Kate Braner, Author at General Assembly Blog

Just Launched: The Next Evolution of Our Certified Marketer Solutions

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We know that marketing has come a long way since the days of Don Draper’s gut feelings. Yesterday’s marketers relied on just a few one-way channels to spread the word about their product, often doing little more than informing audiences of its existence.

But as the internet burst with new means of connection, marketers have upped the ante, using the abundance of platforms to build high-performing, reciprocal relationships with ever more-sophisticated consumers.

The modern marketer is part artist, part data analyst, part tech pro — and our marketing teams now call for skills once only common in engineering organizations. Marketing leaders must recruit effective marketers with a wide range of skills, but for even the most adaptive leader, it’s near impossible to keep up with the rate of change.

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GA WEBINAR RECAP: CREATING PATHWAYS TO LIFE-CHANGING CAREERS THROUGH COMMUNITY RESKILLING

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We’re at a turning point in our world—and in talent. Employers are struggling to fill roles across sectors, and the talent shortage will only continue as the economy becomes increasingly digital. The pandemic has accelerated the need for digital skills and normalized remote work. Meanwhile, the Great Resignation is underway, workers are seeking opportunities that better support their lifestyles, and workforce diversity and inclusion objectives are critical.

How can companies evolve their talent strategies to adapt to these circumstances?

Community reskilling is one powerful option for tackling these challenges head-on. These initiatives involve companies forming public-private partnerships to source, train, and hire non-traditional candidates from underserved communities—often with the help of a reskilling partner like General Assembly. We just launched an in-depth whitepaper on the topic—download it here.

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5 Tips from Real Leaders Dealing with the Great Resignation

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In our last posts, we shared the hidden opportunities within the Great Resignation and advice from culture expert Bob Gower on building cultures that survive the talent churn. In our most recent webinar, we brought together real leaders to share their greatest tips for seizing this moment to create the strongest, most productive teams — and the most loyal employees. 

A level playing field

With the Great Resignation, there’s a new power dynamic in town. Employees are re-prioritizing, looking to new careers and internal mobility to help them grow and find meaning. As you get used to this new landscape, there are many benefits to be received — not only for workers, but for the companies they serve.

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Hot Take: The ‘Great Resignation’ is good for your business. Here are 4 ways to come out stronger on the other side.

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Since early 2021, employees have been leaving their jobs in record numbers, and businesses around the globe experiencing this ‘Great Resignation’ have struggled to survive. As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to improve and life slowly gets back to normal, a record number of job openings threaten a range of industries, which don’t have enough skilled employees to fill those roles. 

A recent study of 9,000,000 global employees from 4,000 businesses revealed two key insights into which employees are leaving and why:

  • Resignation rates are highest among mid-career employees. With long careers ahead of them and the experience to know their worth, these employees are in strong positions to create the careers they want. This has created a demand for change: rejection of burnout culture, new standards for how they spend their valuable time and effort, and a hunger for meaning — leading in-demand talent to go freelance, change careers, return to school, or invest in long-term goals and wellbeing.
  • Resignations are highest in the tech and healthcare industries. This makes sense for health workers, who have been under pressure during this pandemic that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. But the tech side shows another story: COVID-19 provided massive disruption in the way we work in tech, including less in-office bonding, more flexibility in working conditions, and greater autonomy over our time. Employers’ already-huge demand for talent was magnified to survive the accelerated digital transformation, making more lucrative opportunities available to tech talent.

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What Is Reskilling and Why Does It Matter?

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Houston, we have a talent problem. It’s no secret that leaders have been struggling to fill skills gaps since the onset of the digital revolution. But the pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation have sent that trend into hyperdrive: According to a 2021 report from Gartner, a third of job skills that were in-demand just a few short years ago are now obsolete.

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Getting Real About AI: 3 Lessons For Business Leaders

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If you only paid attention to the hype about AI, you’d think our world was one algorithm away from either a frightening robot takeover or a fantastical machine-enabled utopia. But a closer look at the reality of how AI is evolving on the frontlines of business reveals a story that’s not nearly as far-fetched — but nevertheless driving a sizable impact. 

