They are constantly under pressure from other parts of the business demanding to know what the discipline can measurably do for the organisation and for its brands. Marketers often have pressure groups and even politicians on their back, introducing legislation that can limit the scope of marketing campaigns. Consumers are growing ever more savvy, making the job of creating effective corporate communications and engaging brands that bit tougher.
But it can be inspiring and rewarding, offering the stimulation to get creative juices flowing, be it in digital, data, branding or any of the myriad choices available. So it is good to know that the profession is still attracting fresh blood. More than 300 diplomates attended their graduation last week, having passed the Chartered Institute of Marketing's postgraduate diploma in marketing or sales. Held at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, this was the 12th year the ceremony had been held for graduates.
CIM president Lord Heseltine identified a particular challenge for today's marketers - that of the emergence of digital media - and sounded a word of caution to the diplomates regarding the potential offered by digital outlets and the confusion they can bring.
'Digital media is developing so fast that good practice might become blurred,' he warned the graduates. 'There is a risk that some marketers will be tempted to go beyond the boundaries of what might be considered ethical, for example marketing to children, and that risks your professional reputation as well as marketing's reputation. You are your profession.'
Top award for the best overall Professional Postgraduate Diploma student - Christopher Lucarelli from Ben Hoare Bell LLP
Top award for the best Executive Professional Postgraduate Diploma student - Philip Andrew from Kalyx
The Executive Diploma is aimed at senior managers and is completed through intensive study at Moor Hall
Top Analysis and Evaluation student - Maria Hooper from Tour and Andersson
Top Managing Marketing Performance student - Laura Horncastle from Abbott
Top Strategic Marketing Decisions student - Claire Savill from Allen Overy
Top Strategic Marketing in Practice students - William Grobel, Intangible Business, and Nicole Selley (nee Lorat), Advance Tapes International
Top Market Research and Information paper completed for the Professional Diploma - James Hall from Spinlock, and Ian Tabor from Liffe.