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Jo Turnbull: State of Digital Summer School, Learning from the Experts

This summer we have been taking you back to school! We have been focussing on education in Digital Marketing: what is the best education, what background is important? Questions you have seen answered throughout the summer by those you can learn from the best: the experts. Those that already earned their stripes and are now willing to share with you how they got there and what you should do to get that far as well.

It is now time to close the series, since the summer is officially over. But not before we have just a few more insights from the experts closest to us: our editorial team!

Today we listen to Jo Turnbull, Founder of SEO Jo Blogs, SEO freelance consultant and organiser of meetup.com/search-london and responsible for events in our editorial team.

More about Jo here.

Summer School

What type of education did you have?

I went to state school until 18 years old and then went to Reading Uni.  I studied International Management and Business Administration with French. I also completed a chartered institute of marketing course and am now a chartered marketeer. I have also continued to take further classes run by the adult education centres in the UK. I have done further training at work, studying for the IPA and taking Google Adwords exams.

Is your education related to what you do now?

Yes, as many of my modules were marketing. Back then, there was no online marketing courses though. I run my own business now and therefore business/finance elements of the course are also relevant.

J Turnbull State of DigitalHow did you get into digital marketing?

I was always interested in marketing. Digital marketing was a natural progression. I also enjoyed working online.

However, the biggest instigator was when we had our company website built. It seemed to be a lot of work, cost way too much, yet there was limited functionality. When I moved company, my new role allowed me to take a web and graphic design course.  I learnt how to build good sites and promote them.

How do you think the state of education in marketing is these days? Do marketers learn what they need to learn?

There is a lot of resources out there both online and offline so the state of education is really high. I think it would be best if all marketers could have an internship during their degree course or while at school so they could get practical training.

How do you feel about online training courses?

It takes a lot of dedication to take yourself through the course. However I think some of them can be very effective such as the Google PPC courses and the ones for IPA.

What is your tip for those that want to learn more?

If you have a passion, don’t stop learning. If there is training budget at work, ask if it can be put towards a qualification relevant to your job.

What resources are best to learn marketing?

Books are still important. I have found conferences are also a great way to learn more about marketing. I really enjoy meeting others at these events and discussing current trends/news. I attend meetups and run Search London for those in PPC, SEO and social media. We often have key speakers from the industry share with us news and how we can best work with these new changes.

What’s the last lesson in marketing you learned?

I learn something new every day.I was at BrightonSEO yesterday and learnt more about the Searchmetrics Ranking Factors which came out earlier this week.

Know about what is changing in marketing!

Keep up with the latest digital marketing developments, views and how-tos through State of Digital’s digest newsletters. Be the first to hear about events, white papers, e-books, webinars, training and more!


Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.