Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM)

  • Start anytime

  • Study anywhere

  • Practical skills

  • Be job ready

  • Affordable from US$520*

  • Pathway to Digital Master program

  • 12 Months Access

  • Globally recognised

Benefits of the CHDM designation

This certification shows that candidates are able to maximise direct online revenue through:

  • Lead generation
  • Customer engagement
  • Loyalty Online brand awareness
  • Positive product exposure.

Candidate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate expertise in most tactical areas of digital marketing,
  • Be proficient in creating basic strategic initiatives,
  • Utilise the analytical and management tools necessary to communicate results, and;
  • Execute effective digital marketing plans in a hospitality environment.
  • Hospitality employees wanting to expand their roles into the digital area
  • Executives wanting to understand Digital Marketing to improve their learning
  • Digital marketers from other industries wanting to enter the hospitality industry
  • Managers and Directors who manage the Digital Marketing function but who don’t come from a Digital Marketing background

This course was created by the HSMAI Digital Marketing Council.   The leaders in hotels around the global have worked together to create a curriculum for people looking to grow their careers in Digital Marketing.

  • HSMAI CHDM Certification logoHSMAI Members US$520
  • Non-members US$645


  • The CHDM Study Guide (see the study guide table of contents for an overview)
  • 3 x 1-hour e-learning sessions developed by Signature Worldwide
  • 1-year access to complete the e-learning and exam
  • Certification Syllabus
  • Globally recognised certification
  • The right to use the designation CRME after your name.

How to get Certified

  • Apply

    Download and complete the application form including your work experience

  • Payment

    Once your application is accepted by HSMAI, then you'll need to pay the fee for Certification

  • Start

    Once your application has been approved and payment is received, you will receive a digital copy of the study guide and access to the 3 x e-learnng modules

  • Exam

    When you have completed the e-learning modules and feel ready to take the exam, you may take the exam online at any time, 24/7

  • Get Your Certification

    Once you pass the exam, you will recieve your certification and will be entitled to use the CHDM letters after your name

Get Started!

Applying for the CHDM

To apply for the CHDM designation  you must complete the CHDM application form through HSMAI to demonstrate your eligibility.  Directions for where to send the application and payment are in the form.  Eligibility is determined by four main areas.  To qualify, you must have a minimum of 50 points:

Download the relevant application form to apply.




For Asia Pacific Residents, download the application form to apply.



For Marriott and Associates and Franchisees, download the application form to apply. Select the Marriott International CHDM Application. By doing so, you will be given the HSMAI-Marriott International version of the study course and exams, as well as special pricing as detailed in the application:



For Best Western and Associates and Franchisees, download the application form to apply. Select the Marriott International CHDM Application. By doing so, you will be given the HSMAI-Marriott International version of the study course and exams, as well as special pricing as detailed in the application

Section One: Digital Marketing Impact

This digital marketing certification program designed specifically for the hospitality industry identifies candidates who are able to leverage their knowledge of the Internet marketing channel to maximise direct online channel revenue through lead generation, customer engagement and loyalty, online brand awareness and positive product exposure.

At the conclusion of this certification, the candidate will exhibit expertise in most tactical areas of digital marketing, be proficient in creating basic strategic initiatives, utilize the analytical and management tools necessary to communicate results and execute an effective hospitality digital marketing plan.

Section One: Digital Marketing Impact

Digital marketing goals have remained relatively consistent for the past ten years, but the delivery methods, communication style, technology, analytics and most importantly the speed with which information gets to consumers has changed. This section addresses the importance of the digital marketing platform to the overall marketing strategy.

Section Two: Strategy and Tactics

Section Two: Strategy and Tactics

Each of the following sections covers the information candidates must understand and connect to their overall digital marketing strategy. Certification candidates will be able to make recommendations for resource allocation based on greatest expected return, suggest a strategic direction, and also display expertise in the tactical areas and execution of each topic.

Hotel Website

Currently, the hotel website represents the best opportunity for high volume, low cost bookings. Before investing in a hotel website, several factors need to be considered. Once the investment decision is made, there is a finite list of must-haves to ensure your website is user friendly, search engine friendly and booker friendly.

This chapter identifies best practices in the creation and maintenance of a hotel or resort website including content, user friendliness, search engine optimization, customer engagement, and ease of booking. It also covers the selection a development vendor, website functionality, social media integration, and analytics.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This overused and often misunderstood practice is defined in this session and addresses optimization strategy, including keyword research, search engine friendly design, link building and local strategies. This section introduces analytics reporting in order to be able to maximise the SEO process as it applies to website, social, local, and mobile.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising includes Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Display Advertising.  SEM works best at the bottom of the conversion funnel, capturing consumers at the moment of intent; Display Advertising works extremely well higher in the funnel to generate awareness.

This chapter identifies when the use of paid advertising, and what type, is appropriate whether it is via networks, mobile ads, banner ads, or video. Other topics include keyword research, setting up and executing campaigns in Google Ad words or similar platforms, ad copy and headlines, retargeting, and evaluating the analytics of the results to determine future actions.


Today, 40% of leisure travellers and 36% of business travellers use mobile search engines to find hotels. Mobile is divided into two categories for our purposes; smartphones and tablets. Consumer behaviours vary broadly depending on the mobile platform used and it is critical to understand those motivations in order to capture a fair share of the mobile market.

