Starting my CIM Marketing Journey - Dave Thackeray's Guest Blog - part 1

Published: 27 August 2014

The Journey of a CIM marketing Student

Strategic Marketing just arrived. It's the first book needed on my journey to becoming a diploma-waving graduate of the CIM's new Professional Marketing course.

I can barely lift up this book, let alone digest it just now. When you get books like this, the temptation is just to flick through and hope that photographic memory you never had, kicks in.

But that's the old me. I hated school. Loathed everything about studying. But then my 30s kicked in and I developed a little more patience. I didn't do anything about it, but I am now. I've decided to reboot my career amid all the confusion and panic around me as to what's around the corner. No one truly knows how industry will evolve but technology will inevitably play a huge role and I don't want to be left behind.

A little about me. I started out as a journalist, then editor, before dabbling in digital marketing at a global hotel company and leaving to start a new life in Australia. Where I lasted precisely two weeks (another time). Came home, started my own business, wrote a book on what I'd learned, then transferred my skills to a charity up here in the north.

Which is where things stand. After a year and a bit, I decided that my job as web and social media officer won't be around forever and launched this mission to retool and widen my knowledge.

This Strategic Marketing book, staring at me and goading me to find my feet within, has already demonstrated I have a lot to learn. And that's just by reading the back cover.

Marketing is huge. Underappreciated as a business discipline by many, it really is the difference between the failure and success of an organisation.

I've signed up for these three components:

  • Strategic Marketing
  • Driving Innovation
  • Mastering Metrics

I chose against Digital Marketing because I need everything else more. A holistic view of how marketing can affect and influence everything we do as important and influential players in our respective organisations.

As owner of the full-fat Premium package I'll be attending the weekend workshops for each of these components. Neat touch, Professional Academy, having one of the workshop days on a weekend. My boss thanks you very much for not dragging me away.

This might be the start of something. Further down the line, I may go for some letters after my name - really take this CIM thing to the next level.

Right now I already feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew but I've set myself goals for the coming year. Today I turned 40. By 41, I want this baby to be mine.

Dave Thackery - The Journey of a CIM StudentFormer journalist, editor and company owner Dave is now the web and social media officer at WLCT, a charity operating leisure services for councils. After years making his way through the marketing maze he decided to go back to basics and learn how to do it properly with Professional Academy and CIM. Follow his progress on this blog and feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter to ask about his experiences. 

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Qualification Advice - Tidy up those Marketing Qualification loose ends!

Published: 20 August 2014

Tidy up your Marketing Loose ends!

The CIM have recently updated the Level 4 and Level 6 Marketing qualifications, which means if you are currently studying the 2009 syllabus, you would have until September 2015 to finish your course and be awarded your qualification.

Here at Professional Academy, we are offering students the opportunity to complete any remaining modules with us, or alternatively we can arrange a transition onto the new 2014 syllabus for you.

In keeping with ever growing trends within the business world and in this instance, Marketing, one of the main and important additions that has been incorporated alongside conventional Marketing learning outcomes, is the inclusion of Digital marketing techniques and practical theories.

As we progress into a rapidly evolving and ever changing Digital landscape, knowledge of Digital Marketing (alongside traditional Marketing) has becomes increasingly more important for anyone working within a marketing role, be it a junior Marketer or Marketing assistant, or senior Marketer/Marketing manager, and this has been recognised by the CIM.

If you are part way through your marketing course, and wish to transfer onto the new syllabus, then it is possible to do so as follows:-

For the Professional Certificate in Marketing Level 4, if you have completed Assessing the Marketing Environment and Marketing Essentials, this would give an exemption from the Marketing module of the new Certificate in Professional Marketing Level 4 qualification
You would then study Integrated Communications (mandatory) and then EITHER Customer Experience OR Digital Marketing to achieve the new Certificate in Professional Marketing Level 4.

For the Professional Diploma in Marketing Level 6, if you have completed Marketing Planning Process and Managing Marketing, this would give an exemption from the Strategic Marketing module of the new Diploma in Professional Marketing Level 6.
You would then study Mastering Metrics (mandatory) and then EITHER Driving Innovation OR Digital Strategy to achieve the new Diploma in Professional Marketing Level 6.

