Chartering a new course

The CMA's Chartered Marketer designation demonstrates the difference real-world training can make when it comes to the next generation of Canadian marketing leaders.
The online courses are designed by Canada’s leading industry professionals with experience in both marketing and education

The online courses are designed by Canada’s leading industry professionals with experience in both marketing and education

Like everything, marketing has become the domain of specialists – experts who understand the minute arcana of disciplines that would have seemed unfathomable a generation ago. Gone are the days when a BA was enough to open the door and set you off on the right foot. The industry is just moving too fast, and the skills required are more advanced and specialized.

In response to this new normal, in 2017 the Canadian Marketing Association identified an opportunity to create a new program and designation for marketing professionals.

The Chartered Marketer program is a two-year online course designed for the next generation. It’s overseen by professionals with experience in both post-secondary education as well as running their own practices, so offers a curriculum that develops contemporary well-rounded marketers and business thinkers. It also gives participants a chance to collaborate with marketers across the country, creating a diverse network of like-minded professionals.

As a crucial component to Canadian business, marketing has become a strategic, data-driven profession. The Chartered Marketer designation offers employers assurance that they’ll be able to comply with regulatory requirements and hold marketing professionals to the highest standard. The CMA was able to build the program through the support of founding sponsors TD Bank, LoyaltyOne, CIBC, Environics Analytics, Delvinia, Cundari and patron sponsor Canada Post.

The approach and designation definitely appealed to a company like IG Wealth Management. It got their attention for two reasons: IG stresses personal development and real-world experience; and in a market that’s increasingly turning to data-driven solutions, you just need more know-how.

Frankly, this generation of marketers have to hit the ground running and operate at a higher level, faster.

“I think the role of marketing is constantly evolving and changing,” notes Vancouver-based Peter Bent, assistant VP of Field Marketing for IG. “So, being involved in courses like this lay a broader foundation. It makes it easier for someone to take on new roles and new challenges. We’ve significantly changed the way we work and, particularly during COVID, having a broader base of knowledge just allows us to be able to pivot more quickly.”

IG Wealth Management tagged Jordan Swerid to be their first CM candidate. Swerid is now Director of Field Marketing for Western Canada.

IG Wealth Management tagged Jordan Swerid to be its first CM candidate. Swerid is now director of field marketing for Western Canada.

When they were looking for their first candidate for the Chartered Marketer program, Bent and IG landed on Jordan Swerid, IG’s Director of Field Marketing for Western Canada based in Winnipeg.

Swerid arrived at IG in 2013, looking to launch his career. He considered the program a way to stand out and differentiate himself. But there was more to it than just that.

“In the financial services industry,” he says, “for our advisers, the Certified Financial Planner designation is key to helping establish credibility with clients. That’s their industry standard, and honestly, that’s really how I saw the CM designation. I wanted that same level of credibility as a Chartered Marketer. This helps me build trust with our advisers, because they know I’m doing the work it takes to stay on top of marketing trends and all the other education I need.”

Swerid, who is just wrapping up his two-year course, found the skills he learned were immediately applicable. One of the biggest benefits to the program, he found, was being able to network with the community across the country, knowing he can carry his weight with industry experts.

The Chartered Marketer program kicks off with a Prep Course offering a comprehensive overview. From there, Applied Core courses focus on topics like consumer insights, data, trends, brand strategy, campaign development and financial management. These are followed by specialized electives – comprehensive, deep-dives into a specific topic led by experts.

The program wraps with the Summit Course, which includes an immersive case study, as well as live presentations and experiential workshops that focus on communication and building marketing leadership skills. Graduates apply learnings gained from real-world business cases to their current role, as the program fills knowledge gaps and focuses on applied learning from day one.

“I think it makes you more adaptable,” observes Bent. “I also think the type of person who goes into a program like this is someone who clearly shows a willingness to learn and adapt. And this person is going be more successful. It’s about constantly adding skills to the tool chest. But it also gives you confidence, especially if you’re taking on the unknown. There’s that old adage about book smart versus real life. This is about moving from book smarts to real-life applications.”

For more information about the CMA’s Chartered Marketer Program, visit