Consider Moderna and Pfizer, two healthcare companies that employed AI technologies to rapidly test and develop COVID-19 vaccines months after the first reported cases. Intelligent computer models rapidly evaluated the effectiveness of vaccines-in-development, assessing immune responses across tens of thousands of virus subcomponents with a depth, speed, and accuracy that humans could never achieve on their own. AI cut the vaccine development timeline to mere months vs. decades. 

The pharma companies mentioned above are global organizations with extensive resources for testing and development. How can companies that don’t have access to that depth of funding or talent begin to lay the foundation to take advantage of AI benefits?

For many leaders, distinguishing hype from hard facts is a chief hurdle stifling their AI journeys. Here are three key lessons to bring clarity to the AI conversation and illustrate how this very real, very practical technology can drive significant business value in the near-term.  

Forget the moonshots. Start with the mundane.

In 2013, the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas launched an ambitious AI initiative. The idea was to use IBM’s Watson cognitive computing system, aiming to speed the process of diagnosing patients and matching them with clinical trials. But the project never delivered on its promise. Four years and $62 million later, there was no record of the system used on a single patient. 

Rest assured, there’s a silver lining. The cancer center’s IT team was quietly tinkering with the technology during that four-year period and delivering a host of efficiencies and improvements to the organization. Engineers instructed AI to recommend hotels and restaurants to patients, reach out to guests with personalized bill support, and improve the tech team’s workflow. These outcomes may not have been as sexy as the medical breakthroughs hoped for at the start of the project. But the results were undeniable: Guests were happier. Employees were more efficient. And financial gains realized. 

The takeaway: Don’t get too swept up in grandiose planning. Start by looking at the mundane ways that AI can improve your day-to-day business operations. 

AI is only a tool. Humanity is required. 

Part of the mythology around AI stems from the notion that these technologies can “think” for themselves. After all, they can reportedly write articles, design clothes, and compose rock songs. These examples make it easy to understand the common fear that AI will replace humans in the workplace. In addition, recent research from the World Economic Forum estimates that AI will create 60+ million more jobs than it eliminates. That all said, it’s important to understand that these technologies are just tools — they still require a tremendous amount of human input to function. 

More specifically, it comes down to data — and how well a workforce can collect and leverage it. For instance, Netflix’s dynamic optimizer generated lots of excitement about how it uses machine learning to enhance streaming quality on a scene-by-scene basis. But the tech doesn’t operate on its own — the data is gathered from human viewers tasked with manually assessing hundreds of thousands of shots. Similarly, there’s lots of talk about how conversational AI can potentially improve customer service experiences by engaging intelligently with customers via Natural Language Processing. But according to TrueLark, an AI-powered customer support platform, training that technology requires a tremendous amount of human input — hundreds of thousands of conversations

The takeaway: AI is not a standalone solution, nor a silver bullet. Humans need to “partner” with the technology to learn from one another, extract value, and better serve the market.

Know what you want AI to do — and be specific.

It’s easy to imagine AI bots as helpers akin to Rosie from the Jetsons: Intelligent, catch-all assistants standing by to anticipate and fulfill a wide range of work-related tasks and needs. But the reality is that each AI application is actually highly-specific — the technology is not yet capable of general intelligence.

Just take it from MIT Sloan Professor Thomas W. Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Referencing IBM Watson’s notoriety for beating the world’s brightest Jeopardy champions, he says, “You think, wow, that machine must be really smart. But the truth is that the [version of the] program that beat the best players in Jeopardy couldn’t even play tic-tac-toe, much less chess.”

The reality is, most AIs can do one thing and one thing well. A given AI can:

  • Reach deep into your systems and identify where you’ve been overpaying vendors.
  • Automate marketing campaigns that correspond to how individual customers engage with your website or social media.
  • Generate a more accurate actuarial model for insurers in real-time.
  • Synthesize patient data from a range of platforms to create a single up-to-date health record.

