Mirror Magazine

Market values
In a fast-paced business world, a qualification like CIM carries enormous value in terms of knowledge acquiring and career opportunities. Smriti Daniel takes a closer look
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) examinations… everyone seems to be interested in them. Why should you be? For starters, the baseline in today’s commercialised over-populated world is marketing. Not only must you know how to market your business (if and when you have one), but you must be able to market yourself as well. It’s the only possible way you can stand out of the crowd.

“The CIM examinations are about much more than advertising,” says Neelika Tilakaratne, who has successfully sat both the CIM and the CIMA examinations. She feels that going through the courses will prove valuable for anyone, regardless of which profession they belong to. “How you promote your business affects your baseline,” she says with authority. You could have a small business running out of your living room or you could be operating out of a three-storey building – you’d still need to know how to sell your goodies.”

Mr. Michael Ranasinghe, director and senior lecturer at the Synergy School of Marketing agrees. He explains that after taking the CIM course numerous avenues open up to the student. Branding, marketing of services and products, advertising or general management – take your pick. A marketing graduate himself, he goes on to explain that “more than getting into any specific profession, CIM enables you to add value to your work, even if you are coming from a different discipline such as accountancy or engineering.”

What is CIM?
For those of you who are still hazy about where the difference between CIM and CIMA actually lies, Mr. Ranasinghe has the answer. “These are essentially two different disciplines – CIMA focuses on management accountancy and CIM focuses on marketing management.” He goes on to say, “There are areas of knowledge in both programmes which may tend to overlap, nevertheless they stand out from the rest, as they maintain the quality of learning.”

Personality requirements
So what kind of person do you need to be to thrive in this course? Mr. Ranasinghe (the voice of experience) believes that someone who is not afraid to challenge status quo or to think “out of the box with flair,” is well suited for the course. According to him, you also have to be persevering and capable of dogged determination. You must work with the understanding that “marketing is a profession that is current, one that is focused on now and tomorrow, not yesterday,” he adds.

Study CIM and…
By studying CIM, you gain a globally recognised qualification, and you also gain access to a wide range of high quality study resources and support to assist you in gaining this useful award. When applying to study you will need to become an Affiliate Member of CIM and your chosen study centre will organise your study arrangements.

Once enrolled, not only do you receive professional training, you are also given the chance to network (the most important thing in the business) with 50,000 like-minded individuals. The institute’s comprehensive web of local branches helps to introduce you to professionals from different business areas. Together you can examine and discuss common marketing problems and the strategies you can use to combat them. You could also join a market interest group relevant to your area of interest.

The institute offers you the advice of experts, as well as the most comprehensive archive of marketing intelligence available – 4000 journals and 10,000 company profiles and counting – so that you can become something of an expert yourself! CIM with its worldwide membership is also one of the primary organisers of marketing events at the local, regional and national level. Luckily for its members, they get to be in on all of it. What is particularly comforting is that the institute puts its resources at your disposal when it comes to finding yourself a job. Besides there is always the plus point of getting to bask in the glory of being a member of the world’s largest marketing organisation.

On offer
CIM offers four diplomas, through its numerous centres – starting with the Introductory Certificate in marketing and going up to the Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. In between are the Professional Certificate in Marketing and the Professional Diploma in Marketing. There are two examinations every year, once in June and once in December. The syllabus is set by CIM UK, but each centre uses its own teaching methods. Class sizes, for instance vary – in the UK the standard is 145 per class, but Synergy has set it to 125 per class.

To enrol you need to be 18 and above and you must have done your A/ levels or GCE O/levels. In addition you will have to have a year’s worth of experience in a marketing-related profession. In the event that you have some other related degree (such as CIMA), you are entitled to exemptions from specific modules or even the first stage or the second stage of the course.

Fees facts
Your examination fees vary according to the number of subjects you choose to study. The fee amounts to 38 sterling pounds (approx. 6874.89 rupees) per subject. In the final level there are 12 modules, inclusive of a case study, for the final level for which the examination fee is 65 sterling pounds (approx. 11,762 rupees). Once a candidate decides to take on the professional course he/she should register as a student member of CIM UK for which the annual subscription fee is 85 sterling pounds (approx. 15,379 rupees). On average the course fee tends to average around 20,000 rupees per level.

Look forward to…
The course modules cover marketing fundamentals, customer communication, marketing environment, marketing in practice, marketing planning, marketing research and information, marketing communication, marketing management in practice, strategic marketing decisions, analysis and evaluation, managing marketing performance as well as strategic marketing decisions.

With so much to cope with, the CIM examinations do appear a tad bit intimidating. However, the work you will have to put in won’t be of the “burning the midnight oil” variety; in fact as Mr. Ranasinghe says, “marketing requires the knowledge of contemporary issues in business and that does not come by burning the night lamp late,” instead “it demands a consistent, cohesive and constant search for what’s new.”


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