With technology moving at a blistering pace, skills gaps are wider than ever before. Roles are evolving fast and in some cases becoming completely obsolete. And this problem is not unique to the marketing sector. According to a Gartner report, building up employees’ skills is one of the top priorities for leaders across industries—with many of them ready to invest in upskilling but unsure of how to integrate those efforts into their organizations.
Staying ahead of the curve now entails embracing continuous learning and investing in your team’s capabilities to help them remain competitive and take full advantage of new opportunities. An upskilling initiative that’s aligned with your organization’s strategy and long-term goals can help shrink skills gaps, empower your team to adapt to evolving challenges and build up a skilled and adaptable talent pipeline.
Unsure of where to start? Start here.
Four tips for developing digital skills within your marketing team
1. Start By Understanding Your Team’s Skills
How you benchmark your team’s abilities will largely depend on the people in it and your organization’s unique processes and goals. In some cases, this may entail asking the people in your team which skills they are interested in developing. For others, it can involve comparing past performance against future goals.
Regardless of which approach you take, a quantitative assessment can provide a more accurate snapshot of your team’s abilities and help you identify specific strengths and improvement areas. Plus, quantitative assessments’ value goes beyond the initial evaluation. In the future, you can use the data gathered through them to inform performance reviews and determine the long-term value of your upskilling investment.
2. Meet Your Employees Where They Are
Including your team in your upskilling strategy from the planning stages will be crucial for its ultimate success. Your team’s feedback is the best resource for developing a plan that addresses the right skill gaps and is relevant to their interests and goals. Clearly identified improvement areas will ensure that your team doesn’t get bogged down with content that they’re already familiar with and help you maximize your upskilling investment.
More importantly, investing in your employee’s skills signals that you are committed to them and care about creating personal and professional development opportunities. Employees are more interested in learning than ever before, and they rate education as one of the most important benefits an employer can offer them.
3. Think of New Marketing Trends as Opportunities
When things are moving so fast, it can be difficult to tell whether jumping on a trend is a worthy investment or a waste of time. This is where strategy comes in. Assessing the potential benefits of each new channel or technology against your long-term goals can help you decide whether you should move forward on a trend or sit it out.
Still, surviving in a fast-paced market demands continuous learning and experimentation. Even if it fails, trying something new can be a valuable learning opportunity and yet another chance to inform your long-term view. Plus, your team will be able to apply those newly-acquired skills to solve current and future problems in your enterprise.
4. Test, Learn, and Leave Perfection Behind
An experimental and agile mindset means leaving perfectionism behind and learning to make friends with failure. Trying something new isn’t always a clean and linear process, but trial-and-error approaches have enormous value.
Embrace quick and scrappy experiments, but be rigorous with your observations—that’s where the learnings are. Equipping your team with the skills to work with digital marketing tools like A/B testing and engagement analytics can help them make sense of data and grade the success of a new approach.
Build a future-ready marketing team with General Assembly
General Assembly’s industry-leading Certified Marketer Assessment and Learning Paths have helped some of the world’s largest brands, like L’Oreal, successfully align their marketing teams’ skills with the sector’s fast-evolving technologies and roles.
Want to upskill your marketing team? We’re here to help. Learn more about how General Assembly can support your upskilling efforts here.