These example tasks are hugely impactful for their respective business functions. But they’re nowhere near the general intelligence required for creativity, strategy, empathy, and so on. That’s still the exclusive domain of humans — and likely will be for the foreseeable future. 

The takeaway: Don’t think too broadly about how AI can benefit your business. Start by drilling down into highly-specific business problems to identify the highest opportunities for ROI.  

AI in Practice: A Transformation By Degrees

Continuous change is essential for remaining competitive in the digital environment. But when it comes to AI, what’s realistic is a transformation by degrees. Little by little, an organization that steadily integrates AI capabilities into its workforce and processes will see compounding rewards over time.

So don’t get too swept up in the hype — but do get started. When it comes to AI and business impact, slow-and-steady wins the race.

Want to build a data-driven academy? Get in touch to learn more.

Kickstart Your Talent Transformation With Our Latest eBook

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Between consumers’ accelerated adoption of digital behaviors and a permanently changed working culture, the inevitable digital transformation of every industry took leaps forward in the last two years. Business leaders across the board are trying to get ahead of the transformation imperative that digitization requires and the economic pressure it adds to their businesses. 

In our highly-connected reality, digital skills are not only pervasive, they are necessary — regardless of discipline. Gone are the days of “technical” and “nontechnical” roles. Instead, skills and capabilities that previously were isolated to technologists, creatives, and managers have made their way into job descriptions across disciplines: 

  • 83% of all retail postings mention at least one digital skill.
  • Data-related skills dominate operations roles, appearing in 46% of all postings.
  • All postings for marketing jobs mention at least one digital skill.

As existing jobs become increasingly hybrid, business leaders struggle to enable teams to mix human and technical skills to keep up with this evolution. This is most intimidating at the start of the transformation journey, with the scale of change looming across all levels and disciplines. The possibilities for where you can go are endless. It doesn’t help that 75% of digital transformations fail to generate returns that exceed the original investment, adding pressure to the challenge of prioritizing a phased rollout and setting challenging but realistic goals.

We have experience working with businesses that are early on in their transformation journey. That’s why we’re excited to launch our latest eBook: “The Early Transformer’s Guide To Building Digital-First Talent.” Keep reading to learn more. 

What the eBook Covers: 

There are four steps that organizations must take to meet the challenge of talent transformation. These steps include: 

  • Create digital mindsets across the company. This includes understanding digital trends, growing digital mastery, and building a product-driven organization.
  • Upgrade data literacy to reflect modern technical skills in working with data.
  • Identify what modern marketing looks like and adapt to the behaviors and expectations of the digital-first customer.
  • Accelerate technical hiring by upskilling and reskilling current employees and new hires.

This guide unpacks each of these four steps, providing actionable and practical recommendations that organizations can put into practice to help set their businesses on the path to sustainable digitization and success.

Download the eBook to: 

  • Dive deep into the four crucial steps your organization must take to meet the challenge of transformation. 
  • Get a talent transformation checklist to give leaders a starting point. 
  • Read transformation success stories from leaders like you.

Click here to download “The Early Transformer’s Guide To Building Digital-First Talent.” 

Want to learn more about how we can help you meet your talent transformation goals today? Get in touch. 

How To Overcome the Top 5 Hurdles CPG Companies Face

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We work with CPG companies to successfully transform their traditional marketing teams into high-functioning digital marketers, helping them drive their top-end goals: eCommerce sales growth, omnichannel experience, and reduced dependence on agencies.

When companies come to us, they’ve often been trying to transform their marketing functions on their own — and, despite their best efforts, do not see the results they want. Their teams may demonstrate a grasp of digital concepts or familiarity with new data-driven technologies, but those wins aren’t yet translating to meaningful changes in digital goals.

What holds these CPG companies back? Well, there are telltale trends. In our experience, overcoming these five common hurdles helps clients make their marketers successful.

Hurdle #1: Investing primarily in engineers and data-driven specialists to drive transformation.

