Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Leveraging BOKs... or is that BsOK... or maybe just "Bodies of Knowledge"

What do you do if you need to do research on a topic and you really don't know anything about it? This scenario is quite common among in my line of research. For example, you could be doing research on a topic like Web Content Management. Our general approach is to ask: "Who is going to do this research? What questions do they need to ask?" In this case, the answers would be "Applications Manager" and a whole list of questions related to the technology and project. The question that one should ask, however, is "who should I hire? What are there qualifications?". These questions enable me to operationalize the problem.

The first thing that I would look for in a potential hire is some sort of certification or accreditation. These certifications -- if they exist -- give us a list of necessary skills, competencies, and project steps. For our example, we could search for something like "web content management certifications" or "web content management accreditation" or "digital market certifications", etc.

Many certification programs have an underlying body of knowledge (BOK) or some sort of similar structure. Ideally, the accreditation is based on the BOK but there might be some exceptions. Sometimes the BOK is commercially available; sometimes it's not. For example, the ITIL books could certainly represent a BOK but they aren' labeled as such nor is the COBIT framework. Conversely, the IEEE Software Engineering Body of Knowledge is labeled as a BOK but doesn't have a corresponding certification program. Regardless, a search for things like "web content management body of knowledge" or "web content management competency requirements" can be valuable.

A third vector is to explore maturity models. Some models are very mature and correspond with the tenets of ISO 15505. Others are more like thought models. Regardless, appending "maturity model" to any particular domain can give some sense of what kinds of requirements and skills should be involved in a particular project. If a maturity model doesn't exist, BOKs and accreditation frameworks can be valuable for creating one with a somewhat rigorous base.

Let's give this a try. First off, we have the UK's Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (http://www.theidm.com/). It offers some masters programs and postgraduate diplomas.  It does, however, give us a list  of courses:

  • social media: strategy, tools, and tactics
  • email marketing: tactics
  • social media strategy
  • email marketing: strategy
  • digital marketing: the complete guide

The course description for that one gives us some interesting information (http://www.theidm.com/marketing-training/courses/digital-marketing-the-complete-guide/):


  1. Impact of digital on business: history of digital/internet marketing; how technology is changing business; digital disruption
  2. Impact of digital on marketing: challenges; how has digital impacted marketing; paid, owned, and earned media; impact of digital on the 4Ps; rise of permission marketing; developing a value proposition
  3. Impact of digital on customers: impact on customer behaviour and buying habits; impact on the marketing funnel and customer journey
  4. Developing a digital strategy: intro; integration and multichannel; test and learn
  5. Mobile experience: channel or access point; intro to mobile devices; impact of mobile on consumer behaviour; mobile marketing opps; sites vs. apps; responsive and adaptive design
  6. Introduction to social media: why is it different; intro to social channels; intro to social strategy; understanding audience and channel; identifying competitors and opportunity; intro to social listening; measurement and evaluation
  7. Intro to content marketing: why is content important; brand storytelling; explore different types of content; what makes successful content; content curation; intro to online video; hero, hub, and hygiene content; content strategy and plan; measuring success
  8. Intro to email marketing: new direct marketing; building a mailing list; hurdles in getting content opened and read; using email to drive engagement and action; anatomy of a successful email; measurement and testing
  9. Introduction to digital display: more than clicks; display format; video advertising; buying digital display
  10. Intro to affiliate marketing. What is it; why and how; what are the different types of opportunities; what type of responses
  11. Data and legal for digital marketers. Where does data come from; why is it valuable; how can you use it; segmentation, targeting, and single customer view; intro to legal; web analytics; the future


Not bad. Let's see what else we can find.

Now we have something from WebProfessionals.org and the WOW Certified E-Commerce Manager (CECM -- http://webprofessionals.org/certification/cecm/). What is this thing? It has a pretty standard test (70 questions in 60 minutes) across topics like internet basics, web business strategies, client and project management, web marketing and sales, and the fundamentals of e-commerce. The details:


  • Internet basics: browsers, search engines and directories; internet history; FTP, email, newsgroups, WWW; web business concepts; budgeting/ROI; outsourcing; legal issues; intranets/extranets
  • Web marketing and sales: online and offline ad placement and tracking; search engines and rankings; site metrics, analysis and refinement; web marketing, advertising and promotions, web traffic measurement and analysis; marketing strategy; market research and development; web site usability; customer profiling; sales-force automation.
  • Fundamentals of e-commerce. Dynamic content management rules; online merchandising; customer profiling and CRM; legacy system integration; content management system; security/privacy integration; vendor selection; database management; order and credit processing, fulfillment; customer support and retention systems; meta-data, search optimization
  • Client and Project Management. requirements definition; goal and milestone management; scope management; client expectations and communications.


