Marketing Test Guide

The Marketing Test Summary
What: Marketing certification exams help marketers earn prestigious professional designations.
Who: Marketing managers and executives are eligible for certification.
Where: Exams are offered online with a proctor or at regional SMPS conferences.
When: The test is offered year-round; test candidates should check the association’s website for scheduling information.
How: Multiple choice
Type: Online and paper-and-pencil
Why: Professional certification demonstrates core competency and a dedication to one’s career.
Time: Three hours
Language: English
Preparation: Both organizations offer online resources for test preparation; SMEI provides a text book to help candidates prepare.
Cost: $595-$845 with SMEI and $250-$440 with SMPS

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


Marketing professionals can leverage their career goals and industry experience to pursue professional certification. Marketing certification programs are available through professional industry organizations, such as Sales & Marketing & Executives International (SMEI) and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). Certification is granted through an exam that attests the candidate’s marketing knowledge and skill level. A marketing certification designation is a great way for a marketing manager or executive to stand out among their peers and can open the door to exciting and interesting career opportunities.


Sales & Marketing & Executives International (SMEI) Certification


SMEI offers marketers the Certified Marketing Executive program. After successful completion of an exam, candidates are certified with the CME designation. The exam covers what SMEI has deemed to be core marketing competencies, including topics such as strategy, professional skills, management and ethics:


-     Marketing Management

o   Global Marketing

o   Marketing Concepts Strategic

o   Marketing Management

-     Developing and Implementing Marketing Strategies

o   Analyzing Market Opportunities

o   Market Segmentation and Positioning

o   Designing Pricing Strategies

o   Evaluating Marketing Strategy

o   Managing Direct and On-Line Marketing

o   Managing Integrated Marketing Communications

o   Managing Marketing Channels

o   Product Development and Management

-     Professional Skills

o   Communication

o   Legal

o   Technology

-     Ethics


Managerial or executive-level marketing professionals are eligible for SMEI certification. Education and experience must be listed during the application process. Candidates can apply for certification at smei.org.


After applying for certification, candidates receive a 523-page SMEI text that covers each of these core competency areas. Certification candidates can indicate whether they would like to receive a printed or online copy of this text; the certification fee with the e-book is $595 for SMEI members and $795 for non-members, while the fee with the printed book is $645 for members and $845 for non-members. SMEI also offers test candidates additional online resources, which are made available following successful registration.


Exams are offered on select Mondays and Thursdays of every month. Please consult SMEI’s website to find specific testing dates in the month in which you would like to test. Exams are conducted online, but test candidates are responsible for finding a proctor to host the exam. Detailed information about scheduling exams will be provided to test candidates following successful registration and payment.


Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Certification



SMPS offers a certification specifically for those who market professional services. A voluntary program, the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) designation is earned through experience and a competency exam. The exam is available online or in a paper-and-pencil format, and both formats include 150 multiple-choice questions. Three hours are given to test.


Exam questions cover six topic areas:



-     Marketing Research (15%)

-     Marketing Plan (16%)

-     Client and Business Development (20%)

-     SOQs and Proposals (18%)

-     Promotional Activity (16%)

-     Information, Resource and Organizational Management (15%)


Candidates are eligible for certification if they have either:


-     A bachelor-level or higher degree and four years of experience in marketing or business development with professional marketing services firms, or

-    An associate degree and six years of experience in marketing or business development with professional marketing services firms, or

-    Eight years of experience in marketing or business development with professional marketing services firms


Certification candidates must submit copies of college transcripts with their application along with the application and exam fees. The application fee is $195 for members of SMPS and $350 for non-members. The paper exam fee is $275 for members and $440 for non-members, while the fee for the online exam is $250 for members and $415 for non-members.


Paper exams are offered during SMPS’ regional conferences, a schedule of which is available at smps.org. Online exams must be scheduled with SMPS’ certification manager, for whom contact details are provided on smps.org.


For more information on marketing certification exams, please visit the Marketing Test Directory.