Want to understand how the digital marketer apprenticeship works? You have come to the right place!
This level 3 apprenticeship provides a training pathway for employees looking to gain essential skills to become a successful digital marketer.
Digital Marketer Occupational Standard
The occupational standard provides an overview of the role that an apprentice will undertake as:
Use online and social media platforms to design, build and implement campaigns and drive customer sales
Understanding this is essential to properly prepare for end-point assessment on the digital marketer apprenticeship.
The occupational standard outlines the high-level technical competencies, knowledge and understanding and essential skills, attitudes and behaviours. It also includes details on the knowledge modules, and vendor or professional qualifications that an apprentice must complete.
Some examples of vendor exams are the CIM level 4 award in Digital Marketing and the Google Analytics IQ. The standard dictates that apprentices should complete the Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics course to achieve this.
It outlines that apprentices needs to complete English and Maths at level 2 if they have not already achieved these.
To understand how end-point assessment (EPA) works and what an apprentice needs to do, you need to look at the assessment plan. This outlines the requirements for how an apprentice is assessed at the end of the apprenticeship. It provides the full detail on the four key elements, as follows: Summative Portfolio, Employer Reference, Synoptic Project and Interview.
Apprentices will enter the EPA gateway when they have covered the entirety of the standard within their summative portfolio. To verify this, the apprentice, their employer and training provider will agree that the apprentice is fully competent against the standard. The employer reference is used to confirm this.
Summative Portfolio and Employer Reference
At the end-point assessment gateway, the apprentice submits their summative portfolio along with an employer reference. The assessment plan defines these as follows:
Provides evidence against the totality of the standard, based on the application of knowledge, competence and behaviours to real work projects in the work environment. This is key to ensure the validity of the final assessment decision.
Provides the employer’s perspective on how the apprentice has performed in the workplace and how they have applied their knowledge, competencies and behaviours in work projects.
Digital Marketer Synoptic Project
After the portfolio and employer reference have been reviewed, an apprentice will complete the synoptic project. Apprentices carry out the synoptic project over a period of four days in a controlled environment. This is done in either the employer or training provider’s premises. The synoptic project element is defined within the assessment plan as follows:
Provides evidence against a selected set of knowledge, competencies and behaviours against a pre-defined project undertaken in a controlled environment. This is key to ensure consistency and comparability, increasing the accuracy of the assessment decision.
Any reputable end-point assessment organisation for digital marketer will ensure that the synoptic project includes a broad breadth of the competence outcomes. This should include the definition, design, build and implementation of a digital marketing campaign. The definition, design, build and implementation theme is also a good guiding point for putting a summative portfolio together. Showing these four stages provides a natural opportunity to outline how you met competencies within your job role.
The final stage that ties everything together is the interview or professional discussion. This is defined in the assessment plan as below:
Provides an opportunity for further evidence to be gathered and/or evidence to be explored in more detail against any of the knowledge, competence or behaviours. This also increases accuracy and validity.
The independent assessor will use the interview to ask an apprentice about their portfolio. After this, they will explore what an apprentice does as part of their job role. They may also ask an apprentice how they found the synoptic project. Assessors look to combine the different elements to help the apprentice prove that they are competent.
The assessor may use the interview to address any gaps that they have found in the apprentice’s knowledge. Additionally, they should give an apprentice the opportunity to show further evidence.
The apprentice should use the interview an opportunity to show that they have exceeded expectations for the what, how and with whom elements of the standard.
Digital Marketer Occupational Brief
The occupational brief for the digital marketer apprenticeship will help you understand what an independent end-point assessor will be looking for. It matches each of the technical competencies to the minimum requirement. Clearly demonstrating these requirements in the portfolio, employer reference, synoptic project, and final interview is the key to success.
The occupational brief allows shows the specific requirements outlined for the what, how and with whom. Considering these throughout the course of the apprenticeship could prove the difference in achieving one of the higher grades. The assessment plan goes into more detail on how this can be done.
Achieving success on the digital marketer apprenticeship
Understanding the documentation for the digital marketer apprenticeship is really important. Understanding is only the first part and demonstrating a practical application of every detail of the standard is what the most successful apprentices will do.
