Savvy Digital Marketers Can Now Get Certified by the IAB

Costs $500-$750 for those with 2+ years of experience

If you are a digital ad pro and find it hard to adequately describe your expertise in job interviews—after all, spitting out words like "programmatic" and "real-time targeting" can sound pretty hollow nowadays—the Interactive Advertising Bureau may have your just what you need. Instead, you could simply state: "I am IAB certified."

The trade org today is announcing a certification program for data management that costs $500 for members and $750 for non-members.

Dubbed the IAB Digital Data Solutions Certification Program, the test-based initiative is meant to prove individuals know their stuff when it comes to data-driven practices such as programmatic buying and selling. It is designed for digital industry professionals with at least two years of experience in analytics and/or data management, as well as those who have a healthy understanding of data lifecycles, security, sources, transfer mechanisms and manipulation methods. To keep their credentials, certificate holders will be expected to meet continuing education requirements every two years.

"It will be popular," predicted Laura McGarrity, vp of digital marketing for Mondo, a staffing service. "Data is huge and will be critical in determining customer behaviors and engagement strategies. Data is at the core of digital marketing, and any certification to help educate will be critical."

Marketing tech company Experian Marketing Services will be the first outfit to put its ad operations and programmatic teams through the test. Testing company Pearson VUE will administer the examinations, which will be available starting June 1.

"Data convergence is one of the most important changes in marketing and advertising since the digital revolution," added Patrick Dolan, evp and COO of IAB. "This IAB program will address the change in skills required to operate in this new digital media environment."

The program also aims to eventually educate marketers, agency staffers, publishers and vendors about the nuts and bolts of interactive advertising, according to the IAB, as it plans to offer basic and advanced courses down the road.