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
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.
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
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”