Naturally, your corporate transformation strategy requires engineers and data scientists to get your digital enterprise up and running. But a common mistake we see from CPG companies is focusing their investment in high-tech roles without upskilling the teams that connect to and support them. CPG companies need fluency across their organizations in order to create a coordinated go-to-market push, both across and within teams, that successfully implements modern techniques.

L’Oréal took a more comprehensive approach: they focused on driving digital literacy across 85,000 employees worldwide. Beyond focusing just on specialists, L’Oréal defined a company-wide standard for digital skills and measured all current employees and new applicants against it. For anyone who needed to improve, they provided personalized online learning paths and in-person deep-dives to provide more sophisticated training. This broad foundation of digital skills enabled L’Oréal to coordinate digital strategies across teams so that they could leverage data to personalize recommendations and, ultimately, grow their eCommerce business to 25% of total sales.

Hurdle #2: Relying on historical insights about your customer (and how a household brand embraced change).

Let’s say you’re a household name, and you have decades of experience in successfully reaching your target audience. So it makes sense to keep what’s not broken, right? Maybe not. Today’s consumers are demonstrating seriously rapid changes in consumer behavior, with the pandemic accelerating the shift to eCommerce in five years. That’s not to mention evolving gender norms, family life-cycles, increasing prevalence of DINKs, greater demand for sustainability and social responsibility, in addition to rapidly-accelerated digital platform usage. Today’s customer-centric strategy requires an ongoing connection with consumer trends and an openness to go against the “time-tested truths” of a traditional CPG. 

One of our Fortune 100 CPG clients is known for its best-in-class brand management, which challenged GA to help it use digital techniques to improve its marketing function. This client invested in proficiency-focused bootcamps designed to build hands-on skills per digital channels for both practitioners and SMEs, giving marketing teams hands-on training in digital marketing specialties like eCommerce. Investing in modern, customer-centric marketing skills helped them to better deliver on strategic initiatives to compete with new “digital native” brands. 

Hurdle #3: Under-leveraging data… and not generating insights.

A key piece of that customer-centric mindset requires generating ongoing data-driven insights about what your specific customers want and do. However, the best approach to data-driven marketing requires coordination across functions. For example, “Is my purchasing data demonstrating niche markets I can engage with tailored marketing messaging? Or, “What are the customer engagement channels that drive consumers to buy products in-store?”If the systems for tracking these datasets do not talk to each other, you miss out on opportunities to identify channels for improvement. A global children’s entertainment and toy company honed in on data-driven marketing as an area to improve their sophistication. Through GA’s “Data-Driven Marketer” workshop, they honed skills on optimizing digital spend by focusing on the highest ROI channels, reducing reliance on data teams by de-siloing access to data, and choosing the right KPIs for their goals, helping them interpret data and reveal insights for data-driven decisions more independently. 

Hurdle #4: Overreliance on agencies.

A common issue among CPG clients is that they don’t have the in-house skills for key digital functions, like using MarTech, generating data-driven insights, or interpreting marketing analytics, so they outsource a bulk of their digital marketing to agencies. This leaves brands facing a “black box” in terms of what their agency partners are doing, without the skill set to collaborate deeply or specify strategic areas for partnership. This often results in brands not owning the data or strategies needed to close the loop and drive innovation. By building up capabilities and possibly taking some functions in-house, you can better own your customer journey.

For a global CPG master brand looking to reduce agency dependence, GA helped them build internal capabilities to improve collaboration. Through GA’s Getting the Most Out of Your Creative Partnerships workshop, the marketing team worked to increase their skill at using data to generate actionable customer insights, developing personas, charting their customer journey, and pitching creative briefs. By taking the drivers’ seat with these capabilities, CPG companies can have more leverage in making partnerships successful.

Hurdle #5: Underdevelopment of key functions.

Even as you build towards this closed-loop control, any weak link can pull down the opportunities for advancement in your marketing organization. What good are great customer-centric insights if you only get them from your agency at a single point in time, and you don’t have the tech infrastructure to maintain and update them? Or the MarTech knowledge to activate them and drive results?

