What could you gain from becoming Chartered?
Editorial

What could you gain from becoming Chartered?

This month, CIM have announced significant changes to our Chartered Marketer programme that will allow more marketers to gain recognition than ever before. Find out why from director of customer experience, IT and operations, Kate Gardhouse

CIM has extended the ability to become a Chartered Marketer to Associate members, allowing marketers as young as 23 to achieve prestigious Chartered status. This proposal was put to CIM members at the 2019 AGM and approved in February 2020 by the Privy Council, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. This inaugural move represents not only a shift in the skills required of marketers entering the industry, but an attempt to relieve the pressure on businesses in identifying and appointing qualified, up-to-date marketing talent.

The nature of marketing’s role as a business-critical function has adapted significantly in recent years. With longstanding issues of data, trust and fake news affecting organisations of all sizes, and the uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak weighing heavy on the minds of businesses globally in recent times, marketers must demonstrate their value in driving critical growth. Certainly, organisations are more and more reliant on marketers to protect and grow their brand identity and revenues.

Identifying future marketing talent

For young professionals, this issue is particularly pertinent. At CIM, we understand that marketers need professional recognition earlier in their careers to face off fierce competition for entry-level and junior roles. Associate members, who will be able under this new initiative be able to gain Chartered Marketer status after completing 2 years of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), are early-career marketers, fresh into industry with either a CIM qualification or degree-level certification, or 3 years into a marketing role with some influence over budgets. The challenge that these prospective marketers face to differentiate themselves from their competition is significant. And for the businesses looking to invest future marketing talent, it can be a challenge to truly gauge how up to date a marketing professional is beyond a qualification or certification.

Indeed, with the proficient digital skills present in junior marketers, businesses are increasingly putting their brands in the hands of the next generation, which has considerable risk if you’re not fully assured of their marketing credentials.

Becoming Chartered provides an extra level of certification and trust to these rapidly progressing marketers. As businesses increasingly recognise the power of these digital natives to drive their organisations forward, these are the next generation of professionals that need to gain recognition, respect and influence early on in their careers. CIM’s professional marketing competencies, which guide the CPD programme, combine a command of the full marketing mix with soft skills, encouraging marketers to be commercially and strategically minded, a particular asset to a marketer early in their career. Indeed, Target Internet’s 2018 Digital Skills Benchmark in association with CIM showed that despite outstripping their superiors in terms of digital knowledge, not only did many junior marketers lack knowledge of the core marketing principles, some also lacked the strategic insights to apply their digital skills effectively.

A professional advantage

For those marketers investing in CPD, they are explicitly demonstrating their ability to stay up to date and engaged with the core principles underpinning all marketing activities, getting a full view of how tactics meet strategy. It also demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning in an industry constantly undergoing rapid change.

Therefore, CPD plays a crucial educational role for those early in their careers, giving insight into the many facets of what truly makes a well-rounded, up to date marketing professional, in an industry where the goalposts are ever shifting as new technologies disrupt our day-to-day activities. This will be felt particularly acutely for Associate members of CIM, who are at this crucial early stage, tasked with understanding and adapting to a fast-moving market.

It goes without saying, however, that becoming Chartered has significant value for marketers at all levels, as the mark of an up-to-date, relevant and responsible professional. What we hope to see more of over the coming years is that the levels of Chartered Marketer, now available to Associates, Members and Fellows, will help recruiters and organisations to identify marketers at the right level for their vacancy. A Chartered ACIM, for example, might be the natural choice for a marketing executive, while a Chartered FCIM would be a competitive C-suite candidate.

Embedding life-long learning

No matter what stage of career you are at, your CPD journey has to start with you. We cannot create a growth mindset for you, but CIM is here as your professional partner to facilitate and guide your professional development. And it is now easier than ever to do this, with the CIM CPD app, available to download from the App or Google Play store, built specifically to allow you to record CPD activities on the go.  

You might be wondering exactly what counts as a CPD activity. A simple way to answer that is, what was the last thing you learned from? Ultimately, as a professional marketer, you know how you learn. You know what works for you and you know how to propel your professional development. We understand that you can have that lightbulb moment in the shower or at work, and we don’t put any restrictions on where you learn and what you learn.

What I can tell you is that this article is CPD eligible, and so is everything else on Exchange, including webinars and podcasts. That TED talk you watched, that counts. The enlightening conversation you had with your colleague a few weeks ago, that too. What I find myself and my team telling marketers so often is that they’re already engaging in CPD-eligible activities every day. Simply reframing these commonplace activities to emphasise the opportunity to learn means that you have already started the process of active development that is central to keeping up to date.

Completing CPD will allow you to build up a tapestry of skills and experience that you can then demonstrate in a succinct way to your boss, your next employer or your next client. Alternatively, it can help you identify where your skills are lacking and need further development. Either way, it is undoubtedly a crucial tool for marketers looking to make their mark on the industry – and that starts with the next generation of talent.

CIM members can sign up for the CPD programme via MyCIM. If you’re interested in joining CIM and gaining exclusive access to our CPD platform, discover the right membership level for you here.

 

Kate Gardhouse Director of customer experience, IT and operations CIM
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