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  1. Putting marketing qualifications at the centre of career success

Marketing has to be one of the fastest evolving working environments in the world. It is constantly changing and has to do so in response to its customers and the economic environment in which it operates.

As a result, it plays a vital role within organisations – a role which is becoming increasingly recognised by companies.

However, with such recognition comes competition, making marketing one of the most competitive environments in which to work today.

To be able to compete, marketers must ensure that they evolve too, learning the latest in terms of marketing and sales trends, to ensure that they can put what they learn into action within the workplace.

But it’s not just about learning in order to be able to compete, marketers need to learn for their own benefit so that they can create a career which they are proud of.

This is what makes marketing such an enjoyable area to work in – because of the motivation to keep learning in the profession, and progressing up the career ladder.

This is something that is particularly recognised by NIMA, the national marketing association of the Netherlands.

NIMA exists to help its marketers become better – not only in their field of expertise, but also in areas in which they may not necessarily specialise.

Why? Because it motivates their marketers to learn new things and achieve more.

In the Netherlands, NIMA has a very specific marketing strategy which places a high degree of importance on having accredited qualification titles for marketers, to ensure that it is able to demonstrate to companies the level of knowledge that its marketers possess.

Having accredited qualifications for marketers helps to place more value on it as a profession. In the Netherlands, those who teach marketing within an education environment much now also have a qualification in marketing to ensure that the profession isn’t undermined.

The undermining of the marketing profession by non-marketers attempting to teach it, is something which is rife across Europe, and other marketing membership associations need a strategy to deal with it. But having a strategy is only as good as the extent to which it is implemented.

At the core of the implementation has to be a desire by marketers to want to learn to make a career. It’s about education and how you act as a person – you must want to progress in your knowledge and expertise in order to, in turn, progress your career.

NIMA communicates the importance of its role at every stage of the lifecycle of the marketer’s education process to ensure that marketers in the Netherlands understand the value that they will reap from NIMA as an education and qualification provider.

To ensure that its marketers can then translate their knowledge into equivalent roles across Europe, NIMA teamed up with the EMC to ensure that its qualifications are internationally recognised too, through the establishment of a points system which leads towards marketing accreditation.

And whilst it does cost money to take the qualifications, this certainly isn’t the motivation for NIMA.

Instead, it’s about having an impact at a grass roots level, to ensure that there is more engagement around marketing education.

They must be doing something right because NIMA has witnessed more engagement with a rise in the number of exams being taken, as well as increased engagement with schools and education bodies.

Just as marketing itself is ever changing, so too is the marketing membership association, which has had to evolve.

It is no longer enough to just be a provider of a marketing education and qualification. NIMA has evolved with the growth of digital exams to help deliver more exams across marketing, sales, communications and research.

It has become regulated as if it were controlled by government because it recognises the value in doing so, in order to provide the right standard and quality of marketing accreditation.

Overall, however, it’s about creating energy around marketing qualification – both for the marketer, and the companies they work for.

Not only will this help marketers to understand how they can progress up the career ladder, the companies they work for will better understand the importance and level of their qualifications, ensuring better remuneration as a result.