This is where it is critical to not only have broad digital literacy and strong core marketing skills (like leading with customer insight and applying data-first marketing) but to invest in cutting-edge instruction of marketing specialties. Digital functions like eCommerce, SEO, and Content Marketing evolve at a rapid clip, and staying up-to-date on them is key to applying the future-proof skills that will take your team from skilled traditional marketers to fluent and innovative digital marketers.  

That’s a wrap!

Getting over these five hurdles can be the difference between maintaining the status quo (despite your talent investment efforts) and seeing a noticeable improvement in your KPIs and bottom line. At GA, we specialize in helping CPG marketers make a deep, sustainable transformation in their marketing functions across insights, creative, channel activation, data usage, and marketing technology.

Want to learn more about GA can help you future-proof your marketing teams today? Get in touch or download our marketing product catalog

GA Jobs to Be Done: A Series Build Teams To Thrive in A Digital-First World

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The Final Step: Understand What Good Looks Like

As companies across industries race to digitize, maintaining the pace of change required to get across the finish line can be overwhelming — especially for those leading the digital transformation efforts.

We’re here to break it down. 

Through our deep experience across many types of organizations, we’ve seen leaders’ transformation challenges boil down to four key goals:

  1. Create digital mindsets across the company. This includes understanding digital trends, growing digital mastery, and building a product-driven organization.
  2. Upgrade capabilities to reflect cutting-edge technical skills across marketing, technology, and data functions.
  3. Accelerate technical hiring by upskilling and reskilling current employees and new hires. 
  4. Understand what good looks like — a skill necessary in achieving every goal.

This series, Jobs To Be Done, unpacks each of these four goals, providing actionable recommendations that organizations can put into practice to help set their businesses on the path to sustainable digitization and success.

Finally, we’ve come to our final overarching concept: understanding what good looks like. Whether you’re evaluating a digital culture, growing capabilities, or filling talent gaps, it’s hard to know how you’re doing without clear benchmarks. We have some tips.

Defining Success in Uncharted Waters

Congratulations: you’ve bravely inspired your organization to try new things, creating a company with a more agile, empowered workforce, building on the latest cutting-edge technologies and best practices… But what are the details of those practices?  Once you’re deep in uncharted territory, how do you know when you’ve truly succeeded?

It can be difficult to specify what good looks like — especially when the fast-paced nature of digitization often means the goal line keeps moving as you work toward it. A lot of business leaders are largely unfamiliar with the technicalities of digital fields, especially when it comes to the details of the many roles they oversee. This makes it challenging to do simple tasks like mapping out leveling frameworks or evaluating talent.

When it comes to knowing what good looks like, getting an outside perspective can help you chart your way. One of the most helpful, multipurpose tools you can bring into your process is a well-built, quantitative assessment.

The Gold Standard: Map Success Against Data-Forward Assessments

Data-forward assessments that measure adeptness in key skills are tools you can use throughout your digital transformation. They give precise, repeatable data to track over time and leverage in decision-making. 

There are several touchpoints across your workforce pipeline where an assessment can be a big help in defining good — from analyzing candidates in interviews to tracking progress in your reskilling efforts. 

We recommend assessments to help companies improve many areas, such as:

  1. Identify unique skills gaps in existing teams to develop your learning goals. Once you understand the specific areas your team needs to grow, the data will point you in the right direction for your transformation. You can even leverage them to prescribe personalized learning paths that target the specific strengths and areas for growth of each team member, which can be more tailored and effective than a one-size-fits-all approach. 
  2. Benchmark the skills your teams have compared to the industry. With a broadly-used assessment, you not only understand your team’s skills but also how their scores relate to others in your field, allowing you to align your skilling investments with your strategic goals. 
  3. Track improvement of skills over time. Multiple data touchpoints help you learn where you’re making progress and where a new approach may be needed — a key element of an agile workforce. You can also use this data to inform performance reviews, as your top performers set tangible goals and achieve them. 
  4. Guide hiring and staffing decisions. Adding quantitative assessments to your interview processes help remove bias from candidate evaluations and allows you to compare internal and external candidates on a level playing field. In addition, they can identify surprising aptitudes or highlight areas where more evaluation is necessary.

