The Awards Night is always one of the highlights of my year. After months of hard graft, CIM Certificate and Diploma students can at last relax and revel in their achievements. Their energy was contagious, as stories and experiences were rekindled.
So these celebratory events are the perfect time for me to listen to our customers’ thoughts and suggestions as well as to learn how the qualification has helped their career progression.
The first two people I spoke to had received promotions, one earlier that very day. They talked about the unexpected benefits studying CIM qualifications had given them.
First, they had acquired a new language – the language of professional marketers. They could now articulate their thoughts concisely and with real impact. They also talked about their ability to ask really challenging questions of their managers.
Second – skills. As the course progressed, they learned new concepts. When they applied these concepts to the real world, they could make better sense of their own organisations’ marketing activities.
They learned how to think strategically in the Strategic Marketing module. The discipline of researching the macro-environmental challenges their organisations faced, meant they had to approach senior managers for data and insights. Later in the course, these candidates created robust strategic plans. In one instance, this was the first strategic marketing plan the company had ever written!
Third – confidence. I was told how our candidates overcame their fear of numbers in the Mastering Metrics module. One outcome of the module – a KPI summary dashboard had proven to be particularly valued by one company.
Although the Driving Innovation module is still a minority preference compared with the other elective (Digital Strategy) it drew particular praise. The candidates who studied Driving Innovation were genuinely excited about what they had learned. Learning what differentiates average and exceptional companies had opened their eyes to new opportunities.
With the benefit of new language, a new skillset and the resultant confidence, the CIM qualifications had helped these marketers to at last deal with cynical managers from other disciplines. Notably in professional and financial services where marketing was seen as at best a support function in the business, these CIM students could not just hold their own but command genuine respect.
Having the kudos of a diploma or certificate is the tangible outcome of CIM qualifications, but confidence is priceless.
I went home thrilled that we had played a role in helping these exceptional marketers not just excel in their CIM qualifications but to accelerate their careers.