The Marketing Strategist:

Finally, Global Certification for B2B Services Marketing

July 12, 2010

For many years, B2B marketing was seen as the poor relation to B2C. No B2B marketer needs to be convinced of the intricacies of developing meaningful and lasting relationships with customers, especially when buying decisions are so dispersed and achingly long. But the wider marketing world has not always understood this. One place where this gaping chasm between B2B and B2C is quite apparent is in the availability of a formal marketing certification. As our profession has matured, the need and desire for agreed standards and approaches have increased. But while there are many generic marketing certifications, almost all are focused on B2C. And when B2B is included, it’s usually from a product rather than a services perspective. The ITSMA Board Kicks Butt and Takes Names It was this lack of formal standards that stoked up discussion among ITSMA’s European Advisory Board members last year and led to the development of the joint ITSMA/Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Diploma in Marketing for Business Services and Solutions. As representatives of global IT services and solutions organizations, the board members felt that there was a need to professionalize B2B marketing. It was universally agreed that the standard to be attained was that of CIM’s Professional Diploma in Marketing, an internationally recognized qualification in best practice marketing (albeit consumer-focused). All that needed to be done was to make it relevant and identifiable to marketers of business services and solutions—no easy feat. As discussions progressed, ITSMA members Fujitsu, Steria, and Tata Consultancy Services signed up as foundation members of the program, committing some of their most senior marketing resources to work alongside ITSMA and CIM on the development of the global B2B services marketing program. 24×7, Global Access to Course Materials The result is the ITSMA/CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing for Business Services and Solutions, with templates, case studies, and articles specifically focused on the B2B services and solutions profession. To address the global nature of many of the organizations in this industry, the program can be delivered using a combination of online learning and face-to-face workshop days. When required, the face-to-face days can also be delivered via virtual classroom, enabling geographically dispersed members of the marketing team to attend the same course and achieve this recognized standard together. Philip Oliver, Executive Vice President Marketing, Fujitsu, said, “I firmly believe that the introduction of this course will benefit the IT industry as a whole and gives us a real opportunity to professionalize B2B marketing.” The ITSMA/CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing for Business Services and Solutions will begin in September 2010. For more information click on ITSMA/CIM Professional Diploma.

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