Here, our digital marketing executive — and volunteer events ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Marketing — Danni Butler shares what the professional body means to her, and why it’s so important to invest in the marketeers of the future.
I’ve been devoted to joining the CIM since my early days at the University of Huddersfield as I attended the first few weeks of my undergraduate degree, and a classroom full of fresh-faced marketers was first introduced to the professional body and all it had to offer.
Since then, I’ve been a huge advocate as it offers so many opportunities to get involved and develop your own marketing skills — both personally and professionally — no matter what your seniority level may be.
In November 2019, an opportunity to become an events ambassador for the CIM Yorkshire Regional board dropped into my inbox — something I just couldn’t pass up. Since then, I’ve been a proud volunteer — promoting careers in marketing while engaging with our growing community of marketers across Yorkshire — balancing the responsibility with my full-time job here at Scriba.
For me, the community of like-minded professionals is invaluable, and I’ve been able to work with some incredibly talented individuals along the way. Networking is such an important part of marketing and PR, so to share ideas and collaborate with colleagues from a range of sectors and industries helps to keep my knowledge fresh.
Since I started my volunteering journey — just before we descended into the first UK lockdown — most of the events and networking opportunities that would normally go ahead were postponed. We were then required to draft alternative content and launch other opportunities to connect, while still offering great value for members. It’s been an interesting 18 months to say the least, but some of the activities we’ve implemented can continue as we return to this new hybrid work-life — so that’s been great to be a part of. Everything we’ve trialled can be brought into my professional full-time marketing role too, so is just another avenue for me to explore impactful communications.
A large portion of my marketing background is in the world of Higher Education, so being able to maintain links with students and support them in their early career is so rewarding. I’ve been able to run ‘get into marketing’ sessions and webinars with universities across the region and write informative blogs on how to fast track your career.
In my experience, there can be a lot of misconceptions within the industry, and it’s great to part of a team that tackles these and breaks down barriers. It’s not all branding and ‘colouring in’, or even posting ‘fluffy’ content on Instagram — it’s a thriving industry of both creative and strategic professionals that use analytics, journey mapping, and all-things-data to maximise budget spend and customer relationship management.
Working so closely with the CIM has also helped drive me to engage more with continued professional development (CPD), too. The world is constantly evolving and adopting innovative digital solutions – so it’s up to marketers to be on top of these changes and how they can impact customer engagement. Using the regular webinars and online content for continuous development is what’s making a huge difference to my level of expertise and awareness of both industry challenges and solutions.
So in summary, if I was to give any advice, it would be to seek out a network of like-minded people that you can brainstorm ideas with — and if your industry has a professional body, investigate the regional or sector specific sub-groups. There is usually a whole host of opportunities for personal and professional development that will really pay dividends in the end.