Key points covered in this chapter include the differences between optimised versus compatibility, mobile apps versus mobile websites, and responsive versus device specific design; when and where mobile devices are used, what drives the decision of the device and the activity, and how it is relevant for hoteliers; and, best practices for mobile optimisation.


Email marketing is a valuable tool in the digital marketing toolbox, but like any tool, it needs to be used for the appropriate job. There are a number of important elements to consider when planning email marketing such as targeted lists, the email copy, your offer, links, and your call to action.

This chapter outlines critical factors in successful email marketing campaigns, best practices for email marketing specifically for hoteliers, and the role of lead nurturing in acquiring new customers.

Social Media

This chapter reviews the top hospitality social media categories identifying the opportunities and related risks within each. It also covers best practices to enhance social media storytelling on five key social channels, and key performance metrics to measure the impact of social media.

Location Based Marketing

Location based marketing in the digital age can be divided into two primary areas of focus: marketing to prospects based on your own location, regardless of where the prospect is located; and, marketing to those prospects that are near to your location, also known as proximity marketing.

Key points covered in this chapter include the tools and tactics for location and proximity marketing, optimising location in search, and gamification as a part of proximity marketing.

Public Relations

Like most marketing tools in the digital age, public relations has evolved beyond a one-way communication process into an interactive tool that allows and, in fact, encourages ongoing feedback. Once targeted only toward media outlets, public relations now has multiple audiences, often dealing directly with customers instead of through an intermediary source.

This section introduces distribution methods for public relations releases and PR topics that are relevant for hoteliers.

Section Two: Strategy and Tactics cont.

Rich Media

Rich media for hotels includes photos, full motion video, 360 virtual tours, digital slideshows, interactive schematics and audio. Storytelling comes to life with rich media, and the better the story, the stronger the connection made between hotel and consumer. Travellers rely on rich media to inform themselves, help plan itineraries, and give them confidence to make their accommodation purchases.

This section reinforces the value of rich media in a hotelier’s digital marketing toolbox while demonstrating how the targeted use of rich media can increase bookings. It also covers the importance of storytelling by visual methods and how it impacts online shopping behaviours, and best practices for the use of rich media across multiple channels.

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

There are three primary business models for OTAs: retail, merchant and opaque/auction sites and understanding the differences is critical in order to maximise the potential of this channel. This chapter outlines the journey of the consumer through the available websites that leads to purchase and what impacts those behaviours. It also covers best practices in working with the OTAs for long-term, sustainable ROI.


Hotel blogs play several roles in the digital marketing landscape providing fresh content for search engines, new information for your prospects, current information for your existing customers, and a way to target key customer segments. In order to maximise the benefits a blog can provide, this chapter considers blog platforms, blog strategy, ongoing action steps to keep content dynamic, and key measurements.

Review Sites

Online reviews drive business because consumers trust each other as much, if not more, than they trust hotel marketing. Positive reviews, management responses, up-to-date content, and photos are the primary factors that contribute to an online review strategy. The chapter highlights best practices for increasing ratings and positive review contributions, managing negative reviews, and using aggregators to cover a broader range of results.

Section Three: Analytical, Productivity and Management Tools

Analytical, Productivity and Management tools

This section is focused on the analytical tools available for each channel and platform, as well as the best practices regarding testing, and results reporting. It covers not only understanding how to collect various tool and platform analytics, but knowing how to interpret the findings to stakeholders outside of the digital marketing role.


Achieving an ROI is only possible if using the various analytic tools available for each channel. This section addresses best practices for mining content on the web in order to analyse browsing behaviour, executing an advertising strategy for both search and display, reporting quantitative results, and taking action on web and email analytics to improve performance.

Management Tools

This section covers communicating the results of the analytics from different channels – social, web, email, advertising and mobile – in order to provide necessary, valid information to hospitality leaders outside of the digital marketing area.


Payment should only be made after you have been approved by HSMAI.

Payment can be made by Paypal or Credit Card in US Dollars. Please check the instructions on your specific application form.

For groups of 5 or more, an invoice can be issued for payment by bank transfer if requested.

For groups of 10 or more, bulk discounts can be provided. (See Contact us)

Need help? Contact us

Questions about any of our certifications can be directed to:

Kathleen G. Tindell, Program Director
E: ktindell@hsmai.org

P: +1 703-506-2010


Certifications expire on December 31, two years from the year a person originally certified (e.g., if you certified in 2017, regardless of which month of the year, your certification is due for renewal by December 31, 2019).

To be recertified, no exam is required; however, CHDMs must participate in a minimum of 20 hours of digital marketing training. Training can include, but is not limited to, conferences, webinars and e-learning, college or graduate level courses, etc. All training points claimed must have been earned since the date of initial CHDM certification or last renewal. Therefore it is important that you keep track of all your education and training activities each year even after receiving the CHDM.

Annual recertification notices are sent as a courtesy in the first quarter of the year in which the individual is due for renewal and additional reminders are sent throughout the year. With that notice, CHDMs receive information regarding the recertification process and instructions to access the recertification application form and guidelines.

The completed application and recertification fee is due October 15. A late fee will be applied to applications received between October 16 and December 31. It is the CHDM’s responsibility to make a note of their recertification date, which is provided on the CHDM certificate mailed after successful completion of the examination. Adhering to all deadlines is the responsibility of the CHDM.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment