Is 2018 the Year you Become a CPSM?

Certified Professional Services Marketer Week is just around the corner. Throughout SMPS we celebrate CPSM Week January 28 – February 2, 2018. Have you been thinking about taking the next step in your career by becoming a CPSM? It can feel overwhelming to start studying for the exam.

The eligibility requirements to sit for the exam are:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree plus four years of experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services, or
  • Possess an associate’s degree plus six years work experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services, or
  • Without a degree, have eight years of experience in marketing or business development for firms providing professional services.

Kevin Doyle (Certification and IT Manager, SMPS Headquarters) recommends starting with the Domains of Practice Self-Assessment to consider your current gaps in knowledge of the domains and areas to focus on. The main books to review are the six books that comprise the MARKENDIUM: The Essentials (Volume 1-6).  

There are also MARKENDIUM Labs available for purchase, offered as a companion to the reading. Other reading supplements are A/E/C Marketing Fundamentals: Your Keys to Success, as well as the CPSM Study Guide. SMPS also offers a practice exam, which not only gives you a chance to test your knowledge, but also to take the exam in the same format it is administered.

It is also helpful to know what method of studying works best for you. Kari Pandilidis, CPSM (Senior Marketing Manager, J.A. Watts, Inc.) recently took the exam and found that taking notes along with the reading made it easier to retain the material and also provided a good study guide.

Jessica Hemauer, CPSM (Business Development & Marketing, Rider Levett Bucknall) recommends the Roadmap to Certification: CPSM Immersion Course. Her suggestion is to study the materials, attend the immersion course and take the exam soon after the immersion course so the information is fresh in your mind. Jessica also spent time with the mock exams and going back to the pages referenced for questions that were missed.

Don’t Go it Alone

Kevin’s best advice to CPSM candidates is:

  1.        Read the books.
  2.        Join a study group.
  3.        Take your time.

The first tip is obvious, but crucial. Even if you are exposed to a particular domain in your day-to-day work, it is important to read the MARKENDIUM. 

Spending time with others that are also studying for the exam is a way to talk through what you’ve learned and also hold each other accountable for studying.

Kevin advocates not rushing to take the exam. He likes to see people take their time studying and feel confident so they only have to take it once.

Interested in a Study Group?

The SMPS Chicago Professional Development Committee would love to learn more about your interest in a CPSM Study Group. Please click the following link to complete a short survey.

This time next year, I hope you are joining with other CPSMs to celebrate CPSM Week!

Nicole McGrath-Patti, CPSM is in the marketing department at Larson Engineering, Inc. Larson is a multi-disciplined engineering firm that began in 1979 and has established a reputation for integrity and quality. Nicole is on the SMPS Chicago Professional Development Committee and a contributor to CPSM exam question writing.  



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