Marketing training is changing in today's new world of growing online sales and increasing social media influence. Not only has the number of elements in a marketing strategy plan increased enormously, but marketing and branding is no longer simply about implementing fixed - and often standard - marketing plans. Instead, effective marketing requires an understanding of the social context, the local context and the changing habits of today's consumers - and figuring out not just the best channels to reach people, but also the right way of communicating on different channels. Marketing training has had to adapt to these new realities.
Comprehensive marketing and branding courses
Marketing training used to focus on quantitative - often saturation - means to increase sales. The standardization of just a few channels made a marketing course relatively straightforward. Nowadays, the proliferation of communication channels combined with a stronger expectation that marketing should be linked to a company's overall business strategy means that more comprehensive and strategic marketing and branding courses are needed.
Five features of good marketing training
So, how can you be sure of choosing effective marketing training? Below are five features to look for:
1. Marketing training should focus on the consumers and not the organization. Customer research is important at each step of a product lifecycle, from inception to the post-sales customer relationship management.
2. Marketing training should present the broader market context. A marketing course will frequently focus exclusively on market segments or product categories. Comprehensive marketing training should go beyond this and review the consumer groups in detail and the constantly changing environment.
3. Marketing training should provide methodologies that allow replication in different contexts.
4. Marketing training should ideally address your organizational challenges, for example through company specific projects or the development of your own action plan.
5. Marketing training should be provided by a trusted partner with experience in executive education, such as top business management schools. Here you can be sure of top marketing experts, as well as a broader view that places marketing in the context of an overall business strategy.
Marketing training across functions
At an organizational level it is important to note that marketing training should not only be addressed to the marketing professionals. Successful marketing strategies require cross-organizational involvement including research and development, marketing, sales, communications and customer relationship management. Good marketing training should address all of these strategic areas in order to push through a true internal alignment.
For any organization, marketing training can be considered an important element for internal capacity building helping to improve sales and ultimately customer retention – using the six tips above should help you select the right business school for your marketing training.