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CPD is the only way to remain current and effective




To become a barrister, accountant, doctor or architect requires years of study. To progress in these fields, a sustained programme of continuing professional development (CPD) is mandatory. We work in a more rapidly evolving industry than those professions, yet we seem to have a cavalier attitude to ensuring that our collective knowledge evolves at the same pace.

The speed of change in the media and technology industries is such that we cannot rely on past learning to help us develop and implement effective solutions today. Therefore, it should be mandatory that marketing practitioners (client-side and agency-side) engage in CPD to remain current and effective.

We strive to be a professional industry that is taken seriously at the boardroom table, yet practitioners often lack the skills required to collate and present the evidence that must underpin the decisions we make every day. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate truth from perceptions, with new trends detracting from the empirical evidence of what is most efficient and effective.

The following chart illustrates the extent of the problem. It provides evidence of the performance of media channels in the real world, based on hard evidence from Ebiquity’s effectiveness data set1, and contrasts this with the opinion of marketers2. It is important to note that this ranking is based on a narrow return-on-investment metric and a low ranking does not equal ineffectiveness; each of these media do have a role to play, but at different levels of return.

This is a crystal-clear example of how dangerous it is to practice in this industry without the requisite up-to-date knowledge. It is also one of the factors behind Facebook’s continuing exponential revenue growth (+37% in 2018)3 in a global advertising market that grew by just 4.5%4 last year. People are clearly making some decisions based on hype and mis-informed preconceptions.

Further evidence of the problem can be found in a survey that Core Research carried out among marketing professionals in 20182, which identified that only a fifth of respondents were highly familiar with evidence of marketing effectiveness, which isn’t surprising, because only 13% said that they have a strong commitment to CPD.

We established Core Learning in 2014 to address CPD in our own business and provide a clear training path for our employees. Almost immediately, we recognised the demand outside our organisation and we now offer a full suite of modules to keep media, marketing and advertising professionals up-to-date and satisfy their continuing professional development needs. All courses are given by tutors who plan and manage marketing communications campaigns every day.

CPD is not a ‘nice-to-do’ pursuit. It is mission-critical to ensure that your teams are building business cases and making marketing investment decisions based on current knowledge and scientific proof. Ultimately, this will mean that you spend your marketing budget more effectively and drive more success to your business.



  1. Ebiquity Re-Evaluating Media (2018)
  2. Core survey of 148 marketing professionals (2018)
  3. Facebook results (2018)
  4. Zenith advertising expenditure forecasts (2018)
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