My experience of the IDM direct and digital marketing professional diploma

IDMbannerWhy did I do this now?

It felt like a good stage in my career and I was lucky to be able to undertake the course at this time. It was important to me to build on my experience with the qualification.
I also wanted to support the professionalisation of the industry. Sometimes it can feel that legal or finance colleagues would not get their advice ignored or involved right at the end of a project, because they’re seen as professionals with specialist qualifications. In some ways I think communications can suffer because there is a lack of perceived professionalism and to some degree the industry needs to redress this, I felt this was a step I could take in the right direction.

The course

I studied the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing direct and digital marketing professional diploma.  As I work full-time and have two young children, I opted for the intensive delivery format.

This involved three days of lecture style classroom tuition at Teddington in November and January with a 4000 word assignment in between each, and then two three hour exams in June. Yes, when they said intensive they meant it!

The course content was attractive to me as it involved a mix of digital and traditional channels, both of which I think still all have merit in a multi-channel integrated marketing strategy.

KatyandMikeIDMI read recently that its good to brag

Although I struggled a great deal with the course at times (and was close to quitting during the first assignment), I am surprised and delighted to have achieved a distinction and top student award.
Especially as this gives me lifetime membership to the IDM with access to valuable resources and events.

How did I find the course?

This was the first formal qualification I’d studied for since university, which I think was part of the challenge. My experience as a full-time student was very different of that as a working mother.

The intensive sessions involved a variety of hugely experienced lecturers, but it often felt like information overload. The sessions were not as interactive as I would have liked, and there was not as much opportunity for networking with other students due to the delivery option.

The assignments were tough, particularly the first one. I think I struggled more with some of the private sector marketing concepts and finances (such as ROI and media scheduling) due to my local government background. I spent a lot of time on this in the evenings and at weekends and luckily it all paid off!

I did a lot of preparation for the exams including timed past papers, which was incredibly helpful. By the time of the exams, I felt nervous but ready. The first exam allowed you to choose three questions to answer from five. The second day was case study based and effectively an assignment on this.


Graduation ceremony

This was a great opportunity for networking and catching up with and congratulating fellow students. It was also nice to see my tutor Mike. It was a well-organised event at the Royal Geographic Society, which was a fitting venue

You can take a look at the Periscope and find out how it went using the hashtag #idmgrad

IDM programme

What next?

Certainly not another qualification too soon!… But I am committed to continuous professional development and will log my points with the CIPR and IDM.

I will be able to apply a lot of what I’ve learnt and share this with my team. This blog is another great opportunity for me to test out new ideas and network.

You can follow the @theIDM on twitter.

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