DSIM Review: What I Think of DSIM

This is not exactly a review on the services of DSIM (Delhi School of Internet Marketing), but I believe it’s high time someone who is from the industry should address if DSIM is worth joining. When you search for something along the lines of “DSIM Reviews” you end up being shown results that are curated by DSIM themselves. So it becomes counter-intuitive for a person wanting an honest feedback on how good DSIM is.

So as I mentioned earlier, I have never attended a class of DSIM or anything. I want that to be made clear. While DSIM’s overwhelming intensity of showing ads to me on my Facebook newsfeed failed to gain a reaction, someone at work told me they were minting money and that piqued my interest. That was when I made the venture to check out their website.

My colleague was right, they were minting money with their batch sizes and per student fees, I knew these guys were on a roll. From what I have heard they are pretty decent at imparting a digital marketing education (I cannot confirm).

DSIM Review: Will you get a job?

Try to figure out which part is the sarcastic part one and which is not, ok? (I know, you’re starting to think coming here was a mistake).

If you are the “scope kya hai?” sort of person. Here you go: Scope of digital marketing in India

I believe DSIM really oversells the complete digital marketing career.

The growing demand situation, where CEOs are pulling digital marketers off the street to join their company, 10-5 plush offices where you sip Piña colada’s waiting for the next promotion and hang out with your digital marketing buddies in the evening. The multi-million dollar acquisitions and ecommerce funding news doesn’t help the case much either.

This is not how it is. Sadly enough, now that I think of it.

The current processes on how digital marketers in good companies are hired is by far the most abstract and unique hiring strategy I have seen. I will tell you further below why becoming a digital marketer for a meh company is not a great idea.

I got into digital marketing because of my blog that I maintained during my college years. When Flipkart was starting up in 2007, I was moving my popular blogspot.com blog to WordPress. Back then I was just doing it to make some extra cash on the side while I attended college. A couple of years later, I got placed with a Birla company. I left that job in ten months. Then I started my job hunt and for that I simply blasted my resume to all the ecommerce companies, I applied to Snapdeal, Myntra, Flipkart and many more. There was no reply from anyone, why should they have! I was graduate in B.Tech. Mechanical engineering from a mediocre college and spent my last ten months working in a factory. The HR must have gone like, “what the hell Bozo!”

Except for one person, in a then tiny startup called HealthKart.com. Somehow the VP-marketing observed the blogger thing in my Activities column and decided to give me a call. The interview was fairly technical and that I knew only because of my blogging. I had ZERO knowledge about paid online marketing at that time. I think he must have been a smart guy because blogging generally signifies a strong aptitude towards online marketing. Consumers behave weirdly online (yeah, you and me), believe me!  The rest is history and today, I am able to hold down a challenging job at one of the best ecommerce sites in India.

But what if he had not seen the blogging experience on my resume, what if he did not realize a blogger can make a marketer, what if a lot of other things, those are the questions you should be asking me and yourself.

Companies continue to recruit marketers through off-channels such as references, bloggers, business data analysts rather than the traditional approach. Data analysts and stock exchange brokers can make great digital marketers. It is a 24*7 job, you start working the moment you wake up to see if the orders are up to speed and  if it isn’t, then you begin fire-fighting at the bed itself, your weekends are usually organized around a routine campaign and order check to see if the metrics are fine. Its a tedious job if you don’t enjoy it.

Most good organizations don’t require a big chunk of digital marketers. A monthly marketing budget in excess of a 10 million is handled by a team of four marketers. A digital marketing sector does not work like BPO or software industry sectors unless it is a digital marketing agency.

God help you, if you join a digital marketing agency. They are the biggest cattle farms I have seen in my industry. Digital marketing agencies usually hire a lot of people and pay them peanuts (think lesser pay than Infosys – sorry if I hurt some sentiments here).

Currently agencies are hiring MBA grads and giving them highly demotivating jobs. If you want a job here, this is where a DSIM might help. Because digital agencies are essentially looking for anybody who is willing to accept low pay and a soul-grinding career.

Of course, there are some digital marketing agencies I respect. More of that in another post.

When you want to become a digital marketer, you have to understand that a marketer is only useful as long as there is money for you to spend. I personally handle half a million every month and I spend about 12 hours a day, creating, tweaking and analyzing my ad campaigns (again, as you can notice, you don’t need more than a handful of digital marketers at a place).  If you work for agencies, they will ask you to post status updates on Facebook pages, maybe some clients might be opulent enough and your company might give you a chance to spend a couple of lakhs a day – two lakhs is pocket change in online marketing. Yet, you would be lucky to land a job that gives you this much of marketing money.

A digital marketer is built through constant work on campaigns and their experience is fueled via handling big marketing budgets. Good marketing budget comes at good companies, not at cattle farming digital marketing agencies where a client is promised the biggest half-baked truth ever.

And two months in DSIM is certainly not enough if you want to become a digital marketer, it can tell you the basics. I don’t think I’d be well-versed with conversion funnels, smart bidding, the role good creatives play, how to work the ad engine towards different business goals or even just basic ad optimization without working in the field. It is a profession that you learn on the job, it is very difficult to be taught. So I am not sure how DSIM makes it work. In no way does it prepare you for the real digital marketing job. My seniors are one of the most brilliant, analytical and hardworking people I have seen. My boss and seniors are usually IIT, IIM graduates with strong analytical work experience or prior work experience in the digital field. The others are usually internet entrepreneurs themselves. And I don’t see good digital marketers coming from an institute that pegs students by showing them the money lure. Decent pay is there in some places (if you are good), in most places it isn’t – just like any other job.

The only reason I might join a course from DSIM might be if I was a businessman or someone who is looking to pick up some online marketing lessons and apply them on their own. Don’t treat a “Certified course” from DSIM as a graduation towards a stellar digital marketing career.

You will be surprised how hard the career is, and how easily you would burn out. And it is definitely not a career for someone who doesn’t have, what I call an “internet aptitude”.

And just for reference, this is not how digital marketers work:


This is how:



This was a long article, there must be many open-ends and points in this DSIM review that need further clarification, I think I will do that in a second part of this review. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think