How is it a marketing professional training different from other marketing courses and how does a CIM international ceritification help? Why should employers fund training with Oxford College of Marketing and Institutul de Marketing? And why does every employee need to be a marketeer? Georgiana Draghici began her marketing career from a communications and public relations background. Eager to improve her strategic skills and produce improved results, she undertook practical, skills-orientated training that allowed her to excel beyond her academic background to the next level of professional development. She shares her experience of studying the Strategic Marketing module – an Award from the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing – and how her dedication to training has helped to support the business goals in her company.
Why did you chose to study the CIM Award in Strategic Marketing?
I have always been interested in learning; constantly curious for new experiences or training that can help me to see things from a wider perspective. During my working experience, I learnt a lot of new things deeply rooted in the business field and within business practice, but as a Marketing Coordinator I also felt the need to improve my approach to marketing with more strategic thinking, and apply this effectively throughout my day to day work. After eight years, you need to innovate and start seeing the products, brands, and groups of customers you work for in a new way and with a fresh perspective in order to continue making a difference. And we need to make a difference in our highly competitive segment of business.
I started searching for types of certificates and training programs that suited my needs and I stopped when I came across the CIM Award in Strategic Marketing. The decision was simple: the Strategic Marketing module seemed to cover my needs not only theoretically, but also practically. As well as the very comprehensive reading suggestions that broaden your understanding of marketing concepts, I was able to use the company I work for as an example in the practical exam, putting myself in a real life situation. That meant that it helped me apply all the strategic concepts to the given scenario by basing my answer on problems we were indeed experiencing and dealing with within our company regularly.
Above all this, the certification is internationally-recognised, which makes it a valuable asset. The decision was simple and also my employer was happy to support me since the certification has very good references. So I embarked on this fascinating and demanding journey – only later I have realised how much dedication was needed and how rewarding it is to test your abilities.
What did you like most about the training?
This training is very well-rounded; it does not just offer milestones on your marketing knowledge, but also tests your professional skills, organises your mindset, and influences you to see your practice from a strategic viewpoint. This is what I enjoyed the most. The wide selection of study materials available cover all of your learning needs, no matter the type of business you are in. Everything is within easy reach thanks to the Oxcom Learning platform which also helps to monitor and organise your progress so that as student you can just focus on your learning.
Completing this module was very rewarding as the course enhanced my approach and understanding of everyday challenges at work.
How is it different from other marketing or communications programs that you've attended? How has it helped to cope with the challenges in your own organisation? How was the balance between theory and its application?
I am mostly a visual person and for me, the technology or learning methodology is very important in order to expand my knowledge. It really made a difference that the course uses modern tools like videos and podcasts together with written materials, so that it make it easier for you to learn even if you are a visual or auditory learner. The information is easily-accessible for every type of learner, and I think this make the course very reliable.
Completing this module was very rewarding as the course enhanced my approach and understanding of everyday challenges at work. It encouraged me to appreciate the connection between the people working behind a brand or product and the customer needs, and also the value of internal communications and how they allow all departments and team members to understand the reality of these customer needs. It was clear that this is how an organisation can become innovative and create successful marketing campaigns and strategies. As marketeers, we need to see the needs of customers and develop a relationship by responding to these needs. I am actually applying many of the ideas I used within my written paper within my job role, and having the theoretical map behind them gives me confidence that they should produce the right results.
What can you share regarding the written examination with those that plan to start the Strategic Marketing module?
For those that plan to start the Strategic Marketing module my recommendations go mainly towards time management. The written examination is a challenge that tests your organisation, the way that you structure information, and your ability to clearly communicate your ideas. You need to explain yourself clearly and point out the milestones of your strategy – the strategic ideas and objectives behind it – and also demonstrate the impact of your strategy on your chosen business from a financial point of view. In short, you need to see the big picture from above and be able to present it. It may seem scary being asked to reference theory, I was too, but after the exam I realised that if you understood the concepts and applied them logically, that is what really matters.
Digital is a main pillar of marketing.it will continue to be important because it delivers value both for customers and company.
What are the marketing challenges in your field? Product management, marketing communications, digital, other challenges? Could you give us more details?
In my area of business some might say that digital can be a big challenge, but my answer is: if you find the appropriate approach and the right message that fulfills the customer’s needs, digital can or will become the core and most important type of communication a company has with customers in terms of B2C communication. This is my reality now. Digital is a main pillar of marketing, well-integrated at the strategic level of various target groups in my approach, and it will continue to be important because it delivers value both for customers and company.
What are the key initiatives that you have managed in digital marketing over the last years? What are the key good practices that you recommend from your experience or from the companies that you admire worldwide?
Over the last years the key initiatives I have embraced link mostly to creatively integrating digital into our strategic goals and also widening our consideration of our audiences to not just look at primary customers but also secondary groups, as these individuals can be just as influential to the marketing of a product. The most recent example is the emotional awareness campaign we launched at the beginning of the year, aimed to target the end-user of apartments – a secondary target, but by no means less important.
I mostly admire brands that make an art out of their long-term relationships and continuously invest in building them.
Moving forward, the key good practices that I recommend are building loyalty and long-term relationships with customers. This is also an area where I have applied my learning from the training.
Offering value at every point of brand-customer interaction is what makes brands unique and earn the loyalty of customers. That is why every employee needs to be a marketeer when interacting with customers and contribute to a valuable customer experience.
The key good practices that I recommend are building loyalty and long-term relationships with customers.
I mostly admire brands that make an art out of their long-term relationships and continuously invest in building them. This is what supports brands and organisations to move far beyond the transactional level of their business; towards loyalty and creative customer experience.
For example, the campaign of Sephora – Beauty Insider and VIB Lounge - is a proof of strong alignment between the brand, its products, and the customers. The creativity comes from shifting from material rewards to experiential rewards. Offering personalised recommendations provides an exclusive experience by demonstrating an understanding of each customer’s purchase habits and preferred products. This makes the experience more enjoyable for customers and certainly wins their loyalty, making the programme both a lifestyle aid and loyalty solution.
Nowadays, audiences are not only after products or services; they stay close to brands that offer added value, personalised offers, and benefits that create reliable brand-customer relationships.
Another example is the Starbucks Rewards programme that creates a unique user experience based on different personalities and ways of life, making things easier for all customers by offering a range of options. The brand is an experience.
The theory says that successful customer loyalty programs have high revenue yields for brands. That’s because:
- It is 6 times more expensive to win a new customer than retain an existing one
- 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-100% increase in profit for your company.