The marketing landscape is constantly changing and with it is a demand for marketing teams to possess an ever-expanding skill set. That is where marketing skills training comes in.
Today’s modern marketer must at once be data-driven, proficient in AI integrations and aware of the latest digital twists and turns. Meanwhile, you still need have one foot in traditional marketing methodologies and soft skills such as leadership. Today’s marketer must also conduct themselves according to the ethical business obligations imposed by GDPR.
Perhaps not surprisingly, marketing spend on skills training has increased from 2.7% of total marketing budget to 3.9% . In monetary terms, $90 billion was spent on corporate training last year alone .
But as a director, CEO or owner, how can you ensure you get the most “bang for your buck,” and quantify the return on training? Do you even have a training budget?
Can technology fill the skills gap?
With the growth of marketing technology and SaaS options, it can be tempting to believe that an off-the-shelf integration or even a customised programme could satisfy your business’ skills shortfall. Indeed, Chiefmartech.com reports that in the eight years from 2011 to 2019, the number of vendors offering marketing or marketing related software solutions has increased dramatically; rising from 150 providers to 7040 .
But to solely invest in technology misses that marketing cannot, and should not, be reduced to a singular function. Marketing is as much about people and their skills.
Yes, upskilling and training your workforce takes considerably longer than an off-the-shelf or even customised data integration. That is precisely why senior management must plan their team’s development now with a clear framework against which to work.
Developing skills within your marketing team
Any approach to upskilling your team’s continuous professional development must be multi-layered.
According to a recent study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), senior marketing professionals lag significantly behind their young contemporaries. Typically, this lag is in digital marketing areas such as PPC (Pay-Per-Click), SEO (search engine optimisation) and data analytics . The message is clear: upskilling is not just a junior’s game, it is diametric. Just as a good detective leaves no stone unturned, a good training programme must consider all team members, their skills and their shortages.
Bridging the gap: marketing training and ROI
Creating a marketing training plan that works must begin with a skills audit. This could take the form of a self-assessment, a formal skills review meeting with direct managers or a combination of both methodologies. The importance lies in identifying gaps and what skills are needed to fulfill your wider marketing goals as identified in your marketing strategy.
If your strategy is to increase website visits through targeted email marketing but your in-house team is struggling with digital, it’s time to ramp up your digital email skills. This is better than investing in leadership courses or sales enablement workshops.
Map out what training courses, seminars, workshops or mentor schemes are suitable for your team and commit to a calendar of events.
Committing to skills development also means to commit to articulating your marketing return on investment (MROI). Yet, according to a survey in Learning Analytics: Measurement Innovations to Support Employee Development this is measured in just 4% of cases . Investing in training requires often qualitative KPIs to be moulded with quantitative performance to determine upskilling impact to the C-Suite.
Think Beyond for marketing mentorship and skills training
Attracting and retaining top marketing talent is a business challenge. Currently, 23% of marketers identify “training our team” as a top marketing challenge, followed by “hiring top talent” at 22% . These numbers look set to only increase in a post-Brexit UK.
Think Beyond is a marketing consultancy agency that partners with marketing teams across Cheshire, the North West and beyond. We deliver bespoke marketing skills and leadership training workshops. Our CIM qualified marketers help businesses to upskill their workforce e.g. marketing strategy, marketing plans, social media and full leadership training support to aspiring or current managers. Our aim is to add value to your team and accelerate your marketing potential through effective marketing skills training.
Think Beyond also offers mentoring opportunities via CIM to develop marketing talent, support women in business and give back.
Contact the Think Beyond experts today
Find out how Think Beyond can partner with you by getting in touch with one of our Chartered Marketers today. We design bespoke training courses and deliver tailored workshops to small groups for the best experience for the trainees.
You may also wish to submit your contact details online to book a free one-hour marketing strategy review.
Finally, find out what our clients have to say about working with us by viewing our five-star testimonials.