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Become the go-to Digital Marketing expert

Great marketing is often misunderstood for getting great results from their search, email or social media marketing. Is this really marketing or communications which accounts for 10% of total marketing  , what about plan B? Digital marketing without a strategic approach is still commonplace. Many of the companies are using digital media effectively that's it . These companies miss out on the opportunities for better targeting or optimisation, or are suffering from the other challenges. For companies who take a strategic approach to digital it occurs in three stages. First, a specific digital marketing plan is created. Agreement, alignment and integration seeking a common coalition for the opportunities and challenges are prioritised through setting goals and specific strategies. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy and helps synchronize with its core activity. Finally, get the digital tactics in place including SEO, SEM, video, content marketing, remarketing, responsive web design and email marketing. Marketing strategy and digital should be seamlessly integrated to leverage the best results.  


The potential skill gap in marketing

“Those in the industry need to understand data, technology and how marketing is driving business outcomes” - Mastercard CMO, Raja Rajamannar

“In the recent years, marketing has become more and more tactical and we have lost the art of developing clear strategic direction first. We like to debate the knobs and dials of communication, but do not have a clear strategy for our brands first.” - Mark Ritson, Marketing Week.

Michael Porter provides an excellent starting point to understand what this disruption is all about:

“In this new digital landscape no one is a sure fire winner and even winning last year is no assurance of success(or even survival) this year. The digital marketplace is one where barriers to entry are minimized and market niches can open in rapid succession making change and uncertainty the only certainty.”


According to the CIM these are the modern Modern Marketer's skills:

  • Articulating the marketing approach and plan to deliver against business objectives.

  • Delivering a marketing orientation and ensuring customer focus.

  • Understanding the customer

  • Developing suitable marketing plan

  • Executing the marketing plan

  • Utilise data to measure and improve performance.


Digital Diploma modules and the awards

The CIM Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing is a new qualification for marketing managers and digital specialists. This qualification has 3 modules which each provide insight in digital challenges and strategic choices.

If you are:

  • a marketing manager who needs to understand more about the digital landscape,

  • a senior manager making strategic decisions about digital marketing,

  • or a digital specialist,


Mastering Digital Channels: designed to assist marketers in developing a strategic understanding of various digital marketing channels.

  • Developing a criteria to help select the right digital channels

  • Evaluating the use of digital channels of competitors

  • Key regulations and codes of practice

  • Recommend the suitable, owned and paid media channels

  • How to benefit from online communities

  • Creating content strategies

  • Utilising CRO techniques

  • Future channel changes and potential impact.


Driving digital experience: provide insight into digital customer experience and how this can be measured and adapted to changing markets.

  • How to generate insights into digital customers using data, tools and techniques.

  • Understanding the trends and technologies driving changes in customer behaviour and enhance customer experience.

  • Measure customer experience using KPIs

  • Key touch points and mapping customer journey

  • Evaluate customer user experience and recommend improvements.

  • Develop customer experience overall


Digital Strategy: insight into how organisations can develop and implement a digital marketing strategy.

  • What is digital disruption and its impact

  • Undertaking digital marketing audit to generate relevant insights

  • Developing suitable marketing plan

  • How to integrate the recommended tactics into wider marketing activities.

  • Optimisation of key channels and content

  • Selecting the correct KPIs, metrics and tools to measure the plan.


A digital strategy sans a marketing strategy is doomed to fail or at best be just communications. As Kenichi Ohmae wrote in the Borderless World, "Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction".

I happen to notice that sometimes all logic in digital is related to Marketing Communications and not great Marketing Strategy and of course Digital can be at the front, end or at the core of it.

So in essence communications is an important part of marketing, but, not marketing.

To know more about PwC's Academy CIM programme, visit our CIM course page, call us at +971-4 515 7200 or drop us a line at academyme ~3#$A~ ae &D06s& pwc &D06s& com

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Failan Saleem

Failan has pioneered the launch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications, designed and delivered training programmes in marketing planning, brand planning, digital, marketing metrics, market leadership planning  and managing corporate reputation and customer service in the  Gulf region.

Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Failan served as a Director of Marketing/Qualifications for the market leader for the CIPD qualifications in the Gulf with specific  responsibility for the design, development and delivery of all level 4, 6 and 7 qualifications offered by the CIM. He  championed the launch of the level 7 qualifications for the first time in the UAE and was passionately involved in the development of the CIM brand name in the UAE.

Failan is also a hybrid professional having worked as the General Manager for a large Telco and Director/General Manager for Samsung mobile . Concurrently prior to moving to UAE he was the founder of “The Knowledge Factory” a market leader for CIM education in Sri Lanka for 10 years. Failan has also worked as a Brand Manager and Sales Manager for Smith Kline Beecham Glaxo and as a  Professional representative for Pfizer.

Failan also served as a panel member for the ICTA/world bank grant projects, member of boutique hotels and villas evaluation committee for the Tourism Development Authority and the IIFA film awards Think Tank.