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Free Programmatic and Analytics Online Courses – Programmatic Soup

Free Programmatic and Analytics Online Courses

Courses to go through during your work-from-home or quarantine notice regardless of your level of proficiency.

Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

With most of people now either working from home or are serving their quarantine/stay-home notice, there are plenty of free digital marketing and programmatic online courses to productively utilise your spare time.

For each course, we will provide a rough estimation of completing the whole lessons and provide a quick assessment as to how applicable the course is for your day-to-day marketing job.
Disclaimer: This is purely our own opinions, and they are roughly measured based on our own experience.

This is a living post, which means that we may update this post whenever we have any.

Demand-side Platform Courses

While it is important to know theoretically how real-time bidding and the entire programmatic ecosystem works, it is also imperative to understand the ins and outs of the different types technology in the market. You might only be using just one DSP, or even simply Google Ads to purchase media for your brand or your client.

The upside of going through the courses will enable you to have a wider view of the unique selling points of these DSPs, and help you gain insights to what other pieces of technology might be able to help your brand/client.

1) Google Marketing Platform (Google Skillshop)

Estimated time to complete: 9.5 hours (5 modules)
Certification: Available
Difficulty: Beginner

As Google Skillshop provide a good mix between conceptual and practical courses on their ad tech suite. There are are variety of modules available namely Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, Campaign Manager, Programmatic Concepts and others.

To be fluent with programmatic, we recommend focusing on going through the modules by this order:

  • Programmatic concepts module will cover the basics and theory of programmatic. If you are a complete beginner, it is important to complete this as you need the fundamentals in order to start trading.
  • Display and Video 360 module would cover the basic applicable concepts such as planning, executing, optimising and measuring campaigns.
  • Campaign Manager will cover the whole essentials of ad serving, optimisations and measurement for your campaigns. Depending on your team, you might have to ad serve your creatives through Campaign Manager and ensure all parameters are set up for attribution and measurement.
  • Creatives and Google Web Designer modules provide insights into what are the creative solutions that Google Marketing Platform has, and allow you to make an informed decision on what formats work best for your brand or client. Going through the Google Web Designer module will also familiarise you with the components of a creative, and you will be able to troubleshoot easily.

Search Ads 360 topic will be helpful, but not essential. Depending on your region, Google search engine might take up 80-90% of the search engine market share. If that’s the case, purchasing paid search ads through Google Ads will be sufficient.

One of the best parts of Skillshop is that it supports multiple APAC languages: Chinese (simplified and traditional), Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese.


2) Terminal One (MediaMath Academy)

Estimated time to complete: 3.5 hours (2 modules)
Certification: Available
Difficulty: Beginner

MediaMath Academy offers probably one of the most comprehensive courses available with varying levels of proficiencies and it is free. You just need to register for an account before you start. However, if you do not have access to Terminal One, you might not have access to the Terminal One-specific courses to be trained on the user interface directly.

Nonetheless, their Programmatic Certification course covers a variety of prominent industry concepts such as ad quality, attribution, GDPR and CCPA, and even on the supply side.

Their Non-trader course is also a good course to understand programmatic – not just from a trader’s point of view, but from a business and profitability point of view.

In terms of language wise, they have resources in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

3) The Trade Desk (Edge Academy)

Estimated time to complete: 12 hours (2 modules)
Certification: Available
Difficulty: Intermediate

As of today’s update (12 April 2020), this course is a newly revamped course offered by The Trade Desk. Launched in 7 April 2020, Edge Academy aims to provide digital marketing and programmatic education to improve marketers’ skills in data-driven advertising.

Under the Certifications section, Marketing Foundations and Data-Driven Planning courses are made open to the public. You just need to sign in as a guest if you are not an existing The Trade Desk client. If you already have access to the UI, you would be able to access to the Trading Essentials course which is specific to the TheTradeDesk platform.

Majority of the curriculum videos have resources and downloadable content; but overall, the format of these lessons are similar to podcasts and talk shows. It may be harder to follow than the Google Skillshop and MediaMath Academy. Hence, it is recommended to refer to the transcript as well and highlight some key points while writing your notes.

Analytics Courses

Any courses that we think would help a programmatic specialist to analyse and visualise data will fall under this section. Both are equally important for story-telling with your data.

1) Google Sheets (SheetsCon 2020)

Estimated time to complete: 11 hours
Certification: Not Available
Difficulty: Intermediate

SheetsCon 2020 is the world’s first, dedicated online conference for Google Sheets users. This is exceptionally useful if you have prior experience in Google Sheets or even Microsoft Excel.

The conference cover topics for beginner users such as Pivot Tables, as well as advanced topics like automation with apps script and BigQuery. There are also resources available i.e. presentation decks and Google Sheets samples. Overall, it is a super conference that opens up doors to more advanced Google Sheets applications beyond Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP.

2) Tableau (Tableau Training)

Estimated time to complete: 13.5 hours (4 modules)
Certification: Not Available
Difficulty: Advanced

To use Tableau for free, you have to download the public version. This means that for every dashboard you create, the public will have access to it. Hence, if you do not have a paid license, you will publish the dashboard whenever you save it. Hence, if you are doing through the training for practising or learning purposes, it is important to anonymise your data especially if they are proprietary and confidential. Otherwise, Tableau is an exceptional tool and it is an important skill to pick up. Data visualisation on Tableau is definitely more complex and difficult to manipulate compared to Google Sheets or Data Studio.

3) Google Analytics & Data Studio (Analytics Academy)

Estimated time to complete:
Certification: Available
Difficulty: Intermediate

This course is relevant if your brand or client is using Google Analytics, be it a free or premium version. You are able to select the level of difficulty based on your experience with these tools. If you are a complete beginner to Google Analytics, it will be best to start from the Google Analytics for Beginners lesson.

Another useful course which we would like to highly recommend is the Introduction to Data Studio. With Data Studio, you can immediately connect your data source to Google connectors such as Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, Google Sheets, Google Ads and Google Analytics. This makes it convenient and easy to set up, analyse and share data with your colleagues or clients. Instead of manually pulling reports on an agreed cadence, as long as one accesses the Data Studio dashboard, they will be able to extract and analyse the data on real-time to gather insights.

This is all to the list for now. Feel free to drop us a comment if you have any resources or courses which you have found useful!

Update (2020/12/04): Added TheTradeDesk’s Edge Academy
Update (2021/09/28): SheetsCon was put on hold in 2021, but the materials from 2020 are still accessible.

Main Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

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