Are you thinking about studying for a professional marketing qualification? If so, it may well be worth checking to see whether your employer is willing to support your studies. This may be through time off to study or financial support or both.

If there is no clear policy, then you may need to put together a business case to support your request.

As a first stage you need to carry out some fact-finding.

Selling the benefits of the qualification – this will vary from qualification to qualification; the following apply to the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing studied at CIM Academy.

• CIM has been supporting the marketing profession for over 100 years and has a global reputation as a centre of excellence and its qualifications are recognised worldwide. This means you can trust CIM to apply high standards of quality and integrity at all times, as these values are vital for the success of the marketing profession.
• The qualifications are based on CIM’s Professional Marketing Competencies which show what is expected of marketers at each stage of their career, and this is underpinned by extensive research with employers as well as leading academics. This means you can be sure that the content is up to date and relevant to the job you do.
• The qualification will give the knowledge, skills and understanding to perform at a management level and carry out a professional marketing role in the workplace. This means you can professionalise your current role (if you are already working at this level) or equip yourself for a promotion or future move.
• The qualification is made up of modules, each of which is a qualification in its own right. By taking the two mandatory modules (Strategic Marketing and Mastering Metrics) plus one of the electives (Digital Strategy or Driving Innovation) you will achieve the full Diploma. This means that you can study a module when it is relevant to your work – you don’t have to study them in a set order. As the assessment is linked to your workplace you will give immediate payback to your employer in respect of the work you are doing on the assessment.

There are many benefits that could be included here – for example, there is an advantage in studying on the Blended route, as you only need 1 day away from work per module – the rest is done online. You need to carry out research and prioritise the benefits that are most relevant to you and your employer.

How will the qualification help the business?

Think about your qualities as if you were applying for your job – and link these to benefits for your employer. For example, think about the fact that you are keen to progress in your career, and what this means to them; there may be a business benefit in the fact that you would remain loyal to them as an employer.

However, the more important benefits to them might be the fact that you will be able to improve ROMI through more effective marketing plans and activities. Look at the content of the course and identify which parts of this will help you improve the most. Use these facts to develop a range of benefits that this course of action will offer your employer.

Of course, the ideal situation would be to quantify the benefits here, and set them against the actual cost of the course. This is quite difficult to do, but say for example that you have managed 4 campaigns costing £30,000 each this year and you assume you can improve on that cost by 10% through your improved skills, that would equate to a saving for the business of £12,000. The price of a blended diploma (including fees) would be £3,650, and so payback would be achieved within 12 months (even if you only managed a saving of 5%).

When can your employer start to see results?

We mentioned earlier that assessments are employer based and practitioner focused, so some benefit should be seen at a very early stage. It could be useful to draw up a timeline of the time it will take you to complete the qualification, and what topics will be covered when. At CIM Academy you will study intensively and should complete a Diploma in less than 12 months. The timeline will also show your employer when you will be focused on completing and submitting assessments, and so when you may need support from them.

In summary –

• Do your research
• Ask for the funding
• Support your request with benefits for the business

Good luck!