Let’s have a look at how each element of the digital marketer standard can be considered from a practical point of view. To do this, we will look at what could be included in a portfolio using the four key elements are addressed in the synoptic project: definition, design, build and implementation of digital marketing campaigns including social media. Within this, we will break down how individual competencies and the related minimum requirements can be covered using practical evidence within the portfolio. We’ll also add a fourth stage, evaluating the campaign. This provides a better opportunity to address the detail for the what, how, and with whom to work towards the higher grades.
Tell a story when you put your summative portfolio together
There is no exact science to mapping the competencies into specific sections of managing a digital marketing campaign. But the following approach will enable an apprentice to show their work using clear structure.
As an apprentice, the most important thing that you can do is ‘tell a story’ of how you contributed towards a project. You don’t have to cover every competency in every project and you should use a holistic approach.
A key point to remember before building a summative portfolio is that everything should focus on campaigns. A summative portfolio MUST include the use of social media to run campaigns. The reason for using the stages outlined below to structure a project is that they keep the focus on running campaigns.
Did we mention the importance of focusing on running campaigns on the digital marketer apprenticeship?
Defining a digital marketing campaign
For this stage, an apprentice should look to clearly define the business case for running a digital marketing campaign. Apprentices should reference any marketing briefs and plans that they considered or created. They should focus on any internal company standards and industry good practice that they considered in the campaign. Apprentices should include any communication tools that they used to define and plan the campaign. Make sure to include clear practical evidence for this.
A clear introduction defining the campaign should be provided so that an assessor understands the purpose of the task. The easiest way to do this is to describe the purpose of the campaign in simple language. Write it so that even someone without any knowledge of digital marketing would be able to gauge a high-level understanding.
Research to inform strategy
After defining the business, further research can be done to make both short and long-term recommendations for strategy.
Research can include activities such as:
- looking at the data for past campaigns
- investigating the use of new tools or methods that can be used in this campaign
- investigating target audience to develop customer personas
- reviewing specific terms and conditions for digital platforms
- investigating the legislation and industry standards for digital marketing
- using sources to obtain key facts and figures
- keyword research
- competitor analysis
- completing training courses to gain a practical insight into technical aspects of the project
When researching it is essential to document both the short and long-term strategy that will be considered within this campaign. Presenting this in a clear and concise manner for the assessor and showing the recommendations will demonstrate how the minimum requirement is met.
Tell a story and link competencies together
Remember, the best portfolios will show that an apprentice understands each of the minimum requirements. Create an easy to follow story of the work that was done on each campaign to achieve this.
When research has been completed, there is a natural opportunity to outline a range of tools and technologies that you plan to use. Making recommendations based on the research shows further consideration for what and how.
Recommending effective, secure and appropriate solutions that make the way that you work more efficiently will show the assessor the breadth, depth and complexity of your skills. Putting a portfolio together for your apprenticeship is not about doing the minimum, it’s about showing that you are highly official professional that understands the entirety of the standard.
Competencies to reference when defining and planning a campaign
Here are some of the competencies that you can cover will defining and planning a digital marketing campaign with a list of others that you may be able to include or reference.
|Interprets and follows:|
– latest developments in digital media technologies and trends
– marketing briefs and plans
– company defined ‘customer standards’ or industry good practice for marketing
– company, team or client approaches to continuous integration
|The apprentice must be able to demonstrate and explain latest developments and tools appropriate to their organisation.|
The apprentices should be able to define good customer and industry practice and attendance of continuous professional development.
|Research: analyses and contributes information on the digital environment to inform short and long term digital communications strategies and campaigns||The apprentice can take and interpret a given topic (for both long and short term strategies) and make a recommendation and report on the summary of findings for each strategy.|
|Technologies: recommends and applies effective, secure and appropriate solutions using a wide variety of digital technologies and tools over a range of platforms and user interfaces to achieve marketing objectives||The apprentice can demonstrate the use of 3 digital technology tools over 3 differing platforms or user interfaces to meet the objectives|
|Other relevant competencies that can be mapped:||Written communication; Problem-solving; Use digital tools; Interprets and follows; Operate effectively.|
As mentioned, there is no right or wrong method for presenting your portfolio. Find a style that works for you and shows that you have considered the full detail outlined in the occupational brief.
Designing a campaign
This next step is very much an extension of defining and planning a campaign. You can go into more detail on how different personas will be targeted.
