March 2024 President's Note

Mar 05, 2024

Happy March. Spring is in the air!

I hope you’re looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday. This year’s theme ‘Inspire Inclusion’ focuses on inspiring others to understand and value women's inclusion. As the CMA’s first female President and CEO, the theme resonates for me. I wouldn’t be here without support and encouragement from mentors and allies throughout my career and the commitment of our Board to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The CMA is dedicated to helping future-proof marketers and building Canada’s next generation of marketing talent. The Conference Board of Canada estimates the demand for digital marketers has grown more than 90% in the past five years, which speaks to the critical need.

So, I’m thrilled to announce that the CMA was awarded significant government funding from Upskill Canada, powered by Palette Skills to support training of marketers across a wide range of career stages and levels.

The CMA created the Digital Marketing Skills Canada initiative (DMSC) – in partnership with Jelly Academy and Growclass, two member organizations and leaders in the digital marketing upskilling ecosystem – to address this talent need.

The DMSC will provide Canadian marketers in transition, marketers from under-represented groups, and under-employed marketers with the high-demand skills they need to excel in a competitive market. The CMA and our partners will upskill 1,200 marketers – including at least 200 new Chartered Marketers – by March 2025.

Another way we’re future-proofing marketers is through Generative AI training opportunities. On March 1, we launched the Generative AI for Marketers on-demand certificate course. It features 10 modules, which take a total of 10 hours and can be completed at your own pace.

Given the importance of diversity across the marketing profession, the latest CMA DEI survey is now in field. Fourteen organizations are partnering with us this year by distributing the link, so it will be our largest ever. Please participate to help us understand how we can cultivate workplace environments that are inclusive, respectful and supportive of all.

Advocating on behalf of the profession is a key priority. Our submission on draft guidance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the processing of biometrics calls for a risk-based approach in this emerging area, given that these technologies provide many advantages for Canadian organizations and consumers. 

Given how quickly AI is evolving, we recently elevated our AI Working Group to full Committee status. The AI Committee will monitor developments shaping the AI ecosystem, and share learnings, insights, and best practices to help marketers leverage AI effectively and ethically. Check out our AI Committee webpage for the latest content.

We’re introducing our inaugural national CMA Marketing Week starting May 6. The week will be brimming with unique future-focused programs to enable you to learn, network, influence and engage. The centerpiece of CMA Marketing Week will be our hybrid CMAfutureproof conference on May 8. In addition, members will have exclusive benefits, including free Generative AI training courses during the week.  Registration for Marketing Week events and panels opens on March 12.

As the year unfolds, I’ll be sharing more new benefits and innovations that you can enjoy as part of your CMA membership. I’m looking forward to seeing you at our events, and I welcome the opportunity to meet one-to-one, so, please reach out if you’d like to chat.

If you’re taking time off for March Break or celebrating Easter later this month, I wish you a memory-rich time with family and friends.

Warm regards, Alison Simpson

P.S. Please join me in welcoming our newest members to the CMA: Paramount Entertainment Canada, Cadillac Fairview, SkipTheDishes, Okta, Majestic Media, Teranet Inc. and Simpl.AR




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