Qualifications vs Experience – what to look for when appointing a marketing professional

In our capacity as business advisors we are often asked by the in-house marketing teams we support what they should they be looking for when expanding their marketing teams. Should they be concentrating on candidates (or advisors) who have achieved Chartered Marketer Status or does experience always outweigh the paper qualification?

We always answer both! Now we are not sitting on the fence because here at Consortium we have just 40% of the team with chartered status (albeit 100% of us with Business & Marketing qualifications) but because honestly you do need both.

Real-life experience, as in any discipline, is priceless compared to text book study. It’s a bit like learning to drive – you may have passed your driving test but until you have been driving on your own for some time and the action becomes almost intuitive you are not really a driver. On the other hand, you can’t just jump in a car and go, you still need to study the highway code and obey its rules.

With marketing we say absolutely that your team and or advisors should be built up of qualified professionals and experienced real-life marketers.

You can read more about why you should hire Chartered Marketers here but in a nutshell one of the key reasons is the strategic approach they bring to marketing activity. They make sure that your marketing spend works in a cohesive way, in line with your overall business plan. The qualification installs discipline to provide focus and ROI but the exams are only a part of being chartered. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) explains more in this information they prepared for us in this PDF (download CIM Chartered Marketer summary). After passing the exams, there are two years of Continued Personal Development (CPD) which is audited to make sure it’s in line with core marketing elements and current best practice. After which there is another assessment which must be passed before gaining the title of Chartered Marketer.

So even if you opt for the engagement of formal Chartered Marketers you will also be gaining years of experience by default. Obviously, there are a wealth of other training courses and marketing courses from basic to specialist technical marketing courses which will all help to add depth to every marketing team, helping to broaden the available skill sets. However, there is an added advantage to hiring chartered individuals. As well as the high level of knowledge, the strategic approach and the experience they bring, us Chartered Marketers cannot sit back on our laurels – to keep our status we have to annually prove that our learning is broadening our expertise, keeping us up to date with the latest marketing trends and innovations, helping to future proof your marketing.