Spotlight on… Nicola Irving, Chartered Marketer

Nicola Irving is head of strategic marketing and communications at Pearson Engineering and a board member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). She recently become a Chartered Marketer and here she shares her CIM journey with us.

At university I studied French, Spanish and German and enjoyed living in both Spain and France for a year as part of my learning. It really helped to broaden my horizons.

During that year I worked for a marketing agency and it was then that it became apparent that this was the career for me. My first marketing role was in an agency on the Team Valley Industrial Estate, Gateshead and it was there that I embarked on a Level 4 CIM qualification in Marketing Communications. This was the start of my CIM journey.

I moved to Pearson Engineering where I progressed from sales and marketing co-ordinator to head of marketing and regional sales manager. I was fortunate that Pearson Engineering backed my marketing progression and I completed a CIM Level 7 post graduate diploma in marketing with strategic marketing as my focus.

My role at Pearson Engineering became more international and I had the fantastic opportunity to travel across the globe. However, when an opportunity to become head of marketing at GT3 Architects in Newcastle became available, I took the opportunity to develop a more regional network and to stretch my capabilities with regards to strategic marketing in a completely different environment.

It was during this time that I was able to build my network, develop key contacts and I became more heavily involved with The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

I was introduced to our regional CIM chair, Charlie Nettle, via former board member, Kirsty Ramsay and immersed myself in the North East marketing scene. I was delighted when the opportunity arose for me to become a board member and I also work within the region’s business team helping to run numerous local events to connect fellow marketers.

After nearly two years at GT3 Architects I recently moved back to Pearson Engineering as head of strategic marketing and communications. I don’t regret anything about my decision to join GT3 Architects, nor to return to Pearson Engineering. I am grateful for the fantastic experiences I have had at both companies, and I remain a true champion of GT3 Architects’ work. I’m currently helping them to find my replacement! I’m really pleased to be back at Pearson Engineering to fulfil a strategic marketing and communications role. It feels like where I am meant to be.

I am thankful to the employers who have supported my marketing career to date. They have provided me with the platform to progress my marketing qualifications which, in turn, have allowed me to bring added value to my roles.

I became a Chartered Marketer in May 2020, it’s something that I set out to achieve when I first got involved with CIM and I was truly delighted to see my name on the Chartered Marketer directory. To my mind, Chartership for marketers helps to better position the profession as a business discipline that has true responsibility for shaping business strategy and contributing directly towards achieving business objectives. Marketers, their reach, and capabilities are often misunderstood and under-valued in many businesses. We see it time and again among the marketing community. I’m thrilled that we have Chartership to support that. CIM’s Impact of Marketing research revealed that almost half of marketers in the North East (46%) believe businesses struggle to understand the positive role that marketing can bring.

During the lockdown period the CIM North East board has been in regular contact and we are looking forward to the time when we can all safely meet.

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