One of the questions asked to me is "should I spend time updating my accreditations as I don't think they do anything?" My answer is nearly always yes, but there are some things to consider.
Why get accreditations?
The main reason for them is to show that you can deliver what you say you can. So if you are showing that you are a fair employer to help attract better employees then an accreditation for best employer would work well. No matter what your service, product or trade there are always bodies that will give you accreditations to show you work at a level. For example we are Members of the Institute of Marketing, this shows we work at a high level in our profession. The reason is simple - this is a 3rd party showing you have the skills, not you. That way when a new client/customer comes along that has never seen you before there is someone else backing up what you say. It's a trust thing. So although accreditations may go unnoticed internally, new prospects and customers do get influenced by them.
In some instances there are companies that will not work with you without them. For example some businesses may not work with a marketing company unless they are Google Partners for example.
What should you consider when renewing or gaining accreditations/partnerships for your marketing?
- Are they relevant to something you are trying to demonstrate? Does it show a level of commitment, quality or skill set? If so then it's worth looking at, if not ditch it.
- Does the effort and cost outway the benefit? If it will take you 30 days of effort and cost £50,000 are you going to make enough back to cover that? (My example is exaggerated to make the point) If the answer is no then ditch it.
- Are you able to do what is required to gain the accreditation? If you don't have the time or resource to actually do it then leave it for the moment. There is little value wasting time on something you cannot complete.
- Does the accreditation align with your company ethos and brand values? Do not get them just because it looks like you customer wants them if they go against what you, as a business, stand for. It will end up in brand confusion and do more damage than good.
- Do you already have an accreditation that delivers what you need? If you are looking at a new accreditation make sure you review the ones you have. If the purpose for the new one is to demonstrate quality but you are already ISO 9001 approved you might question the need for it, for example.