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Advertising and Marketing Training – Learn from the mistakes of others

Richard Ardley, Insight Director Getmemedia.com
By Richard Ardley  //  Thu 1st March 2012

Even with the growing complexity of marketing, teams are still often expected to learn on the job, yet this is not the most efficient way and it can lead to costly mistakes. Most marketing managers won’t know how a marketing training programme should be implemented to suit the needs of their team and won’t have time to find out.

Using case studies is an effective way to structure advertising training courses because it allows trainees to learn from other people at a safe distance. There are good practice case studies and bad practice ones, and BOTH are important. When it comes to making mistakes it’s always better to learn from others’ experience.

The case studies used should be fresh, relevant and up to date, especially in the context of technology, social media and mobile, where things are changing all the time. Sourcing relevant, insightful and up to date case studies is often the main sticking point in implementing training.

However before case studies can be appreciated the principles of marketing have to be understood. The case study approach wouldn’t work with a total novice. When training is designed and implemented it needs to cater for a specific audience. If that audience is broad, it should be to be accessible to people of all levels.

It’s worth remembering that “nuts and bolts” training doesn’t always have to be aimed at a junior level, it may be that your team needs training in an adverting or media channel in which they haven’t had much experience. To put it another way: you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s too easy to say “what am I going to learn from this?”, but training might help clarify or even inspire.

An important part often missing from training is the inspiration bit; or anything that encourages lateral thinking. Through my recent experience of designing inspiration into programmes, I have learned that it can be something as simple as bringing a team out of their comfort zone, putting them in a different environment or getting people to consider how they would approach an industry unfamiliar to them. All of these different approaches help creativity to flourish.

Without a fresh point of view, marketers find it more difficult to see through the daily clutter. Ultimately the goal is to get the most from their own campaigns through better handling of their agencies or media channels.

What marketing training does is equip people with skills that can help them achieve their true potential. It inspires confidence – which is an important tool in itself – even if it’s something as simple as knowing what questions to ask. Without a structured learning programme people aren’t necessarily going to come across what they need.

Richard Ardley, Insight Director, Getmemedia.com runs the Get Me Insight bespoke media and marketing capability programs
Banana skin shoe, Richard Ardley getmemedia.com
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