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January, 2024

Now’s the time to take control of your career in marketing – the significance of developing competencies

John Clay, AMI Director

The summer holidays and the start of the year is always a time for reflection and for me has been a time to evaluate what training and development needs to be pursued. Whether this is for career development, personal growth or just keeping up to date with trends; there’s a wealth of options out there, but one trusted source for you has to be the AMI and its partners.

In the fast-paced realm of marketing, success is not solely determined by academic qualifications or professional experience. Instead, the key to developing your career lies in the continuous development of competencies. These skills not only enhance personal growth but also position marketers as valuable assets in an industry marked by constant evolution.

One of the primary advantages of developing competencies in marketing is the ability to stay ahead of industry trends. The marketing landscape is dynamic, with consumer behaviours, technologies, and strategies constantly evolving. A marketer who invests time and effort into acquiring new skills and staying updated on industry advancements is better equipped to navigate these changes successfully. This adaptability ensures relevance and positions the individual as an innovative force in the ever-changing world of marketing.

I’ve been fortunate to have an extensive career in marketing including leading communications, business development, sales, and graphic design functions, for global brands. Over my career I’ve been active in developing the careers of various team members and worked through competencies and levels of proficiency for specific functional roles (and grades within functions). So, I have a good understanding with regards to developing a competency framework for the industry; and that’s what we have done at the Australian Marketing Institute.

We wanted to make sure that a competency framework for Australia reflected the needs of industry and AMI members could feel confident that competencies would be recognised around the globe. Our competency framework was developed through our partnership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the European Marketing Association, Marketing Association of Ireland and included in-depth interviews with over 50 CMOs, marketing academics and HR professionals.

The AMI competency framework consists of 15 marketing competencies (5 core and 10 stream focussed), 5 business competencies and 5 personal competencies. Each competency has 5 levels of proficiency with indicative behaviours at each level. So, put another way a 25 x 5 matrix of which to map yourself or your team members against for specific roles, and to help you identify areas for improvement to enhance your career. There will no doubt be differences of opinion and stakeholders highlighting where x, y or z is covered, but that can be picked up in later iterations, but from the comprehensive work we have done to date, I feel we have got most aspects addressed, and in doing so tried to reach a balance between complexity and simplicity, so that a framework could be used. Some larger organisations may already have existing frameworks, which is great; but I feel confident that they could easily be mapped against the AMI’s and enable employees to obtain industry recognition especially for when they move on to a new job.

We have integrated this with a career guide, to be used by an individual or for a marketing leader (manager/director) for your team, mapped over 100 training programmes covering most competencies and provide a mentoring option for our members. What a great way to develop your professional career in marketing, which is at the heart of the AMI. The charter of the Australian Marketing Institute looks to develop the profession of marketing in Australia and to enhance the skills and competencies of its members to enable our members to build great careers in marketing.

The development of competencies enhances a marketer’s versatility. As job roles in marketing continue to evolve, professionals are often required to wear multiple hats. A well-rounded skill set, encompassing various facets of marketing, makes an individual more adaptable to diverse roles and responsibilities. This adaptability is especially crucial in smaller teams or startups where employees may need to contribute across different areas of marketing.

In conclusion, as I reflect on my 30 plus years in marketing, the significance of developing competencies, linked to training and development opportunities and mentoring; cannot be overstated. From staying ahead of industry trends and fostering creativity to enhancing versatility and communication skills, competencies are the building blocks of a successful and fulfilling marketing career. Embracing a mindset of continuous learning not only propels individual growth but also elevates the entire marketing profession in an era of perpetual change.