We have trained hundreds of employees over the past few years and have gotten a real good feel for digital marketing training. It’s always a rewarding feeling to see employees at a company get up to speed with this “internet” thing and get more context about terms like “CPM”, “CPA”, “CPC” etc.
Whenever potential clients engage us to train their teams, a lot of them gravitate toward making one core mistake.
They want digital marketing training exclusively for the marketing team or teams.
This may not seem to make sense. Of course they want to get the marketing team up to speed, who else would they be looking to train?
I’ll get to that in a second.
Here’s the thing, most companies have made a substantial investment in digital marketing tools and technology. They buy marketing automation, analytics and CRM tools like Salesforce or Hubspot and get training from the vendors.
After that, it seems to make perfect sense to get digital marketing training just for their marketing teams.
Unfortunately, that is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.
Without exception, in our experience, the most valuable digital marketing training your team will get will have business users in the room as well – you know, the people who actually run the business and make the money for the organization.
This is absolutely critical in my opinion and is something that a lot of digital marketing training companies will miss.
Why is it important to have the business in the room?
- Morale – Digital Marketing training is an excellent way for the business to share a high level roadmap of where the organization is going, new tools and the investments the company is making in the business. It helps create a feeling of excitement and hope when employees feel that management cares enough to invest in tools and training for them.
- Customer insights – The business engages directly with customers every day. They are on the front lines and know how their customers think. Training is a really great opportunity for both sides (marketing and the business) to step away from work and have that discussion. It’s amazing how much marketing teams think they know about the business and find out that the business really works differently.
- Metrics – You would be SHOCKED at the typical disconnect between what metrics marketing teams think are important and what metrics the business really cares about. Sitting in a room together typically exposes these differences and gives both sides the opportunity to hash things out.
- Business Insights – During our Digital Marketing bootcamps, the business gets an opportunity to see how marketing works and it gives them greater insights into how much value the marketing team is adding. Likewise, it’s critical for the marketing team to get a feel for how the business really works, how their customers really behave and how the business is run.
- Respect, empathy and heightened productivity – Getting a chance to see into each other’s areas of expertise actually creates a sense of unity, respect and empathy. We see marketing team members really engage well with the business and generate new ideas about how to market the business – often scheduling meetings right then and there to discuss after training is over.
- Executive feedback – Because we are contractors, we find that we get the most candid conversations about the business and employee perceptions about marketing effectiveness. Employees share things with our instructors that they are too intimidated to share with management. This is one of the reasons we present an after-training overview to our sponsor covering all the highlights and recommendations from the session.
The bottom line
Companies spend a lot of money to have us train their employees. Executives definitely get a much higher ROI when they include business employees in digital marketing training classes.