In a more and more digital world, strategic marketing planning remains on of the top of the skills that employers need and value. Every year, a new cohort of ambitious Romanian marketing professionals study with Institutul de Marketing and Oxford College of Marketing within a robust and structured marketing training program that includes eight weeks of consolidating theory and key strategic planning, implementation and monitoring tools, an intensive weekend with a trainer from UK . Then the theory is put into practice as they apply everything within a strategic marketing plan done in the context of their organization. To get an international certification with Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the largest and most reputed global professional organization in the UK , they need to also pass a written exam at the British Council.
Karl Sinnott from Oxford College of Marketing is returning in Romania for the second time to work with the Romanian practitioners on this issue and help them improve their strategic planning skills while advancing also on a career path as international certified practitioners. Karl has an extensive experience both as a teacher and as a marketing practitioner and is Head of PostGraduate Programs at the University of Chester.
Which are the main knowledge and skills gaps and how does the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) marketing training provides to support both marketing practitioners and their organizations?
Employers tell me all the time that they need marketers who understand strategy. The greater complexity of the worlds we live in demands more focus on strategy and considered reactions, rather than a continuous stream of operational and potentially conflicting, short-term decisions. Employers also need people who understand 'the numbers' and in a market place where digital is opening up opportunities, understanding metrics and return on investment (ROI) is also something that employers really value.
What are the main does and dont's for those aiming to complete Professional Marketing Diploma certification program from your experience as a tutor?
I think there are some obvious points such as 'read the brief' and 'answer the question' and not what you think is the question. Your tutors and the support you are given should help with these potential challenges. I'd also say that justification is really important. The assessment briefs are written to test your knowledge and understanding of key concept so you must approach the questions in the brief with this in mind. If you can't find relevant concepts and theories in every part of your draft you need to review before you send on for comment.
In Romania, Philip Kotler's books are the bible for marketing professionals? Which would be the top three books you would add to this?
I like Nigel Piercy so any of his books on Marketing Strategy are good and we offer plenty of videos with him in our training program, as well as the free textbook within the CIM account. Malcom McDonald, Academic Advisor at Oxford College of Marketing is great for the details around planning. Johnson and Scholes is a very good more general text for strategy and covers many of the models and concepts in the CIM syllabus.
Which are the key changes impacting upon strategic marketing planning in this fast changing world that brings about the need for an "emergent strategy" and a continuous quest for sustainable competitive advantage sources?
As consumers are provided more choice through digital the importance of brand and brand loyalty is challenged.
From GDPR to digital disruption, the world is a lot more complex and understanding the context in which we are developing strategic solutions, as well as how to develop relevant solutions for our marketing challenges is absolutely vital. I'd say that the digital environment is a key challenge and opportunity. As consumers are provided more choice through digital the importance of brand and brand loyalty is challenged. Finally from a global perspective, there are obviously some key challenges as we sway from a more global, open market place to one which, albeit temporarily (hopefully!), becomes more local and more difficult to enter.