in the course is to ‘Shoot the HiPPO’ or highest paid person’s opinion.  This is about trying to help businesses make better decisions with data and have the freedom to do really cool work – not being stuck in the rut of doing things just because ‘that’s the way it’s always been’. 

Q: What do you hope the future of the course will be?

A: I really hope that people find it useful and that it is available for as many people as possible. We’ve focused on teaching the things that will tend to be constant-the guiding principles around digital but I know that the day to day of digital marketing changes so quickly that we are looking to regularly update the tactical and practical bits of the course.

Visit learnonline.footprintdigital.co.uk