We also get a list of emerging topics for 2015. Members are concerned about: web security, social media, web project management, web marketing, mobile app dev, responsive design, typography, HTML5, JavaScript, programming, web and content marketing, CSS, linked and big data, programming, JQuery, search, web standards, legal and copyright, legal issues.

Now something from the Smart Card Alliance -- the CSCIP Body of Knowledge (http://www.smartcardalliance.org/activities-leap-cscip-body-of-knowledge/)


  • Smart card fundamentals. card components, IC types, card design, formats, communication interfaces, memory size and tpes, operating systems, design features, manufacturing process, readers, relevant smart card standards, smart cards and biometrics, specifications
  • Security. certifications (FIPS, common criteria); IC level; card edge interface; encryption algorithms; security at system level; phsyical; logical
  • Smart Card Application and Data management. single applicaiton cards, multi-application cards; chip initialization; key management; issuance; card life cycle; relevant standards
  • Smart Card Usuage Models. drivers and benefits; SIMs; UICCs; near field communication; sample smart card mobile and subscriber models
  • Smart Card Usage Models. identity cards, ePassports, physica/logical access, biometrics, digital certificates, relevant standards, bank cards, contactless payments, NFC payments, transit payment, parking payment.


So this one is interesting but really not overly relevant for what I'm looking for.

Dalhousie has a Master of Electronic Commerce program but I really don't want to have to parse all of the background information.

The Online Marketing Institute has an Email Marketing Certification (http://www.onlinemarketinginstitute.org/course-certifications/email-marketing-certification/). The class list gives us some guidance on what we could see: Foundations, campaign fundamentals, copywriting and content essentials, how to build and manage an email list, crafting effective email messages, tracking and measuring, deliverability and reputation, compliance and CANSPAM.

What other programs do they have? There are certs for Content Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Usability, SEO, Paid Search, Demand Gen, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Facebook and Google+ Marketing, etc.

Then there's the eMarketing Association. It has a variety of certs including mobile marketer, eMarketer, social marketing associate, etc. Let's see what involved in the Certified eMarketer (CeM) program. You need to be a member, have two years of experience, and take an exam... but we don't have any kind of BOK. The available courses seem a bit... dodgy. Next!

The Direct Marketing Association offers the DMA Certified Marketing Professional (DCMP). It's basically a course and a test. The outline of the course gives some details (http://dmaeducation.org/files/2014/07/DCMP1.pdf)... but lacks details to be meaningful.

IAB Canada also offers a "Digital Marketing Certification Program" for the Canadian marketing community. There are three different designations: a certificate, a leadership certificate, and a master certificate. The certificates are earned by completing IAB courses. So, what are the courses? The Integrated Digital Marketing course (http://iabcanada.com/courses/integrated-digital-marketing/#description) actually looks pretty interesting but it's not quite what I'm looking for.

There is also the Certified eMarketing Consultant certification assessment (http://cemcglobal.com/body_knowledge). It's an Australian thing. The body of knowledge considers:


  • Social Networking. create profiles and groups; use Open Social; participate in conversation
  • Publishing. act like a publisher; identify audience; create content; differentiate concept; assess competition; build online community; seek to influence, not control; explore experimental ideas
  • E-mail marketing. use lists responsibly; provide compelling value prop; use 1.54 and 5.0 second rules; identyf market segments; maximise conversions; get messages to clients at the right time
  • Web Page Marketing. understand prospect and customer needs; understand sales funnel; implement marketing metrics; understand conversion definitions; set specific measurable goals; create valuable content; avoid serif fonts; use frames and flash cautiously
  • Internet forum. create a trusted community, engage the conversation, follow forum rules and regs
  • Blogging. post regularly; use catchy titles; ask open-ended questions; comment on others frequently; know Twitter; provide RSS to email; use imags; use header tags; structure for scannability; research and chose mailing list correctly; use Facebook; offer something unique; provide videos; link; become an affiliate; use keywords; make sharing easy; use analytics
  • Wiki. participate; develop an internal one; encourage participation; grow content
  • Photo sharing...
  • Podcasting...
  • Audio sharing...
  • Video broadcast...
  • Video sharing...
  • Microblogging...
  • Livecasting...
  • Virtual world...
  • Virtual gaming...
  • RSS
  • SEO. analyze every page for its own keywords; titles include keywords; check metadata; build links
  • SEM. create good content
  • Mobile marketing...
  • Social media strategy...
  • Social media strategy applications. create audience personas; develop and validate concepts; assess competition; validate execution; assess sales viability


This stuff is okay... but is perhaps a bit dated.

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