Assessments in the Real World: L’Oréal

One great success story of implementing an assessment into a talent pipeline is L’Oréal. L’Oréal launched an assessment-led program in partnership with us to vet new candidates and encourage continuous learning among its global marketing workforce. 

Leveraging the Certified Marketing 1 (CM1) Assessment, built in partnership with our Marketing Standards Board, L’Oréal defined a company-wide standard for evaluating marketers, which is now fully baked into their talent system. The assessment helps them onboard new hires who meet their 70% benchmark, upskill 85,000 employees worldwide, and identify high-growth candidates for deep-dive training. This approach has driven results in their digital transformation, growing eCommerce sales to 25% of total sales. 

So, what’s next?

Over the last few months, we’ve talked about the top challenges we encounter from leaders of digital transformation efforts. Whether you are beginning to build the broad digital fluency that is a foundation of digital culture — investing in the technical skills upgrade of your teams and expanding top talent, we hope you found valuable tips within these series to help guide your way.

If you’d like to explore the range of courses that GA provides (and get a sense of how your teams stack up to the skills we teach), you can explore our catalog here, which covers roles from IC to strategic leader across digital fluency, marketing, data, and technology. 

Want to get specific about how GA could help your organization? Get in touch. 

This concludes our Jobs To Be Done series. We wish you luck on your digital transformation journey!

GA Jobs To Be Done: A Series – Build Teams to Thrive in a Digital-First World

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The Second Step: Grow Business Impact With New Ways of Working

With consumers’ accelerated adoption of digital behaviors, the inevitable digital transformation of most businesses within every industry is here. Under increased economic pressure, business leaders across the board are trying to get ahead of the transformation imperative that digitization requires.

Through our deep experience across many types of organizations, we’ve seen leaders’ transformation challenges boil down to four key goals:

  1. Create digital mindsets across the company. This includes understanding digital trends, growing digital mastery, and building a product-driven organization.
  2. Upgrade capabilities to reflect cutting-edge technical skills across marketing, technology, and data functions.
  3. Accelerate technical hiring by upskilling and reskilling current employees and new hires. 
  4. Understand what good looks like — a skill necessary in achieving every goal.

This series, GA Jobs To Be Done, unpacks each of these four goals, providing actionable recommendations that organizations can put into practice to help set their businesses on the path to sustainable digitization and success.

Last week, we explored the importance of mindset resetting to embrace digital philosophies, understand digital trends, and gain the literacy to discuss them across the organization. Now you’re ready to upgrade your business capabilities to reach its full potential. 

So, let’s get down to your business. 

Once transformation initiatives are underway, leaders want to make more business impact through new ways of working, but a stunning 53% of organizations can’t identify what skills they need.1 Regardless of industry, we’ve found that the majority of companies have three transformation goals in common:

  1. Harness data as a strategic asset by enabling employees to adopt data capabilities and mindsets that help them become fluent with data. 
  2. Transition from legacy technology systems by reskilling employees into high-impact technology roles on teams that properly use new tools and technologies. 
  3. Market for today’s digital customer through evolved marketing skills and practices that speak to the behaviors and expectations of the digital-first customer. 

Let’s go through the below steps required to reach each of the above three goals.

Adopt a data mindset to grow your business capabilities.

Data is power. That’s why 97% of executives are investing in big data and AI initiatives.2 As you progress into becoming a digital organization, properly-leveraged data will make you more efficient, more focused on planning, and more effective against your priorities. 

The first step? Invest in data literacy across your organization to help employees understand how to use and drive results with data.  In a digital world, fluency is the key to improving with time. Every team — regardless of an advanced analytics skill set — will need basic literacy to be part of the data-driven culture you are building. As you scale your data capability, your employees will have the opportunity to work with an incredible volume of data to help make better and faster decisions across functions.

