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World leading Digital Marketing Author has Spent Half of his Long Career in Marketing Training Teaching With MMC – and he’s Back in January to Deliver the Annual Trends Masterclass!

A Chance Encounter:

Autumn 1998- A man sniffed at the cold autumn air, as he headed out of a coffee shop and back on to the streets of Manchester, so early it was still almost dark out. He’d been coming before work, to the same coffee shop in Manchester city centre for as long as he could remember, to get a head start on the day’s jobs and to while away the time until he can shake that crack of dawn feeling between sleep and wakefulness.

He started onwards, full of coffee and the usual early morning rambles of the brain.

But this was no ordinary morning coffee goer. 

Imran Farooq was going to change the world.

As a young and talented entrepreneur, fascinated by the world of business, Imran had a plan to accelerate organisations into the future. 

The internet was changing everything and Imran had a theory that if he could train marketers to make use of this impressive new technology, the very nature of business could be changed forever.

It seemed to him that offering cutting-edge, flexible learning courses for busy working marketers could be the solution organisations needed to revolutionise their business from the ground up.

But being in the business of distance marketing courses hadn’t been easy. He knew that Digital Marketing is the future, but convincing other people of that had presented a slight issue…

Since going solo and launching his company MMC learning, times had been tough. ‘The internet is going to change the world and Marketers need to be ready!’ He’d cried excitedly-  in brochures and newspaper adverts… expecting them to come flooding. After all, it didn’t take a genius to realise that businesses needed to accelerate into the upcoming 21st century.

Or did it? Despite his conviction, not everyone seemed ready to follow Imran into this brave new world. There were those who were convinced that Digital marketing would never take off, or that the internet would simply never be a viable tool for marketing or indeed delivering courses.

Luckily he is not alone, there is one person, a kindred spirit out there who thinks as he does.


“I’m so sorry,” said a man holding a compass as the two of them staggered back up from the ground where they’d fallen after coliding, clutching their bruised foreheads, “my fault, wasn’t looking where I was going.”

“No worries, at least you know you’re going in the right direction, novel way of  navigating there”, Imran joked, nodding to the compass.

“Gets me where I need to go”, the man replied, “Walk in the right direction long enough, you’ll find where you’re trying to get to”

“Which is?” Imran asked.

“Oh, random one, I’m heading to a conference event with this new company called ‘First Internet’, they’re a new Manchester based digital marketing agency, I’m a digital strategist”

“Oh no way that’s so funny, I’m heading there as well, I work in marketing” Imran said, stooping down to pick up a book that the man had dropped in their collision. 

‘Groupware, workflow, and intranets’ by Dave Chaffey.

“You’re not going to believe this”, Imran said grinning as he handed it back, “But I’ve actually got that book as well, really interesting stuff on how technology can help businesses.”

“Well, thanks”, said the man grinning, “Because I wrote it”.

“Seriously?!” Imran said “You’re Dave? Oh wow, how’re you doing? Nice to meet you- Imran”.

They shook hands.

“What is it that you do, what brings you to the First Internet thing?” Dave asked

So, I run a company called MMC Learning, we’re a marketing course provider, we’re trying to educate marketers through distance learning courses…”

A step in the right direction…

“Well I’m a weird case really,” Dave was saying as they traversed the streets with his compass in search of the ‘First Internet’ conference, “I actually did Geography at degree, so I guess that’s what prompted the book cos I’ve always been a techie and I ended up gravitating towards that but I guess I’ve always been most interested in how technology can help people, particularly in organisations so I’ve become a bit of a digital marketing nerd because of the way it’s all going with the Internet, I think it’s going to be a really fascinating industry”.

By the time they had made their way to the conference centre and found a seat amongst the hubbub of, the two had become firm friends and were beginning to formulate a plan to work together to fulfill their goals.

It was a match made in marketing heaven!

Imran wanted to be at the forefront of digital marketing education, producing students who are top of their game when it comes to operating within the digital marketing field and for that he needed the help of experts. 

Dave wanted to publish more books in the hope of inspiring and helping digital marketers achieve their potential and had dreams of setting up his own consultancy.

He had even started developing his own digital marketing models, such as the RACE digital marketing planning framework, for example, which he was hoping to put out there to inform others.

 “A lot of this could be used in our syllabus”, Imran encouraged, “You could even help us develop that content inform what goes into the learning materials and then teach it, we’re thinking of trying to deliver short pre-reocrded and live webinar sessions with digital experts, I’m thinking that having a figurehead could be really good because it will help us bring in a bigger audience. It’s important as a student, if you’re going to take on a training course, you want to know who you’re learning from, and you want to have confidence that you’re learning from the very best, we’re looking to work with people like you who know their stuff about the industry.” 

“Well could certainly help you with video materials and maybe additional reading and resources and things I’m sure”.

Little did Dave know he would soon become the UK’s number one digital marketing author who’s books would help thousands of digital marketing students around the world.

Little did Imran know he would soon build one of the biggest and most comprehensive libraries of cutting-edge video content covering all aspects of marketing with a variety of experts.

They were so caught up in their networking with each other that they barely paid attention to the rest of the marketing conference going on around them, though they got a few good pointers of course- networking is key!

And the rest as they say is history…

25 years later and the world of Digital marketing has exploded! 

MMC Learning has gone from strength to strength and Imran is now head of a highly successful and well–respected thriving e-learning provider and he has helped educate over 30,000 marketers to date. MMC Learning has also branched out into management qualifications and they are well on their way to meeting their goal of educating 70,000 Marketers and Leaders by the end of 2025.

Meanwhile, a certain Dave Chaffey has become a world leading practitioner and author in digital marketing. The Chartered institute in fact named him one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide.

Dave’s wisdom helps support marketers in their learning in a multitude of ways, many of his best selling digital marketing books are on the recommended reading list for CIM’s digital marketing qualifications and he’s even been involved as a moderator for CIM exams and in creating the mark schemes. He is also a co-founder of a membership platform for marketers, Smart Insights.

When he’s not running his own consultancy business or writing pivotal digital marketing books, he works with MMC Learning!

As well as lecturing on MMC Learnings MSc in Digital Marketing course and teaching via live webinars on their CIM courses, Dave also gets involved in filming content for their CIM qualifications. MMC’s videos are set up to include a ‘presenter’, who takes the role of interviewer and a ‘subject matter expert’. Dave has provided some unique insights while taking on the role of subject matter expert in many of MMC’s CIM modules in digital marketing.

He has also brought some of his in depth knowledge to help Imran realise his dream of creating top quality content, sharing his expert insights to contribute to and help develop and design the courses.

As someone who has been involved in digital marketing for a very long time, Dave has accrued a massive following on social media (on which he posts useful marketing tips and advice), and his following includes hundreds of other experts and influential voices in the marketing, bringing a host of new contacts who have often got in on the MMC action too! With Dave’s help MMC have put on several free webinars that anybody can attend featuring a variety of experts benefitting both students and anyone who might be interested.

In fact, Dave will be back in January to deliver his annual Digital trends masterclass! As a confirmed digital marketing guru and foremost authority on digital trends, Dave has all the answers, so make sure to come along!

It’s fair to say that MMC and Dave Chaffey have developed a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship, so much so that throughout his career Dave has partnered exclusively with MMC Learning. While he maintains his own freelance teaching and consultancy work, he doesn’t teach or do CIM related work, or masters level digital marketing training for any other organisation. 

In fact, he recently celebrated having spent 50% of his long career in Marketing training working exclusively with MMC!

“Cheers to that”, Dave says as they meet up for coffee in the same café Imran bumped into him outside on that fateful day.

“Cheers to that!” Imran echoes.