Best in class

The CMA's Chartered Marketer designation is creating a new generation of empowered and accountable marketers

Teamwork is about achieving greatness togetherMarketing has undergone a revolution in the last few years – it’s become less art than science;
more driven by data and big-picture strategy than individual executions.

That approach takes a different kind of thinking and a different kind of marketer. To be
competitive, companies have to ensure they have the right talent at the table, and continue to
invest in their marketing teams and top performers to keep them current.

That was the thinking behind the CMA’s Chartered Marketer (CM) designation. The CM program is
a two-year online program designed for the next generation of Canadian marketers. It offers a
diverse curriculum that helps participants become complete business thinkers. The CM
designation also represents peace of mind for employers – they know their top talent is going to
be able to comply with regulatory requirements and be held to the highest standard.

TD Bank Group (TD) is the Founding Lead Partner and has been working closely with the CMA to
develop the designation.

“Investing in our colleagues so that we can ensure continuous learning and development is a huge
priority for us at TD – and specifically in TD marketing,” says Nicky Mezo, VP Marketing, Personal
and Small Business Banking, TD Bank Group. “We’re on a five-year journey right now to embed
growth and development into our culture. Marketing is rapidly changing and we must ensure that
we’re growing and keeping up with all of the changes.”

TD has been involved with the CM program since its inception in 2017, and Mezo herself holds the
designation. In fact, she is one of 10 TD marketers to have earned the honour, with 12 more
currently enrolled in the program.

The ultimate goal, she says, is to ensure that TD marketing remains best in class – and the CM
designation shows that not only have grads gained a certain level of expertise, but that they also
have the flexibility to adapt to an evolving marketing landscape.

“Marketing has changed a lot over the years and is recognized as a real revenue driver for
companies and businesses,” says Mezo. “And so, having this designation is really important. So
many companies now see marketing as playing a stronger role driving revenue and customer
experience. We want to make sure we’re not standing still, and that we’re adapting so that we can
help empower our colleagues to develop personally and professionally.”

And it’s not just a benefit to TD, she notes. Supporting the CMA in this initiative means that
Canadian marketers, more broadly, have access to quality resources to enhance their career
development.

Collin Dunn, a Senior Manager at TD in Toronto, was part of the very first cohort to achieve the
CM designation, graduating last February. Having begun in marketing 15 years ago – before social
media was barely a thing, he jokes – Dunn says he wanted to ensure that his skills remained
relevant.

“Marketers are becoming more accountable,” he says. “We have the ability to track performance
and return on investment. I wanted to make sure I was equipping myself with knowledge across
all facets of marketing.”

The CM program kicks off with three Applied Core courses that 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.

Completing the course nights and weekends during the pandemic, Dunn says it was really
digestible and fit well into his schedule: “You get into a rhythm and then, before you know it, two
years later you come out with a CM.” Over the course of the program, Dunn says he was exposed
to areas of marketing he had never considered before, sharing with peers across the country and
identifying common challenges.

The program wraps with the Summit Course, which includes an immersive case study, as well as
live presentations and experiential workshops focused on communication and marketing
leadership skill building.

In the second year, Dunn says he really started to hone-in and identify the core elements of brand
communications: “What is it that we’re trying to communicate as a brand? Who are we trying to
be? I work within the internal agency and a big component of our job is communications. I really
wanted to dig deeper into what we’re trying to say as a brand and translate that into my work
today.”

Being able to see the bigger picture is important, he says. “What are the downstream effects that
my decisions have on other aspects of the organization? This program allowed me to take a
moment to step back and realize that every decision, every initiative that we’re thinking about impacts
the customer, too. I think it’s just made me a more fulsome marketer.”

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