Next, incorporate advanced skills to solve increasingly complex data problems. Once you build systems to collect, refine, organize, and analyze your data, those employees who work closest to the data will need advanced skills. Companies often invest in upskilling employees with data modeling and visualization, machine learning, and Python programming to enable them to be higher-leveraged with data. 

Finally, leaders set the data vision. To effectively manage data- or AI-driven teams, leaders must lay the groundwork for a successful data transformation by mapping the ideal flow of data throughout the organization and prioritizing data investment opportunities to make that flow a reality.

Working with data can take a long time, but like many digital technologies, it’s about increasing your rate of learning and improving as you go. Setting clear expectations of where you are and where you’re going is critical to growing your team in the right ways and modernizing your company so that your talent will want to stay and grow. 

Reskill employees into high-impact technology roles.

As you modernize your tech stack and build digital fluency, you’ll want to scale your engineering team to maintain your new and improved business operations. Note: Good engineering talent is hard to come by, but luckily you have options beyond hiring-in talent, which we’ll dive deep into in our next post!

The second thing you’ll need to do is build broad technical fluency across your organization. Your engineers will be powerhouses of systems thinking and advanced skills. Still, their work will not be fully effective unless your entire organization understands the benefit of new technology and how it factors into their ways of working and ultimate company goals. 

From there, you’ll be able to update the skills of existing engineers with modern engineering practices. Tech is a field that is constantly evolving. Today, engineers must understand modern frameworks and methods to support cloud migration and other enterprise technology projects. However, in this fast-moving industry, keeping up with innovation means making learning a key priority of your technology team. Offering ongoing upskilling helps you invest in the culture of learning, so your employees are able to operate at today’s level and continue to evolve with the industry, learn, grow, and become valuable assets to your company. 

Create modern marketing for the modern consumer. 

With consumer behaviors continuously changing alongside technology,  your business faces both unprecedented interaction access and higher-than-ever customer expectations. (Last year, global e-commerce grew by more than 27%, accelerating digital sales to a level not expected until 2022). Many companies struggle with this transition because marketing skills tend to be highly siloed, as marketing was not previously considered a digital role. Today, pushing transformation forward means evolving your marketing skills and practices for digital fluency across the team. 

Start by growing customer insight functions to build a foundation for marketing strategy based on scalable market research, producing tailored personas and detailed customer journey insights to inform your strategies. Use this consumer-centric design and user research to help you up-level creative development. Modern marketing’s fast pace and segmented audiences make it more important to ensure alignment within your teams and agencies. This means enabling multiple people to create at once with tools like writing briefs, branding guidelines, and content strategies to ensure a steady drumbeat of quality, on-brand output that furthers business goals. 

With this content in progress, focus on building out your channels and execution functions. Social media, search engine management and optimization (SEM, SEO), earned and owned media, and e-commerce all require specific skill sets– including the measurement and analytics to know you’re hitting your KPIs. Engineering’s data-driven culture has migrated into digital marketing, which now has processes for testing and optimization at its core.  

Finally, get comfortable using marketing technology, like customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and adtech. These tools help you make the most of digital channels, enabling you to track the details of a high volume of interactions, build personalized messaging, and target the right audiences in the right channels. 

Always strive for improvement.

Once you’ve established a digital mindset, there are a wealth of skills you can invest in to make your business’s digital transformation effective. With broad functional literacy across teams, you can build skills from the ground up, creating data scientists, engineers, and marketers with modern skills, coordination across teams, and a culture of learning that helps your organization grow and lead.

An ever-evolving, skilled digital culture is key to building teams with the best talent — stay tuned for more content from this series.


If you’re ready to invest in your talent, we can help today. Explore our catalog here to see the digital literacy and upskilling courses that we provide — from IC to strategic leader, across digital fluency, marketing, data, and technology. 

Want to get specific about how we could help your organization? Get in touch. 


1 Statistics Source: Gartner
2 Sources: NewVantage Partners