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Top 10 Marketing Communications Specialist Certifications

This article explores the best certifications for marketing communications professionals, providing insight into which credentials are most beneficial for advancing one's career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are an important part of the job market for marketing communications specialists. They provide employers with a tangible indication that the candidate has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform in the role. Certifications demonstrate that the candidate has taken the initiative to learn and develop their skills, which can be highly attractive to potential employers. Additionally, certifications often come with additional resources and networking opportunities that can help marketing communications specialists stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Ultimately, having certifications can give candidates an edge in a competitive job market.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Marketing Communications Specialists and explain how they can help advance a marketing communications specialist's career.

What are Marketing Communications Specialist Certifications?

Marketing Communications Specialist Certification is a comprehensive educational program designed to help individuals gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to become successful marketing communications professionals. The program covers all aspects of marketing communication including advertising, public relations, social media, digital marketing, customer engagement, and more. It provides participants with an understanding of how to effectively create and execute successful campaigns that are tailored to the needs of their target audience.

The certification program helps marketers hone their craft by providing them with a comprehensive education in the field and giving them access to specialized tools and resources. Participants gain an understanding of the latest trends in the industry, as well as best practices for developing effective strategies. Through hands-on training and real-world case studies, they learn how to develop campaigns that are both cost-effective and engaging. Additionally, they receive guidance on optimizing their campaigns for maximum reach and results.

By earning a Marketing Communications Specialist Certification, individuals can demonstrate their expertise in the field and prove that they have what it takes to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. This certification can help them stand out from other job candidates by demonstrating that they possess the necessary skills and knowledge needed for success in this field. Furthermore, it can open up new career opportunities and provide them with access to higher salaries or promotions within their current organization.

Pro Tip: When considering a marketing communications specialist certification, make sure to research the requirements of the program and ensure that it is accredited by an industry-recognized organization. This will help ensure that your certification is recognized and respected in the field. Additionally, look into any continuing education requirements to maintain your certification and stay up to date with current trends in the industry.

Related: What does a Marketing Communications Specialist do?

Top 10 Marketing Communications Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Marketing Communications Specialists today.

1. Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP)

Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) is a certification program offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). It is designed to provide professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful digital marketers. The program covers topics such as SEO, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, analytics, and more.

The CDMP requires a minimum of 80 hours of study and assessment. This can be completed online or in-person depending on the provider. The course material consists of eight modules which cover the core areas of digital marketing including strategy, planning, execution and measurement.

To get certified you must pass an exam after completing all eight modules. The exam is administered online and consists of multiple-choice questions based on the course material. The exam fee is €395 for non-members and €295 for DMI members.

Once you have passed the exam you will receive your CDMP certificate which will be valid for two years from the date it was issued. After two years you must renew your certification by taking an additional assessment to ensure that your knowledge remains up-to-date with current industry trends and practices.

2. Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS)

A Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS) is a professional certification awarded by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). The certification is designed to help professionals develop strategic social media marketing skills and gain an understanding of how to effectively use social media platforms for business objectives.

The CSMS certification requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of experience in digital marketing, as well as knowledge of the principles and best practices of social media marketing. To obtain the certification, applicants must successfully complete a series of online courses, which are typically completed over a period of four months.

The cost for the CSMS certification program varies depending on the institution offering it. Generally, it costs between $1,500 and $2,500 USD. In addition to the course fees, there may be additional costs associated with taking exams or purchasing study materials.

3. Certified Content Marketing Specialist (CCMS)

A Certified Content Marketing Specialist (CCMS) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of content marketing. Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action.

In order to become a Certified Content Marketing Specialist, an individual must pass an exam administered by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as content strategy, content creation, content distribution, analytics and measurement, and more. Candidates have two hours to complete the exam.

The cost for taking the CCMS exam is $299 USD. Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates receive their certification from CMI.

The CCMS certification does not expire; however, CMI recommends that certified professionals stay up to date on industry trends by earning continuing education credits every two years.

4. Certified Email Marketing Professional (CEMP)

Certified Email Marketing Professional (CEMP) is a certification program offered by the Email Experience Council (EEC), an organization that provides resources and education to email marketers. The CEMP certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in email marketing, and demonstrate their knowledge of best practices, strategies, and techniques.

