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Are you ready to CPSM?

Today’s post was written by Chuck Raymond, CPSM, Marketing Manager at Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., an international environmental engineering and consulting firm with local offices in Acton and Brookline. He has worked in professional services marketing, sales, and business development for over 20 years and is an active member of SMPS Boston. He is currently on the CPSM Committee and is a past member of the Board of Directors. Questions or comments? E-mail him at

Well folks, it’s that time of year again when we encourage all of those who have been thinking about taking the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) exam, putting off taking the CPSM exam, and those who have always wanted to take the CPSM exam but haven’t for whatever reason, to finally take the plunge and take the CPSM exam.

Just in case you don’t know, SMPS National defines the CPSM credential as “a voluntary certification designed to elevate the professional standards in marketing and influence the future of this vital field. Furthermore, the CPSM designation serves as a mark of distinction for professional services marketers and business developers, raising their standing with their employers, peers, and the public.”

Having the CPSM designation after your name is validation of the level of experience and expertise that you bring not only to your firm but to the industry as a whole. It demonstrates your knowledge of the practice and related disciplines through a thorough examination of marketing competency. And – while we obviously recommend becoming a member of SMPS! – we’d like to point out that you don’t even have to be a member of SMPS to take the exam.

This is the second year of the Boston Chapter having a dedicated CPSM Committee, which we established to make sure that our chapter stays at the leading edge of professionalism. After having very few, if any, new CPSMs for the past few years, we had five people from last year’s Boston study group pass the CPSM exam this past spring – the  result of the Committee’s hard work, not to mention the hard work of the folks who studied for and took the exam. Congratulations to them all!

Some reasons that people have given for taking the exam include:

“In a company where certifications (technical mainly) are important, I felt it gave me more ‘credibility’ with those in management.  I believe it helps to show knowledge and expertise.”

“I wanted to be more fluent in the concepts, strategies and thought leadership of our industry.  I’ve been at my current position for 15 years, love the firm, and we are very successful in the region.  Even so, I know there are tactics we should be exploring and/or there are things we could be doing better.”

In terms of how the CPSM designation has benefited their career, people have said,

“’If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ is holding us back in some ways.  The additional knowledge I gained from studying for the CPSM shone a bright light on some areas of our marketing and BD efforts that are primed for improvement.”

“At one point I applied for and got a job for which the CPSM designation was a requirement. Although the position only lasted 13 months, it was a big and important step up for me. The CPSM designation on my resume is a credential that has opened some additional opportunities for me as an independent consultant.”

If you’ve been involved in marketing or business development in the AEC industry for at least four years and have been at all considering studying for and taking the CPSM exam, we would like to invite you to an information session on Tuesday, December 10. Keep an eye on the SMPS Boston Chapter’s website for the location. We’ll have several CPSMs in attendance (some new, some old) to answer your questions, give you an idea of what would be in store, and offer that last bit of encouragement. We hope to see you there!!

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