If you have almost completed either the level 4 or the Level 6 course, and still wish to add Digital Marketing to your portfolio of qualifications, don’t worry!  You haven’t missed out because of the new qualifications.  You can study one of the CAM Foundation’s CIM accredited Digital Marketing courses AND still receive an exemption from one of the modules.

For CIM students who have completed the Professional Certificate in Marketing Level 4 and the Professional Diploma in Marketing Level 6, you would be exempt from Marketing & Consumer Behaviour from any of the full Digital Marketing Diplomas (three modules) and would only have to study TWO remaining modules to receive a Digital Marketing Diploma.

For further details on the new modules, transitional arrangements, exemptions, and/or the various combinations Digital Marketing courses currently on offer, contact me now and I would be more than happy to go through any of this information in more detail with you.

Paul Owens is the Sales & Admissions Co-Ordinator for Professional Academy, with a wealth of expert business knowledge and experience, from a professional, advisory and consultative perspective.  He is the first port of call for all and any course enquiries for the company, is a certified recruiter (CertRP) and also a Fellow member of the ISMM (The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management). If you would like you can connect to Paul via his Linkedin profile

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Is university the only post A-Level Option?

Published: 15 August 2014

Is university the only post A-Level option?

Yesterday was A-Level result day in the UK and although the university acceptance rate was the highest it has ever been, many 17-18 year olds are still looking for cost effective, flexible alternatives to university.

As a qualification provider we often get asked, “How can I get started in a Marketing or Sales career?” and felt that the answer to this question could be found in the same process as looking for a university alternative.

Both the Institute of Sales & Marketing (ISMM) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) have foundation level qualifications aimed at helping those with no practical experience of Sales or Marketing get a leg up on to the first step of their desired career ladder.

These respective levels - the ISMM Certificate of Sales & Marketing and the CIM Introductory Certificate in Marketing (which will be renamed as the Foundation Certificate in Marketing as of October this year) – have been specially developed by industry leading institutions and that is just one of many reasons why an introductory Professional Qualification can be a viable alternative to university.

 

Broke StudentsCost

Coming in with the hot topic first, cost can be a huge factor when it comes to choosing higher or further education especially with the rising cost of tuition (Currently around £9000 per semester). Although student debt is not payable until you are earning and does not affect credit rating additional fees of being a full time student can also pile up and this is putting some potential students off university. In comparison to this the CIM Introductory/Foundation qualification and the ISMM Certificate both cost around around £1200 - £1500 which is considerably less in terms of annual tuition alone.

 

Balance of Work and EducationTime & Flexibility

University qualifications take between 2-3 years of full time study, to complete depending on the level you are wishing to complete. Professional qualifications are by their nature more flexible and shorter. With Blended Learning a student would only spend 1-2 days per module in workshops with the rest of the study taking the form of supported independent study. This allows the student to work full time as well and complete the qualification in their spare time. The qualification can also be completed within 6-12 months depending on which pathway is chosen which is considerably less time.

There is also the option to tackle a course like this entirely via distance learning (in fact this is how Professional Academy deliver all Level 2 ISMM Qualifications). This allows further flexibility when completing the qualification with the continued remote support via LMS Systems, tutor emails and Webinars assisting along the qualification pathway.

 

Training Practical Focus

Although each of the ISMM and CIM Qualifications have a basis in theory based learning there are two things that greatly differ with these qualification pathways to university. Both qualifications have a focus on the practical applications of the desired learning outcomes “How would you apply this in the work place?” making this question central to the teaching. The practical focus also lends itself to the next plus point.         

 

I can do this!Desirable to Employers (a CV Booster)

Those who have ever searched for a marketing job via Reed or other recruitment agencies will be well aware of the “CIM Qualification Desirable” line under most Marketing Job roles; the same thing is starting to happen in the realm of sales inside the UK with the ISMM. The practical leanings of the qualification make the candidates more desirable to employers for two reasons. Firstly there will be less initial training costs to the employer when bringing in a new member of staff into their company and secondly they are benefiting from the practical learning outcomes from the qualification on day 1 of their new employees performance. As a potential employee it also offers a level of confidence that other candidates may not have, to say, “Yes! I can do that” when it comes to the interview stage.

