Marketing mindset
How does a marketing mindset make a difference? Source: Diggity Marketing/Unsplash

These days, everything revolves around creating hype and mass awareness. Get this right, and you’re on the right path towards becoming an influencer. Getting an organic, unpaid cosmic amount of followers and likes on Instagram gets you places – free trips, free gifts, goodie bags, VIP treatment, and the list goes on.

How do you create mass awareness? Through marketing – having a degree in this field preparess you for more than just a career in business. It’s a thorough exploration of customer perceptions, buyer personas, communication know-how and so on.

Marketing is the ability to convey value to potential buyers of whatever it is you are offering, whether it’s a product, service, or yourself. “Traditionally, marketing is thought of as an ad on social media or TV, but when you write for a job or university application, what you’re essentially doing is marketing yourself. If you become good at that and know what you’re doing it’s no longer an SEO tool, it’s a life skill that you can apply everywhere – be it to convince investors to put money into your company, customers to buy it, your friends to join you for a new restaurant, or applying for a new job,” says Omar Chelbat, a senior UX designer at digital hospitality solutions firm UMAI. One of their services is offering marketing solutions to restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore and currently six other countries to identify and retain happy customers.

Top free online courses for marketing students anywhere in the world

Omar Chelbat (third one from the far right), is the Senior UX Designer at UMAI Restaurant Software. Source: UMAI

What if you want to manage popular brands, like Bacardi? You need to be able to engage with the customers, learn how to captivate target audiences, read and understand data, deal with people, and gain awareness. “We like to think from the consumer’s side, hence always keeping their perspective a top priority by creating plans to let there be everlasting experiences,” says Timmy Gomez, the Customer Marketing Manager for Bacardi Martini Asia Pacific.

Even if you don’t use your marketing degree in a traditional business setting, it nurtures you to be well-rounded, critical thinkers. Not only do marketing people have impeccable skills in data interpretation, but they also use high-level thinking to turn analytics into strategy – useful for any industry.

Timmy Gomez is the Customer Marketing Manager for Bacardi Martini Asia Pacific. Source: Timmy Gomez

Below we explore the top free online courses to learn about the basics of marketing so you can do it in your own free time and see whether you’d like to pursue a full bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field:

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot is known to excel in many different departments, offering comprehensive features and functionality with very little configuration required. With all the tools you need in marketing – from SEOs, to content, to branding, and so forth, it’s no wonder that HubSpot is among the top choices for marketing amateurs.

HubSpot Academy marketing certifications provide a fantastic overview of this field. Their course videos are well-produced, content is high-quality, and the programmes are easy to navigate.

Facebook Blueprint

If you plan to develop your business online, or simply want to learn the basics of marketing, Facebook Blueprint is an e-learning platform that offers free, self-paced courses on how to advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

Explore step-by-step tutorials that help build your digital marketing knowledge and bring your business to life online. The courses are short 15 to 20-minute videos. The catch? Nothing, just have a Facebook log-in to start learning!

Google Digital Garage

The majority of the courses are free, and approved by industry experts, top entrepreneurs, and some of the world’s leading employers. Rest assured, that what you’re learning here is up to date and provides you real-world skills to help reach your goal.

Learning the fundamentals of digital marketing can earn you a free certificate which is certified by Google and can be placed on your LinkedIn profile!

PPC University by Wordstream

What is pay-per-click (PPS) marketing? It is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. PPC University is a free platform where you can know more about this type of marketing.


Coursera has many offerings which include online marketing courses. Marketing courses at Coursera teach strategies for influencing customer behaviour throughout the customer lifecycle as well as fundamentals like creating a marketing strategy, brand building, advertising and budget allocation.


When using edX, you have the option to take free marketing courses online from top universities and institutions like Columbia, Berkeley, and the University of British Columbia. Courses include Marketing Analytics: Products, Distribution and Sales and Strategic Social Media Marketing.


Udemy has the world’s largest selection of online courses, including over 950 free marketing-related courses. These include Copywriting Quick Start and YouTube 101: Keys to a successful channel.

Google has an Ads Grant Online Marketing Challenge, learn as you make ads in real-time. Source: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

On an unrelated but related note, Google is running the Ads Grant Online Marketing Challenge (OMC), which is open to higher education students from undergraduate or postgraduate programmes regardless of the major. Students get real-world experience by creating and executing online marketing campaigns for nonprofits using a US$10,000 monthly budget of in-kind Google Ads advertising. Are you up for the challenge?

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