Back to School, and Not Just for the Kids: Marketers Taking Digital Education Classes

Back to School, and Not Just for the Kids Marketers Taking Digital Education ClassesA lot has changed in just a short time. People who studied advertising and marketing even five years ago are finding their skill sets sorely matched to the exigencies of modern agency work.

Nathalie Tadena tells the story in a post at the Wall Street Journal, noting that “To keep up with an ever-changing digital world, Madison Avenue agencies are taking various steps to reinvent their employees’ skill sets, from hosting workshops with tech partners, enrolling their employees in computer coding classes, and ramping up agency-wide digital education programs.”

Even agency heads know something has to change.

“If you’ve been in the business for a while, particularly on the creative side, and are not open-minded and curious to learn new things, someone’s going to take your job,” said Winston Binch, chief digital officer at Deutsch LA.

“The very definition of an ad has morphed dramatically in the past decade,” writes Tadena. “Ad executives expertly skilled at crafting glitzy TV spots are now required to know what types of ads work on Twitter, how to create native ads, or even develop an app.”

It’s crunch time for agencies.

“Marketers are increasingly demanding more content from their agencies, including bite-sized creative content for digital platforms, while at the same time squeezing agencies on how much they’re willing to pay,” says Tadena. “On top of it all, agencies are struggling to retain and attract new talent, losing many digitally savvy candidates to hot firms like Google or Facebook that can pay employees more.”

Association of National Advertisers Bob Liodice also weighed in, saying “In an environment where digital dominates everything we do, it is clear our industry has much to do.”

No kidding. According to research firm eMarketer, global digital ad spending is expected to climb 17% to $140.15 billion this year and surpass 25% of all media ad spending for the first time.

That’s why agencies are sending scores of their staffers to specialty classes to learn the latest tricks of the trade.

There’s much more to the story. To check it out, click here.