The CEMP certification requires applicants to pass an online exam that covers topics such as email list management, deliverability, segmentation, content optimization, analytics, and more. The exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

To be eligible for the CEMP certification, applicants must have at least two years of experience in email marketing or related fields. They must also submit three references from industry professionals who can attest to their knowledge and experience in the field.

The cost of the CEMP certification is $395 USD. This fee includes access to study materials as well as the exam itself. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive a digital certificate and badge that they can use on their resume or website.

5. Certified Advertising Professional (CAP)

Certified Advertising Professional (CAP) is a professional certification program offered by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA). The CAP program is designed to give advertising professionals the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their field. It provides an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their expertise in the areas of media planning, creative strategy, research and analytics, digital marketing, and account management.

The CAP program consists of four courses: Introduction to Advertising, Media Planning & Buying, Creative Strategy & Execution, and Account Management. Each course is approximately 8-10 weeks in length and must be completed within one year. Upon successful completion of all four courses, participants are awarded a Certificate in Advertising Professionalism.

To get the CAP certification, you must first complete the four required courses. Courses can be taken online or through AAAA's accredited training centers across the United States. You will also need to pass a comprehensive exam at the end of each course. Once all four courses have been successfully completed and all exams passed with a score of 70% or higher, you will receive your certificate from AAAA.

The cost for the CAP program varies depending on which option you choose for taking the courses - online or through an accredited training center. The total cost for taking all four courses online is $2195 USD; however if you choose to take them through an accredited training center it may cost up to $3295 USD depending on location.

6. Certified Public Relations Specialist (CPRS)

Certified Public Relations Specialist (CPRS) is a professional certification program offered by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). It is designed to recognize public relations professionals who demonstrate excellence in their field. The CPRS program is open to individuals with at least three years of public relations experience and a bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field.

The CPRS certification process involves passing an exam, completing a portfolio review, and attending an interview. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as media relations, strategic planning, research and evaluation, and communication ethics. The portfolio review assesses the candidate’s knowledge of public relations principles and practices. Finally, the interview evaluates the candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations.

The entire process takes approximately six months from start to finish. Candidates must pass all three components of the certification process within one year of starting the program in order to be certified.

The cost for the CPRS certification program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $1,500-$2,000 CAD. This fee covers all aspects of the certification process including the exam registration fee, portfolio review fee, and any other associated costs.

7. Certified Digital Advertising Specialist (CDAS)

Certified Digital Advertising Specialist (CDAS) is a professional certification program designed to help marketing professionals gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage digital advertising campaigns. The program covers topics such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, display advertising, email marketing, and more. It is offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), an accredited provider of digital marketing training and certifications.

The CDAS program consists of two courses: Introduction to Digital Advertising and Advanced Digital Advertising. The Introduction to Digital Advertising course provides an overview of the fundamentals of digital advertising, including how to create effective campaigns and measure their success. The Advanced Digital Advertising course focuses on advanced techniques for optimizing campaigns for better performance.

The entire CDAS program can be completed in as little as 8 weeks if taken full-time or 16 weeks if taken part-time. To get certified, you must pass both courses with a score of at least 70%.

The cost for the CDAS program varies depending on the format you choose – online or in-person – but typically ranges from $1,500 - $2,000 USD.

8. Certified Online Advertising Expert (COAE)

Certified Online Advertising Expert (COAE) is an online certification program offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). It is designed to help professionals gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage online advertising campaigns. The COAE program covers topics such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, display advertising, social media marketing, and more.

The COAE certification consists of four modules: Introduction to Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Advertising, and Social Media Advertising. Each module includes a series of lectures and exercises that must be completed in order to pass the course. The entire course takes approximately 12 hours to complete.

In order to get certified as a COAE, you must first register for the course on the DMI website. Once registered, you will be given access to the course materials and can begin working through them at your own pace. Upon completion of all four modules, you will need to submit your final project for review by DMI staff. If approved, you will receive your official COAE certificate within 7-10 business days.

The cost of the COAE certification program is $499 USD. This fee covers all course materials and access to the DMI Learning Portal where you can track your progress throughout the program.

