5 Reasons why investing in marketing team training matters

5 Reasons why investing in marketing team training matters

1. It drives marketing excellence within your organisation

On-going investment in training drives marketing excellence because everyone understands how the marketing strategy links to the business goals.

Indeed, a brand can only deliver on its objectives if people have the marketing skills to do their jobs effectively. Individual marketers want to strive for marketing excellence and develop themselves professionally and personally. If they can’t, they will move on. Marketing excellence comes from having a broad training offer. Is everyone clear on what a brand is and how brand strategy is devised? Do individuals know how a brand boosts the business when it comes to raising awareness of products and services or engaging with a company’s target audience; or how a strong brand has the power to influence sector pricing?

When marketing excellence is strived for, marketers become eager to learn about many areas, including market research, segmentation, positioning and marketing communication. They also gain a thorough understanding of consumer insight so they can think innovatively and identify gaps in the market to boost a brand’s sales and market share.

Complementary Training around soft skills such as public speaking and networking also drives marketing excellence as members of the marketing team learn to communicate brand ideas and campaign results in an engaging way to internal and external audiences.

2. It creates a common language and fosters collaboration

Marketers are often at their best when working with others.

The marketing excellence we strive for appears when an organisation has developed a common set of MBA-level marketing principles and when multiple functions share the same language. When this happens, there is joined up thinking and cohesive dialogue between internal or global teams and clients. Innovation flows when marketers share a common language because they have a better understanding of their colleagues’ skills and how to serve customers’ needs today and in the future. A common language also means ensuring everyone in the team is aware of what different terms mean. Are marketers confident enough to ask how different terms are interpreted internally? For example, does customer loyalty mean people repeatedly buy the brand or that they feel positively towards it?

Ultimately a marketing team is at its most powerful when its members have a complementary mix of strategic thinking and technical knowledge across multiple channels.

With effective training, marketers can learn proven tips and techniques on how to become more innovative around, for instance, brand positioning, personalisation, creative storytelling or user-generated content. The more well-trained and competent the marketing team members are, the more confident they will feel about sharing ideas and challenging marketing strategy in a supportive environment. This collaboration builds a positive culture where marketers can adapt quickly.

3. It will keep your team happy and fulfilled

Marketers are creative and curious people who want to continually broaden their knowledge and improve their work.

Throughout their careers marketers are encouraged to expand their capabilities. They want to know how to use the latest technological or creative tools and are keen to have a better understanding of brand management, consumer insight, buyer behaviour and market research. Many are eager to obtain broader company-wide knowledge in areas such as sales and new product development. If they feel they are being invested in, they will be happier at work, grow in confidence as marketers and be more productive. They are also less likely to want to leave their current employer. In fact, some 95% of the Mini MBA alumni felt more positive about their employer after it funded the course for them.

At a time when marketers are being asked to do extra work without necessarily a salary rise, training and personal development opportunities can be a short- and long-term reward for the learner. The Marketing Week exclusive 2024 Career & Salary Survey reveals that 40.1% of marketers are being asked to take on additional responsibility.

Among the additional roles marketers are being asked to perform are media relations, corporate brand management, tech updates and digital strategy. They are also being asked to take on recruitment duties for junior marketers and marketing apprentices. Without the right training they might not feel confident enough to step out of their comfort zone (however much they want to impress and be accommodating) and mistakes could be made.

Marketers don’t mind being busy but they do expect to go on structured and rewarding personal development journeys as they build their own personal brand and expand their skillset. On-the-job training can certainly keep marketers happy, and it should include attending industry events and webinars, reading industry publications and websites and attending trade shows to learn about the latest trends. Companies should also consider bringing in subject matter experts to improve everyone’s knowledge and confidence.

4. It makes your team and organisation more attractive

A marketing team wants to attract the best talent. An organisation also needs to create and nurture a talent pipeline and boost professionalism within the marketing function. The companies with a robust learning and development offer will certainly be more appealing to ambitious marketers, especially if there are opportunities for them to upskill.

You can be sure that savvy marketers are constantly looking to improve their own expertise in areas where there are skill shortages to boost their career and salary prospects. This is certainly the case for ambitious junior marketers and those identified as future leaders. In addition, people who have joined from non-traditional marketing backgrounds such as economics, business management and finance will be looking to add to their skillset quickly.

Of course, there are plenty of benefits to the organisation of investing in upskilling the marketing team. For instance, it plugs knowledge gaps and enables employers to benchmark staff.

A marketing team with a broader range of skills also has more flexibility. It becomes possible to deploy marketers to different projects, campaigns and even locations around the world where there is demand for particular skills at a particular time.

So where are the skill shortages? According to The Marketing Week exclusive 2024 Career & Salary Survey, data analysis is the most common skills gap in organisations, with more than one third of marketers identifying this as a concern for their business. Organisations do need to be able to measure their investment in training and demonstrate the value of the function to the rest of the business. A learning budget will be made available if there is clear evidence that a more skilled marketing team is making the business more attractive to consumers and investors. This could include demonstrating how the upskilling of individual marketers saves on recruitment costs or how it has delivered specific returns on a particular marketing campaign.

What doesn’t change, whatever the economic outlook, is that the marketing team needs training to understand the numbers and utilise different media effectively and ultimately make budgets go further. During difficult times it becomes particularly useful to teach marketers more about customer retention, for example.

5. Because winning marketing teams are doing it

Diageo is one brand that is smashing it at the moment.

Its global marketing transformation director Julie Bramham told Marketing Week recently that the idea of curiosity was one of the most important skills for marketers – but the easiest to lose. Investing in training keeps its marketers inquisitive.

Another company keen to improve its people’s skills is Australian company Simplot, which runs consumer brands including John West and Bird’s Eye. It wanted to upskill its marketing team on brand management, so 15 marketers signed up for the Mini MBA in Brand Management. The company now has a framework so members of the team can apply what they learnt to the brands they manage.

Meanwhile the probiotic beverage brand Yakult enrolled 20 of its marketers on the Mini MBA in Marketing because it needed its Europe-wide team to speak with a common language when it came to marketing. Marketers from Germany, Italy and Austria took part in the CPD-accredited course, and it provided the marketing team with a platform to come together, implement insights and speak about marketing as a driver for business strategy.

If you’re keen to find out on how can the Mini MBA help you and your team, get in touch here.