You can produce an editorial calendar and draft copy for different channels. It is important to consider how campaign performance can be measured at this stage. Apprentices can make outline plans A/B testing to carry out across different channels. They can also collect and organise any digital assets that will be used in the campaign.
|Competencies to consider when designing a campaign|
|Written communication; Problem-solving; Research; Recommending technologies; Interprets and follows; Operate effectively.|
The key point to remember here is to ensure that you design the campaign based on requirements. How you present it in the portfolio should be a natural extension of how you defined the campaign.
Build and implementation of a digital marketing campaign
This is really the most important part to consider when putting a summative portfolio together. The core competency in the apprenticeship is implementing digital campaigns and everything in the portfolio should centre around demonstrating this.
Written communication covered by campaign implementation
Nearly every digital marketing campaign will include written copy. Therefore, it is good to naturally consider this competency when focusing on campaign implementation. The reason for this is because it enables you to focus on how the campaign audience was segmented.
There will be other opportunities to show evidence for written communications but this is the most natural place to consider target audience. Simply showing 3 forms of written communication without considering the audience does not meet the minimum requirement. Be smart and use the natural opportunity to cover when creating campaign copy.
Campaign implementation and specialist areas of digital marketing
When implementing digital marketing campaigns across three different media there is again a natural opportunity to cover the specialist areas. Understanding the 6 specialist areas is important here and the knowledge requirement means that you should be able to explain them.
Social media needs to be covered along with two more of the specialist areas and this ensure that the requirement for three types of campaigns is covered. Search marketing, SEO, Email marketing and PPC specialisms all provide the opportunity to cover two more types of campaigns.
Mobile could be cover separately or combined with implementing a campaign in one of the other specialist areas.
Web analytics should be naturally included when doing the final section on campaign analysis and evaluation. In fact, we would recommend not relying on web analytics as a specialist area as it makes it more difficult to show that you have implemented campaigns across three different platforms.
Remember when covering specialist areas, you MUST demonstrate the discovery of patterns in data to help optimise usage of a website.
Social media MUST be included when covering the implementation competency
If an apprentice has not implemented social media campaigns, they should not be entering the gateway. Looking at the minimum requirement, it is clear to see that this should be covered. This brings us to the next point.
Providing customer service on social media platforms on the digital marketer apprenticeship
The need to combine competencies in that manner that we recommend here just ensures that all bases are covered. If an apprentice does not implement a social media campaign, it is highly likely that they will not be able to respond to enquiries on social media.
Customer service can be provided over email or other digital platforms but if social media is not included then the minimum requirement will not be met. This goes back to points made earlier on the importance of getting a commitment from employers fo the apprentice to utilise social media as a major part of their job role.
Use of tools
The reason why the use of tools is a natural fit for this section is again because of the minimum requirement This refers to tools to use in campaigns so considering this here is just the clever thing to do.
|Written communication: applies a good level of written communication skills for a range of audiences and digital platforms and with regard to the sensitivity of communication||The Apprentice must be able to demonstrate communicating across 3 different platforms to 3 different types of audience or Customer segments, one of these should be a form of Internal communication.|
|Implementation: builds and implements digital campaigns across a variety of digital media platforms||The apprentice must be able to build and implement campaigns across at least 3 different digital media, including social media, platforms.|
|Applies at least two of the following specialist areas: search marketing, search engine optimisation, e mail marketing, web analytics and metrics, mobile apps and Pay-Per-Click||The apprentice must be able to apply two of the listed analytic tools/approaches to demonstrate the discovery and evaluation of patterns in data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing usage of a website.|
|Customer service: responds efficiently to enquiries using online and social media platforms.||The apprentice must be able to demonstrate professionally responding to three different types of enquires over both social media and online platforms.|
|Uses digital tools effectively||The apprentice must be able to Apply and understands the latest and most effective tools to use in campaigns and demonstrate the use of 3 tools most appropriate to the business and audience.|
|Other relevant competencies that can be mapped:||Problem-solving; Recommends technologies; Data, Analysis and Analytics to tweak campaigns when they are running; Interprets and follows; Operate effectively.|
As can be seen above, a number of other competencies can be covered in this section but grouping those on written communication, implementation, specialist areas, customer service and digital tools will make things so much easier.