9. Certified Mobile Marketing Professional (CMMP)

Certified Mobile Marketing Professional (CMMP) is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in mobile marketing. The program was developed by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), an international non-profit organization that promotes and advances the use of mobile marketing.

The CMMP certification is designed to provide professionals with an understanding of the fundamentals of mobile marketing, including best practices, strategies, and tactics. It covers topics such as consumer behavior, mobile technology, campaign planning, data analysis, and more.

The CMMP certification requires passing an online exam that consists of multiple choice questions. The exam is offered through the MMA website and takes approximately two hours to complete. The cost for the exam is $250 USD for members of the MMA and $350 USD for non-members.

In order to become certified as a CMMP professional, you must first pass the online exam with a score of 70% or higher. After passing the exam, you will be eligible to receive your official CMMP certificate from the MMA.

10. Certified Search Engine Marketing Professional (CSEMP)

Certified Search Engine Marketing Professional (CSEMP) is a professional certification program designed to help professionals demonstrate their expertise in search engine marketing. The CSEMP certification is offered by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO).

The CSEMP certification is a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of search engine marketing, from keyword research and optimization to paid advertising and analytics. It includes modules on SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, mobile optimization and more. The program consists of four levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. Each level requires passing an exam with a minimum score of 80%.

The Basic level exam takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete, while the Intermediate and Advanced exams take 4-5 hours each. The Expert level exam takes 8-10 hours to complete. To become certified at any level, you must pass all four exams within one year.

The cost of the CSEMP certification varies depending on which level you are attempting to achieve. The Basic level costs $299 USD; the Intermediate level costs $499 USD; the Advanced level costs $799 USD; and the Expert level costs $999 USD.

Do You Really Need a Marketing Communications Specialist Certificate?

The short answer is no. A marketing communications specialist certificate is not a requirement to work in the field of marketing communications. However, if you are looking to advance your career in this field and stand out from other job applicants, then a certificate might be worth considering.

A certificate can provide you with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the field of marketing communications. It will also demonstrate your commitment to the profession, which may be beneficial when applying for jobs or promotions. The training provided by a certificate program can help you develop a deeper understanding of key concepts such as marketing strategy, consumer behaviour, analytics, copywriting and digital media. Learning these skills will give you an advantage over other candidates who lack this kind of specialized knowledge.

Furthermore, having a certificate on your resume can give employers confidence that you have the necessary skills and experience to do the job well. It also shows that you are dedicated to staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. This could potentially make it easier for employers to trust that you understand their needs and objectives and can deliver results accordingly.

In summary, while a marketing communications specialist certificate is not essential for working in this field, it can certainly be advantageous in terms of furthering your career prospects. It provides valuable training that could help set you apart from other job applicants and gives employers assurance regarding your capabilities as a professional in this field.

Related: Marketing Communications Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Marketing Communications Specialist Certifications

1. What is a Marketing Communications Specialist Certification?

Answer: A Marketing Communications Specialist Certification is an industry-recognized credential that certifies the knowledge and experience of professionals in the field of marketing communications. It offers competency-based education and training to help individuals gain proficiency in key areas such as digital marketing, branding, public relations, advertising, and media planning.

2. How do I become a Certified Marketing Communications Specialist?

Answer: To become a Certified Marketing Communications Specialist, you must complete an approved certification program. These programs usually involve online or classroom instruction on topics such as digital marketing strategy, content creation, brand management, and analytics. Upon completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate or badge indicating your achievement.

3. What are the benefits of becoming a Certified Marketing Communications Specialist?

Answer: Becoming certified as a Marketing Communications Specialist can open up new career opportunities and provide credibility to employers looking for experienced professionals in the field. Additionally, it can also lead to higher salaries and recognition among peers as someone who has demonstrated expertise in their field.

4. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

Answer: Yes, depending on the certification program you complete there may be continuing education requirements in order to maintain your certification status. The specifics vary by provider but typically include courses or seminars related to current trends and best practices within the industry.

5. What are some common job titles for certified Marketing Communication Specialists?

Answer: Common job titles for certified Marketing Communication Specialists include Digital Marketer, Brand Manager, Public Relations Manager, Advertising Executive, Social Media Strategist, Content Creator/Editor and Media Planner/Buyer.