Professional Diploma in Marketing

The professional diploma in marketing focuses on the theoretical aspects of marketing and the skills to manage the marketing function including channel management, stakeholder impact and product development.


Who is the Professional Diploma in Marketing for?

Ideal for marketers who are responsible for the marketing process at an operational level, as well as those who are looking to build on the knowledge gained at Professional Certificate in Marketing level with a future marketing management role in mind.

Entry requirements

You will need to meet at least one of these criteria:

  • CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing (2002 or 2008 syllabus)
  • business or marketing Bachelors or Masters Degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of one third of credits come from marketing
  • experience in a marketing management role demonstrating you can meet the learning outcomes of the CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing and can pass the entry test
    to Level 6.

If English is not your first language, at least IELTS level 6.5 or Trinity ISE III/IV will also be required.

Study Options

There are three main options for studying your Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualifications:

  • Complete Learning Package - including all necessary workshops
  • Tailored Learning Package - select whichever individual modules, course material and workshops you require
  • Distance Learning (Lite) Package - without attending the tutor led workshops
  • eLearning - online workshops and webinars

What will you learn?

By the end of this qualification you should be able to:

  • evaluate the role of the marketing planning process and its implementation in a range of marketing contexts including organisational strategy, culture and the broader marketing environment,
  • develop and manage a brand and product portfolio in the context of the organisation’s marketing strategies and objectives
  • recommend how a marketing function should be structured to deliver competitive advantage, marketing, and organisational success,
  • identify the organisation’s information needs, scope of research projects, and resource capability to underpin the development of a business case to support marketing projects.

How long will it take?

There are four hand-in/exam dates a year and you can begin your studies at any time. The four modules, studied with our two-day workshops and guided home study will typically take around one year to complete although you can choose to study at a faster or slower pace to suit your requirements. We commit ourselves to support all our students for up to a maximum of two years. Please also visit our important dates page for more information.


What modules will you study?

Click on a module title for more information

The marketing planning process module forms part of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing and is designed to provide a detailed understanding of marketing planning, including the synergistic planning process and its links with the delivery of marketing strategy. During the marketing planning process module you will also consider a thorough assessment of the dynamic and complex nature of the marketing environment and its impact on developing marketing plans to achieve strategic outcomes and competitive advantage in the market place.

After completing the marketing planning process module you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the role of the marketing planning process and the marketing plan implementation in a range of marketing contexts including that of the organisation's strategy, culture and broader marketing environment.
  2. Evaluate the interconnectivity between corporate, business and marketing objectives and consider the impact of the external marketing environment and the organisation's resources on their development and achievement.
  3. Conduct a marketing audit including a detailed analysis of the internal and external marketing environments.
  4. Assess the findings of the audit and develop a marketing plan that is responsive to market and organisational changes and underpins the organisation's marketing strategy.
  5. Utilise a range of positioning platforms including price, quality, service and brand perception to establish an organisation's marketing positioning strategy.
  6. Recognise the significance of retaining existing customers through relationship marketing when developing strategies to achieve marketing objectives.

The following is a detailed breakdown of the managing marketing module. There are four main section:

Section one - Marketing planning to deliver marketing strategies (weighting 25%)

1.1 Critically evaluate the difference roles of marketing and its cross-functional interaction within organisations.

1.2 Critically evaluate the synergistic planning process including the different components of the marketing plan and its links with delivering the organisation's corporate, business and marketing strategies.

1.3 Critically evaluate the role of the marketing plan in relation to the organisation's philosophy and an organisation's strategic intent.

1.4 Evaluate the relationship between corporate, business and marketing objectives at an operational level and describe how they impact upon the activities associated with the marketing plan.

1.5 Assess the external and internal influences on the formulations of objectives and specify the key environmental drivers of organisational change.

1.6 Critically evaluate the wider impact of external and internal environmental forces on the setting of objectives at different levels and the process of planning marketing.

Section two - The Marketing audit and strategic outcomes (weighting 30%)

2.1 Critically evaluate the practicalites of undertaking a marketing audit including resource limitations and implications within the organisational context.

2.2 Assess the concept of the organisation as an open system faced with changing environmental conditions and internal capabilities.

2.3 Appraise the process of auditing the marketing environment and make recommendations for the utilisation of various approaches in a range of different organisational contexts and sectors.

2.4 Evaluate the external marketing environment through detailed analysis using a variety of marketing audit tools and techniques.

2.5 Assess the internal marketing environment of an organisation through an audit process using a range of evaluation processes and approaches.

2.6 Utilise the planning gap as a means to identifying and assessing key marketing planning requirements to fulfil the organisations marketing strategy.