Evaluating campaign success
If you follow the logic of basing the portfolio on implementing digital marketing campaigns then this section is a natural extension of that. Every good digital marketer will design and implement campaigns and consider how campaign success can be measured when doing this.
Looking at the three main competencies on data, analysis and digital analytics is just a wise choice to combine the evidence here. A strong analysis of campaign performance here using a range of tools will show competence for all three areas. A five-minute video included in the portfolio could actually show excellent evidence here.
As mentioned previously, you can also combine the specialist area of web analytics here is the data is used to identify how to optimise campaigns. As this is a natural element of digital marketing, this can be easily done here.
Problem-solving can be considered within the campaign analysis and evaluation as you can look back at the entire campaign and reflect on what went well and what problems you had to overcome.
|Data: reviews, monitors and analyses online activity and provides recommendations and insights to others||The Apprentice can demonstrate the awareness of 2 different tools to review, monitor and analyse online activity.|
The apprentice should be able to demonstrate how they have recommended and defined customer’s trends and uses.
|Analysis: understands and creates basic analytical dashboards using appropriate digital tools||The apprentice must be able to analyse data and create reports by selecting 3 appropriate tools.|
|Digital analytics: measures and evaluates the success of digital marketing activities||The apprentice can demonstrate that they have been able to measure success across two campaigns.|
|Problem solving: applies structured techniques to problem solving, and analyses problems and resolves issues across a variety of digital platforms||The apprentice must apply 3 different techniques to problem solving and analysis over a variety of digital platforms.|
|Other relevant competencies that can be mapped:||Research; Technologies (new ones could be recommend based on curent status of campaign); Specialist areas (web analytics is naturally covered here); Use of tools; Interprets and follows; Operate effectively.|
As within the problem this final section gives you a chance to reflect in your work. You can show how recommendations where made and how you considered internal and industry standards.
At the end of this section or in a concluding section, the best apprentices will really show off how they considered the what how and with whom. Reflecting on what has been done, how you went about the work and detailing how you worked with others can set you apart at end-point assessment. This is why understanding the standard and considering the key documents is essential as you will be able to make it clear to the assessor that you are working above the minimum requirements.
Conclusion: Top tips for digital marketer apprentices
We have looked at simplifying the requirements of the digital marketer apprenticeship here. Training providers and employers may have their own approach to helping you prepare for end-point assessment but here is a summary of our quick tips.
Our tips for success at EPA on the digital marketer apprenticeship
- Read the occupational standard to make sure that you understand the high-level competencies. It’s only a 2-page document, why not print it out and have it displayed at your workstation?
- Read the assessment plan to make sure you understand the expectation of the end-point assessment. Do this at the start of your apprenticeship. Don’t leave this to the end!
- Read the occupational brief to make sure that you understand the minimum requirement for each of the high-level competencies.
- Develop a style for putting your portfolio together. For example, the 4-step approach of: Defining a digital marketing campaign; Designing a campaign; Build and implementation of a digital marketing campaign; Evaluating campaign success; that we covered here.
- Make sure that you are running campaigns as part of your day to day role. This must include the use of social media. If you do not use social media as part of your day to day role, your employer should arrange for you to get training in this area. They need to ensure that you get the opportunity to run at least one campaign. Apprentices will also need to show that they can respond to customer enquiries on a social media platform.
- Refer back to the assessment plan and occupational brief on the descriptors for the what, how and with whom. After you have put your portfolio together, think about how you met these descriptors and tailor your commentary in a natural manner to show how you went above and beyond the minimum expected for the standard.
- Plan for the synoptic project and think about how your work will show an assessor that you understand the competencies.
- Practice for your final interview, make sure that you understand your portfolio, your employer reference and that you are comfortable discussing these in a professional manner.
- Complete any English, Maths, Knowledge Modules and Vendor exams as early as you can in your apprenticeship.
- Have fun and enjoy your apprenticeship! Treat your portfolio as something that you take to an interview to show the best work that you have done to date.
Other points to consider for end-point assessment
What we have covered here is very specific to the digital marketer apprenticeship. You could also look at some general tips on how to succeed on an apprenticeship. These may help with the approach that you take when preparing for end-point assessment.
If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please check back and use it as a reference point throughout the course of your apprenticeship. If you have any other tips, feel free to add a comment.