ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers

CMD - Marketing

Application Center Non-Member Applications


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ICSC established the CMD (Certified Marketing Director) credential in 1971 to advance high professional standards in shopping center marketing worldwide. Candidates for the CMD designation demonstrate at least four years of qualified work experience in center marketing, research, marketing plan implementation, public and community relations, advertising, and media buying. CMD certification is achieved through mastery of a body of knowledge, completion of the eligibility requirements, passage of a rigorous half-day written examination, and commitment to a code of professional ethics. Through the ICSC, an elite group of shopping center marketing professionals enjoys unparalleled opportunities for industry involvement and industry-wide recognition.


Successful CMD candidates are actively engaged in shopping center marketing as their primary job function with a minimum of four years of active, full-time experience obtained within the past six years. Qualifying work experience in shopping center marketing may include in center marketing, research, public and community relations, advertising, traditional media and digital media functions. Marketing directors with a broad knowledge of marketing principles who have the ability to apply those principles to effectively market all types of shopping centers and retailers are encouraged to apply. Retail real estate professionals who oversee the marketing functions for a single shopping center or tenant as well as corporate or regional professionals who oversee the marketing function of one or more shopping centers or tenants are also encouraged to apply.

Body of Knowledge

Successful CMD candidates must master a body of knowledge that represents the full scope of the practice of marketing in retail real estate. The composition of the CMD exam is guided by extensive industry research into the knowledge, skills and experience needed for a qualifying candidate to hold the CMD designation. The CMD Admissions & Governing Committee oversaw a methodical and comprehensive investigation into the content that should assessed. Their research resulted in the identification of 98 essential competency areas organized into nine knowledge domains.

  • Domain 1. Creating and Evaluating Marketing and Business Plans (20%)
  • Domain 2. Asset Value Enhancement and Financial Management (10%)
  • Domain 3. Branding (10%)
  • Domain 4. Digital, Social and Traditional Media (15%)
  • Domain 5. Public and Community Relations (8%)
  • Domain 6. Driving Traffic/Footfall and Sales (12%)
  • Domain 7. Marketing Support, Leasing and Specialty Leasing (10%)
  • Domain 8. Retailing (8%)
  • Domain 9. Property Management, Accounting, Legal, Risk Management (7%)