2.7 Assess teh issues and constraints arising from the marketing audit and consider the consequences for the organisation in order to develop its marketing plan.

Section Three - Creating marketing strategies through segmentation, targeting and positioning (weighting 25%)

3.1 Critically evaluate the role of marketing strategies and demonstrate how they can be used to develop competitive advantage, market share and growth.

3.2 Assess the importance of market segmentation as a basis of selecting markets to achieve the organisation's business and marketing objectives via customer satifaction.

3.3 Critically evaluate the different segmentation approaches available to organisations in different organisational contexts and sectors and make recommendations for their use.

3.4 Assess the value of targeting markets as an approach to achieving customer satisfaction, competitive advantage and retention.

3.5 Critically evaluate a range of targeting coverage strategies for different organisational contexts and sectors.

3.6 Assess the attractiveness and value of selected market segments.

3.7 Examine the concept of marketing positioning strategy and how it can be used to convey the organisation's value proposition.

3.8 Critically evaluate positioning options and their implementation within the context of the organisation and its markets.

Section Four - Adapting marketing planning in different contexts (weighting 20%)

4.1 Assess the significance of the key dimensions of implementing marketing planning in practice.

4.2 Critically evaluate the barriers and constraints to implementing marketing planning, and consider how they may be addressed by organisations.

4.3 Propose and justify approaches to implementing the process of marketing planning in different contextual settings.

The delivering customer value through marketing module forms part of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing and it's primary focus is the development and execution of marketing activities that have been designed to achieve customer satisfaction and meet organisational objectives, through effective marketing mix strategies which deliver stakeholder value.

By the end of the Delivering Customer Value Through Marketing unit students should be able to:

  1. Develop and manage a brand and product portfolio in the context of the organisation's marketing strategies and objectives.
  2. Develop and implement an effective and efficient channel management strategy which reflects the needs of stakeholders and consider the impact of the external environment.
  3. Develop an effective and innovative communications strategy and plan which clearly delivers the organisation's proposition to the market, through effective segmentation and targeting of internal and external markets.
  4. Utilise an innovative and effective integrated marketing mix to reinforce the organisation's brand values and overall marketing proposition and competitive advantage.
  5. Determine customer requirements for product and service delivery to ensure the marketing proposition is customer-focused efficient and effective.

Following is a detailed breakdown of the delivering customer value through marketing module:

Section one - Product proposition and brand management (weighting 25%)

1.1 Critically evaluate the process for managing and developing an organisation's product portfolio to deliver best value products for customers in different branding strategies which are appropriate to a range of organisational contexts and sectors.

1.2 Critically evaluate the role of branding in the context of the product portfolio, recommending different branding strategies which are appropriate to a range of organisational contexts and sectors.

1.3 Critically evaluate the role and process of innovation and new product development including consideration of innovative, replacement, re-launched and imitative products to explain the strategic benefit in achieving best value.

1.4 Assess the link between product development, product positioning and pricing in term of fit and alignment with an organisation's corporate and marketing strategies and customer requirements.

1.5 Critically evaluate the importance of linking the product portfolio to price perception to ensure perceived value for money as part of the overall customer proposition.

1.6 Assess pricing frameworks that could be utilised by organisations to aid decision making about product lifecycles, product development and innovation.

Section two - Channel Management (weighting 25%)

2.1 Determine and prioritise the key principles and purposes of innovative and effective distribution strategies in order to deliver the organisation's business and marketing objectives in a range of different contexts and different sectors to maximise customer requirements.

2.2 Critically analyse the implications, challenges and constraints arising from internal and external environment in the context of the development of developing channel strategies.

2.3 Assess the nature and scope of intermediaries and determine criteria for selecting intermediary partners and the likely Return on Investment (ROI) they can achieve.

2.4 Determine the level and scope of controls required for effectively monitoring and managing distribution channels.

2.5 Assess the requirements for managing the carious stakeholders' needs within the distribution channel, in particular, reviews, reporting, communications and conflict management.

2.6 Determine the contractual requirements and service level agreements for engaging intermediary partners within the distribution channel.

Section three - Managing marketing communications (weighting 30%)

3.1 Determine marketing communications strategy and objectives to align with and deliver the organisation's marketing strategy plans.

3.2 Prioritise the internal and external marketing segments to be targeted for marketing communications in different organisational context and sectors.

3.3 Critically evaluate a range of communications mixes and recommend appropriate creative, innovative, sustainable and co-ordinated approaches to communications activities and creating the optimal mix for internal and external marketing activities.

3.4 Develop and manage a co-ordinated marketing communications plan, in the context of the strategic marketing plan, in order to establish and build relationships appropriate to the needs of customers, stakeholders and prospects in different organisational contexts and sectors.

