As the digital media and advertising industry becomes more complex, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Google and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) are launching a new program for junior media agency staffers.
The three companies are announcing today a new certification program dubbed the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification examination that covers the ins and outs of creating, managing and running media plans and strategies, specifically topics like negotiating with vendors, verifying a campaign's launch and managing tracking and reporting. The test costs IAB and 4A members $400 and non-members $500 and is geared toward young media buyers, strategists and analytic experts.
"This new program is aimed at delivering a meaningful industry credential that will encourage greater brand investment on digital screens," said IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg in a statement.
As one example, a question on the exam may read, "To help provide brand safety in a programmatic buy, a digital planner or buyer should use." The correct answer is: "site blacklists." In another example, buyers could be asked about the role that attribution data plays in planning direct-response campaigns.
To qualify for the exam, marketers must either have two years of work experience or one year of work experience plus at least 10 hours of educational or professional training. People who have taken at least 30 hours of courses in digital media can also take the exam. Once someone completes the exam, they will need to take additional educational requirements within two years to keep the certification active.
In terms of Google's involvement, the company paid for part of the exam's development and is offering some media buyers and planners the chance to take the test for free.
"Google has long been committed to infusing the media industry with knowledge and skill sets to navigate today's complex digital ecosystem," Tara Walpert Levy, vp of agency sales at Google, said in a statement.
The Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification Program is part of the IAB's bigger certification program that's worked with 9,500 professionals and 300 companies since launching in 2012. In addition to media buyers, the program also includes exams for folks in media sales, ad operations and most recently, data management.