 

We understand that University has many intangible qualities outside of studying; we have a relatively even split of graduates to non-graduates across Professional Academy HQ, so we well know the benefits of extra-curricular actives. Whether it’s being an active sports society member or running a student newspaper there are many things you get to try your hand at when studying at university. The point of this article though is not to discourage you from university but to let you know there are other options out there if you are worried about finances, didn’t get the grades you expected or just don’t fancy university.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Professional Academy’s qualification advice team either via our contact us page, us the chat window below or call us on 01223 365 505 Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm.  

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Social Video Marketing Starter Guide - Infographic Guest Blog

Published: 14 August 2014

Social Video Starter Guide Infographic

This guest Infographic was created by Megan Ritter, a passionate writer from Los Angeles (hence the infographic being in $'s and not £'s) with an excellent knowledge of Digital Marketing and Communications. You can find more examples of Megan's work via her online writing collection or twitter account. Also keep an eye out for more work from Megan via Professional Academy's online platforms into the future. Megan would also like to give credit to the infographic designers TollFreeForwarding.com.

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The London Training & Growth Seminar

Published: 12 August 2014

London Training & Growth Seminar

Professional Academy are proud to present the London Training & Growth Seminar in conjunction with GrowthAccelerator and Grant Thornton taking place on the afternoon of October 14th between 12pm & 5pm.

The event will take place at the Grant Thornton Head Office in Central London and is a perfect opportunity for Small to Medium Enterprises to take advantage of free Marketing, Management & Leadership, Sales and Digital Marketing workshops as well as discovering more about the funding and support available to help your business grow.

Seminar Topics include:

 

Be Customer-CentricWhy is it important to be a customer-centric organisation? (Workshop)

In today’s highly competitive business environment how can you make sure your company differentiates its customer experience from your competitors? In this workshop we will touch on real life examples of customer focused organisations and learn how their methods and ideas could be applied to the customer experience in your business.

 

Develop your Business Development

Developing your Business Development. (Workshop)

Generate increased income from key clients and develop more profitable realtionships. This workshop delivers effective tips on building a successful working realtionship with key clients as well as tried and tested methods for handling objections and running an effective sales territory.

 

Measure ROI Successfully

How can my company successfully measure the ROI of Training? (Presentation)

ROI can occasionally be a troubling topic for Learning & Development advisors. In this workshop you will learn more about the different courses and qualifications available as well as effective tools for measureing the success and return on investment for your training budget and your organisation as a whole.

 

Think about Digital when creating Strategies

Why Digital Marketing is Key to your businesses Marketing Strategy. (Workshop)

How should Digital and Online platforms be included and developed as part of your companies Marketing Strategy? This workshop demonstrate some helpful tools that can be used as part of an effective Digital Marketing Strategy and explain the importance of a strong Digital presence in the current marketing enviroment. 

 

Lead your team to achieve greatness

What management & leadership techniques can help a company get the best out of its most valuable asset - the people? (Workshop)

What are the key differences between management & leadership? This workshop will reveal techniques used by leading managers and directors to inspire and motivate your team to achieve the results that will drive your company into the future. 

 

GrowthAccelerator Helping with High Growth

What can GrowthAccelerator do to help my business achieve High Growth? (Presentation)

How can GrowthAccelerator help my business achieve high growth? GrowthAccelerator is a unique service led by some of the country’s most successful growth specialists and backed by Government. You’ll find new connections, new routes to investment and the new ideas and strategy you’ll need to further grow your business and achieve its full potential. The service also offers clients unique access to match funding of up to £2,000 per senior person involved in the decision making of your business for training in support of your business growth plans. During the workshop you will learn how this funding opportunity has helped a real life business and gain valuable knowledge on how you too could benefit from the funding available through Leadership and Management training from the GrowthAccelerator service. 

If you would be interested in attending this event please fill out the below form. There are only 50 places available so reserve your place today. 

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