Gurgina Sandhu, Content and Social Media Coordinator at the IPM shares her journey on the IPM Foundation Certificate through an ongoing series of diary entries.
Wednesday 20th March 2019 - Promotional Marketing and its Role in IMC
This was my first session on the IPM Foundation Certificate. As someone new to the industry, and grasping the rails as the new Content and Social Media Coordinator for the IPM, I was excited to get a deeper understanding of brand activation.
The first session with Nic Sanders was full of invaluable information that highlighted the basics of promotional marketing and its role in integrated marketing communications. We talked through what brand marketing is, the various ‘push and pull’ tactics brands use to get their products or services identified, as well as a range of different aspects of promotional marketing, and techniques used today. We then applied this knowledge to analyse well-known brands, which I found really helpful in understanding the importance of these techniques in brand marketing, and how they contribute to the wider picture of presenting a positive brand reputation.
Nic was very engaging and welcoming with all the candidates. He was careful to talk us through the assignment, explaining what each section in the assignment brief was referring to, as well as giving us lots of tips and advice on how to score well.
This was my first assignment for the IPM Foundation Certificate. As an English Literature graduate, I am used to deeply analysing texts and meaning in my assignments, however the first assignment was fairly straightforward. We were asked to pick a FMCG company to pin-point it’s USP, and the promotional techniques used in the marketing mix. The company I chose to focus this on was Coca Cola, and it really was an enjoyable experience learning about their internal marketing mechanisms and how these contributed to making them as popular as they are today.
Wednesday 17th April 2019 - Understanding Audiences and Channel
The second session of the IPM Foundation Certificate was again led by Nic Sanders. It was an interesting session where we looked at the importance of audience segmentation in helping to pinpoint the target. We looked at characteristics and age groups of audiences to determine insights that can help shape marketing campaigns.
One of the great things about this session was the interactive element, which I found further developed my understanding of this module. Understanding the concept of segmentation was challenging, so Nic used a case study to demonstrate this. One of the examples he provided was of a major supermarket who wanted to run a promotion aiming to increase children’s activity and fitness levels. Nic gave us a list of different segments and asked us to discuss who this promotion would best target. Often, a tutor will teach you the mechanics of why understanding audiences is crucial to a campaign, but you will only truly understand it when you it’s applied to a real-life case study and discussed with fellow candidates.
For assignment 2, we had to demonstrate our understanding of this module by looking at a case study. I chose the Deliveroo Secret Garden Experience campaign that took place in Hoxton Square last summer. It was a fantastic opportunity to do some research into Deliveroo and their previous campaign news stories on our very own IPM Bitesize website, as well as on other news story sites such as Campaign, Grocer etc. This assignment tasked us to demonstrate what the message behind the brand activation was, and how the location helped target its audience. We also had to find a suitable alternative venue that Deliveroo could use for future potential campaigns. It was a very interesting project and I really enjoyed this assignment, especially when learning more about this campaign; however, we will have to wait and see what my marker says. Wish me Luck!
Wednesday 15th May 2019 – Legal Code Certification
This session was led by IPM Regulatory Affairs Manager, James Wilkinson-Green, and we looked at the CAP codes used to regulate the promotional marketing industry. What really fascinated me by this particular session, was how the ASA was a self-regulated body that marketing agencies anonymously invested in, and how well this body regulated the marketing industry. James oversaw a small multiple-choice workshop session where we looked at real ASA case studies, and were able to put what we learned into practise. This session really helped put into perspective the importance of CAP Codes to regulate a creative industry and how this is important to follow as any errors can seriously adversely affect a brand.
Assignment 3 consisted of a series of multiple-choice questions on the Legal Code, and it was something that I struggled with at first. You would think that because it’s a multiple-choice test the answers would be fairly easy, but the reality was the opposite. Although some of the answers I selected seemed roughly right, I ended up getting quite a few wrong, which made me realise how detailed expertise and guidance is required for the terms and conditions of a promotion. The test consisted of a range of questions that sometimes had one or more answer (which was where I ended up losing points) such as what was considered as unlawful lottery or what made a promotion compliant, which may seem easy but there is a lot to think about when it comes to promotions, terms and conditions to of course avoiding getting in trouble with the ASA.
If you are interested in the Foundation Certification, you can find out more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org