How to grow organizations with a strategic marketing approach? How could a certified marketing training and examination could help companies grow while growing marketing talent in their organizations? And who are the international trainers helping students to get an international marketing certification? We’ve talked with our lead Tutor Jack Roberts, the marketing trainer and mentor for a large number of students who successfully passed advanced international marketing trainer programs.
Jack has over 30 years experience in marketing roles including Marketing Manager for Halifax plc and has the Diploma of the Institute of Direct Marketing as well as the CIM’s Certificate in eMarketing Excellence. As well as lecturing, training and assignment mentoring with the Oxford College of Marketing, he lectures part-time at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. He believes that marketing is not just a set of communication tools and techniques – it is a way of doing business.
In this noisy digital and experience world why is it Strategic Marketing among the key still needed skills for the marketers?
Strategic Marketing creates the ability to think sensibly, widely and deeply within a logical framework. The reason why the world seems noisy is that there is too much reactive behaviour, whereas a clear strategy gives the marketer the ability to understand what’s really important and what they are trying to achieve. Then, when a possible opportunity arises they don’t have a knee-jerk immediate reaction but can see clearly how something fits so that they know whether it really is a valuable opportunity or just the latest new fad.
Strategic Marketing creates the ability to think sensibly, widely and deeply within a logical framework.
Oxford College of Marketing have embedded a very useful mock exam within its training support for Strategic Marketing Students that some students miss due to their busy schedule but it’s like an epiphany the vast majority that take it and successfully pass the exam after it? What are the key benefits of this useful learning process and why students should undertake it?
The exam is a nerve-racking event. Everyone is nervous before they sit it, no matter how well prepared they are or how much they know. If you add in the lack of knowledge of how to sit exams and answer questions, then the chances of passing start to become low. But doing the mock lets students see how to answer questions and they will have experienced an exam before having to do it ‘live’. So doing the mock gives both knowledge and confidence before sitting the exam, meaning they are more likely to pass it. It’s the act of doing the mock that gives the benefits though, rather than the result achieved in it.
What are still the key challenges we’re struggling with or manage to overcome while studying for a CIM accredited training?
Time, it’s always time. There are actually very few students who struggle academically (although many think they are), it always seems to be time that causes the real problems. However long you think you need to spend studying a session or working on an assignment, increase it. Sometimes we are asked how long students should spend studying but the answer is always the same – as long as you have. More is better, but even a little is better than none.
More is better, but even a little is better than none
The second issue with time is how long a period it takes. I would say that from a group of classroom learners who start the qualification on day 1, around 50-60% will complete it within 12 months, most students need longer. Life happens and there are events that will stop students from studying. This is natural and to be expected. Take as long as it needs rather than rushing it and the issues with understanding the subject will vanish as the student then takes as long as necessary to gain the understanding.
What benefits brings the new Leadership Program to experienced marketers? How is it different from the other CIM certified training programs? To what kind of needs, both individual and corporate or industry needs does it cater? What are the key learning points or key achievements your students got during this training?
It teaches students to think in the way that a Board of Directors would think. A Board wants clear, well thought-out proposals with relevant justification and no waffle or general background. So that’s exactly what the assignments ask students to provide – good clear analysis with sensible justifications, written in a very clear way – and with fewer words rather than more. Drawing out the pertinent points is a vital skill in doing this and it helps to ensure that we focus on what’s important in life, as well as work. We listen when people are clear and focused and it’s the essence of strong leadership. The level 7 qualifications help students develop this ability to identify what’s truly important and then focus on it.
In Romania, Philip Kotler’s classical book is the bible for marketers? What would you add to it if you had to choose just one title?
I think Kotler is fine for understanding day-to-day marketing but it’s not enough for strategic-level marketing or understanding the full suite of organisational impacts or analysing the internal environment. My favourite for that is Exploring Strategy by Johnson, Whittington and Scholes or there is a new book for the Marketing Leadership Programme which I like called Strategic Marketing: Creating Competitive Advantage by West, Ford and Ibrahim. These books have less on tactical delivery and more on strategy and internal analysis which are necessary for the subjects I look after.