3.5 Critically evaluate and select the most appropriate marketing communications agency for the utilisation of marketing communications capability against agreed criteria.

3.6 Recommend and justify an approach to managing agency relationships including reporting monitoring and measuring performance.

3.7 Recommend appropriate methods for measuring marketing communications activities and successful delivery of the marketing communications strategy.

Section four - Managing and achieving customers' service expectations through t​he marketing mix (weighting 20%)

4.1 Develop clear objectives relating to the provision of services to customers.

4.2 Develop a customer service plan and customer care programme, designed to support customer service requirements, including innovative communications; relationship management and development; support; and operations/process management.

4.3 Assess the value, importance and financial implications of providing service level agreements to customers.

4.4 Determine the most feasible and viable approaches for managing key account customer for different organisational contexts.

4.5 Assess the role and value, to the organisation, of sales/product information, including storage, retrieval and communication of information and its role in ensuring that revenue is increased or maintained for key account customers.

4.6 Critically evaluate and assess the customer relationships for possible risks, problems and issues and prepare contingencies for dealing with those risks as they emerge.

The project managemetn in marketing module forms part of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing and will focus on the proactive development and delivery of a justified management process to support the initiation, implementation and control of marketing projects, including the use of research and information and preparing proposals and briefs to identify needs comprehensively.

By the end of the project management in marketing module students should be able to:

  1. Identify the organisation's information needs, scope or research projects and resource capability to underpin the development of a business case to support marketing projects.
  2. Develop an effective business case, complete with justifications, financial assessments and consideration of the organisation's resource capacity and capability to deliver.
  3. Undertake a risk assessment programme with suggestions on how to mitigate for risks facing the organisation and the achievement of its business and marketing objectives.
  4. Design, develop and plan significant marketing programmes, using project management tools and techniques, designed to deliver marketing projects effectively, in terms of quality, resource and delivery.
  5. Integrate a range of marketing tools and techniques to support the development and implementation of a range of marketing projects.
  6. Monitor and measure the effectiveness and outcomes of marketing projects through the end-to-end project process.

The following is a detailed breakdown of the project management in marketing module:

Section one - Using marketing information to develop a justified case for marketing projects (weighting 15%)

1.1 Critically assess the scope and type of marketing information required to develop effective business cases using both primary and secondary data.

1.2 Critically assess how organisations determine their marketing information requirements and the key elements of user specifications for the purpose of building a case.

1.3 Critically assess the scope, structure and characteristics of MIS and MKIS as marketing management support systems and evaluate their importance to business cases for marketing projects.

1.4 Develop a research brief to meet the requirements of an individually specific case for marketing.

1.5 Critically evaluate a full research proposal to fullfil the brief supporting the information needs of the case and make recommendations for improvements.

1.6 Identify and evaluate the most effective methods for presenting marketing information and making specific marketing recommendations relating to product/service development and implementation as part of the case.

Section two - Building a case for marketing projects (weighting 20%)

2.1 Define business case objectives for marketing plans and specify high expenditure marketing activities.

2.2 Critically evaluate and assess the marketing potential for business case activities, including consideration of the assessments required to achieve the potential proposistion.

2.3 Critically assess and evaluate customer groups relevant to the business case, matching their buying characteristics to the marketing proposition through the use of market research information.

2.4 Determine the extent to which an organisation's marketing mix may need to be amended or adjusted to meet the requirements of the customer and broader stakeholders, and consider the impact of the change on the organisation.

2.5 Critically assess the resource capability and capacity to deliver the business case proposal and consider the competency and skill requirements of both internal and external resources to deliver the business case proposition.

2.6 Present the business case and associated marketing plans for consultation and consideration, with full justification for the proposed product/service initiatives and how they will support the delivery of marketing strategies and plans.

Section three - Assessing, managing and mitigating risk associated with marketing projects (weighting 25%)

3.1 Critically evaluate the importance of developing an understanding of risk assessments in organisations in order to protect long-term stability of a range of marketing projects.

3.2 Analyse and assess the potential sources of risk, of both internal and external origins, directly related to a specific case and consider the impact of these risks on the organisation.

3.3 Design a risk management programme appropriate to measuring the impact of risk in the context of marketing projects.

3.4 Undertake risk assessments on marketing projects and assess the impact of shot/long-term tactical changes to the marketing plan.

3.5 Critically evaluate the different approaches organisations can take to mitigate risk in order to reduce its potential to harm the organisation or its reputation.

3.6 Critically assess the strategic impact of implementing proposed risk control measures versus the strategic impact of taking no action.

3.7 Develop a range of methods for monitoring, reporting and controlling risk on an ongoing basis for project implementation.

