2017 was a rocky year for the marketing industry. With viewability scandals and brand-safety concerns coupled with discrepancies in research and audience data, there is no doubt that, had the industry understood digital better, the mistakes and errors that came to a head last year might never have happened.
The key takeout from a tough 2017? Get your digital knowledge up to speed fast, or you risk being exposed.
At Circus Street, we’re lucky enough to be helping some of the world’s biggest brands upskill in digital to aid their global transformation programmes. Our experience gives us unique insight into how to implement successful training and, like our clients, we are constantly learning how to do our job even better.
It all starts with education
Progressive, forward-thinking C-level executives like Keith Weed, chief marketing officer of Unilever, recognise that people are the best growth strategy for a business.
"We’ve got to be much more passionate about skills and training," Weed said at Cannes 2017. "With the market changing as fast as it is changing people need to continually skill themselves up. I’ve made digital training compulsory including, by the way, for my colleagues on the executive."
The first step of any transformation programme is to acknowledge that digital is a company-wide problem that can be fixed only by establishing a culture of continuous learning.
The knowledge injection must come first
The 70/20/10 theory of learning states that just 10% of learning comes from formal training, 20% comes from peer interaction and the final 70% comes from learning on the job. In the context of digital transformation the formal training needs to deliver a huge, rapid knowledge injection. We believe the only way to do this, at pace and scale, is by using tech that lets you control and measure the process.
Whichever solution you choose, it’s important that the 70, 20 and 10 are properly integrated. The only way you will be able to deliver and measure real change in behaviour across your entire organisation is if your training is aligned across the board.
Go big, go fast or go home
During the press conference announcing the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said: "We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost." Nokia failed to keep up as the world around it changed.
The time for sitting around boardrooms talking about digital transformation has come and gone – 2018 needs to be about action. Any delay will leave you struggling to catch up with your competitors. Digital is the new business language; it reaches across all departments and functions. Digital upskilling has to happen now and it has to happen at scale – and everyone in your business must upskill together. Only then will your employees feel empowered to step up as one, speak a common language, and break down organisational silos.
It’s all about becoming a forward-thinking business and creating a culture of continuous learning around digital.
At Circus Street, we are experts in helping businesses deliver on that journey. In 2018, find out what we can do for you.
Richard Townsend is chief executive and co-founder at Circus Street
Find out more
Discover how we help prepare businesses for digital transformation Visit circusstreet.com