Our Co-founder and Senior Director Diana Tucker is nearing the end of her 6-year tenure as Chair of the South East Regional Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). As she prepares to hand over to her successor, she shares her insights, passion for the profession, and why her journey with CIM doesn’t end here.
I first encountered CIM at university and I’ve been a member for many, many years. Not only because it’s a great way to meet other marketing professionals, but also to keep learning and growing, to stay at the top of my game. I’ve always been an active member of CIM, joining the CIM Surrey Committee, becoming Chair of the Surrey branch back in 2012 and then as Chair of the South East, CIM’s largest region, for the past 6 years.
Being a “Chartered Marketer” is a mark of professionalism and excellence. It helps us challenge the unfair notion that marketing is a support function! Marketing is a serious profession and I’m passionate about getting that message out there, and in maintaining the professional standards we’ve built. It’s important to me that we support all our members with opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning.
As a voluntary position, being a Board member is a big responsibility on top of my regular workload, but it’s one I’ve been more than happy to do. I’ve been able to meet marketers from all different backgrounds who bring their own perspectives, ideas and expertise - from sole traders and agency owners, to corporate marketers from multi-national companies. I’ve learned so much from their insights and experiences, and believe so passionately in our mission to elevate the status of the profession and support the marketers of the future.
We’re here for marketers at every stage of their career, helping them to stay informed in an industry prone to rapid change. We have over 20,000 members from 130 countries, so our contribution to the profession is significant. Our members receive support, training and representation. And we do our best to educate the business community in recognising and valuing the importance of professional marketing.
I feel particularly proud of our mentoring programme. As soon as you become a member you can apply to join the mentoring programme, no matter what stage of career you’re at. I feel a huge sense of responsibility to support others through mentoring, because everyone struggles at times, and my mentors helped me overcome my own career challenges. A mentor can help you see different paths, different avenues, different ways of looking at things. I think it’s a really important part of our work to commit to supporting each other in this way
The Chartered Marketer award is something that’s very close to my heart because it does so much for our professional status. It’s a mark of quality. Anyone who achieves Chartered Marketer status has to achieve our professional standards, which means employers and clients can have confidence in the abilities of that person. Plus, all Chartered Marketers have made a commitment to achieving a set level of ongoing professional development each year to maintain their status. So they don’t just know the basics, they know what’s at the forefront of current thinking and practice in the industry.
As an agency owner and Director, it gives me an assurance of quality. I know that if I recruit someone who is CIM qualified - they going to have the core skills and ethos towards their role and our clients’ work. It’s always been a great way to connect with other professionals who share the same foundation of knowledge.
CIM has also given me a peer network I can access at any time. I was elected to the status of Fellow in 2018, (we have over 550 Fellows in the South East), which means I know that I can pick up the phone to at least half a dozen of them at any time and say, I've got this issue, what would you do? Or can I just brainstorm something with you? And how would you approach this? It’s enabled me to develop a peer network that I wouldn't otherwise have access to. To share and discuss with other marketers in a non-competitive way? That’s invaluable.
Without doubt, building a team and seeing them be successful. I'm only as good as the Board members that I recruit and work with. I’ve got to meet some incredibly talented people who are totally outside of my B2B niche. The Board members are so diverse, a real melting pot, and it’s unlikely I would have met them were it not for CIM. It’s essential to have that range of experience, so we can offer the same level of support to all - from company marketers to freelancers alike.
I will continue supporting CIM and its members in any way I can. I’m always going to be passionate about helping the marketers of the future - and that’s not going to change any time soon. I’m looking forward to handing over to the new Chair of the South East and seeing where my next CIM ‘role’ takes me.