Section four - Project management for analysis, planning, implementation and control (weighting 40%)

4.1 Critically evaluate different approaches to developing a culture of project planning within the marketing function and the organisation.

4.2 Critically evaluate soft and hard projects in the context of marketing and consider the differences in terms of project implementation.

4.3 Develop the main stages of a marketing project plan, identifying the activities, estimating time and cost, sequencing of activities, and assess the competency and skills required of the people needed to deliver the project.

4.4 Critically assess the importance of and techniques for establishing the marketing project's scope, definition and goals relative to the organisational marketing plan.

4.5 Utilise a range of tools and techniques to support project planning, scheduling, resourcing and controlling of activities within the project to enable effective and efficient implementation.

4.6 Utilise a variety of methods, measurements and control techniques to enable effective monitoring and measuring of progress throughout the project to ensure that it is  completed to specification, on time and within budget.

4.7 Critically assess the main techniques for evaluating effectiveness, success or failure of a marketing project on its completion.

The managing Marketing module focusses on developing the marketer as a manager, including giving them the knowledge and understanding required to develop and manage the marketing infrastructure and the organisation's talent development, capability and capacity. This includes developing effective quality systems and processes to support compliance and approached to measuring and monitoring marketing activities.

After completing the managing marketing module you will be able to:

  1. Recommend how a marketing function should be structured to deliver competitive advantage, marketing and organisational success.
  2. Assess a range of approaches that can be used to manage the marketing function on a day-to-day basis.
  3. Prepare plans for showing how a team should be structured, selected, formed, managed and developed to demonstrate effective performance against objectives.
  4. Critically assess the organisation's resource needs and capabilities for the marketing team and manage its marketing activities effectively and efficiently.
  5. Prepare appropriate budgets and accounting documentation to support the financial management of the marketing function and associated marketing activities.
  6. Critically assess the ongoing financial situation including manageability of the budget, financial stability and success of the marketing function.

Following is a detailed breakdown of the managing marketing module. There are three main sections.

Section one - The marketing infrastructure (weighting 30%)

1.1 Critically evaluate the importance of organisational structures in delivering marketing value, foucs and creativity including consideration of how the work of marketing operations is going to be undertaken.

1.2 Critically assess the requirements of developing effectives and efficient quality systems and processes to support compliance including evaluating and assessing the relevance of key quality concepts.

1.3 Determine innovative and effective methods of measuring and monitoring marketing performance for marketing operation, marketing activities and effective resource management.

1.4 Critically analyse monitoring information and recommend ways in which to improve marketing performance.

Section two - Managing marketing teams (weighting 40%)

2.1 Critically evaluate the differences between management and leadership and identify the role of an operational marketing manager.

2.2 Determine the needs for and show how to establish and build synergistic and harmonious marketing teams including preparing a plan to show how teams should be structured to deliver organisational and marketing objectives.

2.3 Propose a range of approaches for the sourcing of a team, including consideration of recruitment, training and development to provide the right balance of competency and skills.

2.4 Plan how the work of the team will be undertaken establishing priorities and critical activities required to meet marketing and organisational objectives and with customers in mind.

2.5 Propose approaches to manage and co-ordinated the work of teams and individuals to create effective working relations including appropriate levels of consultation, taking into account the balance of skills and activities available.

2.6 Propose approaches to manage and co-ordinate the work of remote teams to create effective working relations.

2.7 Identify potential areas of team conflict, identifying causes and making recommendations for ways in which to overcome it.

2.8 Critically assess levels of performance in order to identify poor performance and, reasons for it and recommendations of how to overcome it including consideration of loyalty and motivation programmes.

Section three - Operational finances for marketing (weighting 30%)

3.1 Assess the different requirements of managing the finances of the marketing function and associated marketing activities.

3.2 Critically evaluate the different approaches to setting the marketing and communications budget and associated marketing activities.

3.3 Evaluate the different information sources required to determine the marketing budget for marketing operations and activities.

3.4 Negotiate delegated budgets with colleagues and agree provisional operations.

3.5 Undertake cost benefit analysis of marketing activities establishing priorities and best value approaches to operations.

3.6 Establish effective cost management processes for marketing operations to ensure that costs are managed effectively to achieve viability in the long term.

3.7 Assess budget variances, identify causes and recommend corrective actions where appropriate.

3.8 Establish systems to monitor, evaluate and report on the finance performance of marketing operations and associated activities against the delegated budget.

To find out more about what you can expect and will receive when you study with Cambridge Professional Academy visit the Delegate Experience pages.  On completion of this course whilst you are a CIM member you will be entitled to use the designatory letters ACIM and will be entitled to begin studying for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.