Special Report: Training for Marketers: Training facilities are adapting to the changing needs of clients

In This Report-Marketers lack sufficientknowledge about other departments to work as a team, says Weston Stanbridge of KPMG 26-Creativity training can give marketers the winning edge, says Patti Thompson of MICA 27-York Downtown Management Centre offers spectrum of short-term marketing courses...

In This Report

-Marketers lack sufficient

knowledge about other departments to work as a team, says Weston Stanbridge of KPMG 26

-Creativity training can give

marketers the winning edge,

says Patti Thompson of MICA 27

-York Downtown Management Centre offers spectrum of

short-term marketing courses 28

-New focus on practical casework and team exercises, says

Tracy Phillips of the Canadian

Management Centre 29

-Second City improv workshops help marketers think on their feet 30

Tracy Phillips is program director, sales and marketing division, of Toronto-based Canadian Management Centre.

Over the last five or six years, seminars and training have changed a great deal, especially marketing seminars.

The way participants learn has changed as well.

There has been a trend away from lecture-style sessions toward more interactivity.

There is more emphasis on casework, simulations and on team exercises, and more give and take between leaders and participants.

This, in turn, has led to smaller groups – to maximize the opportunities for learning for each individual in the group.

After a training session, marketers want to return to their desks with practical ideas, techniques and skills that they can apply almost immediately.

In response, marketing training has become more hands-on, emphasizing a how-to focus.

However, while programs are often facilitated by a practitioner, in a workshop environment, seminars still include sufficient theory to convey how marketing fits into the ‘big picture.’

Today’s smaller, flatter organizational structure has led to an increased need to stay in touch with what is going on back at the office.

This means that training facilities must provide telephones, fax machines and power outlets for laptop computers to increase participants’ comfort level while they are out of the office.

These changes in the structure and organization of companies has affected the profile of typical marketing managers and the way in which they do business.

Flatter organizations and an increase in team decision-making mean that more people in more functions (even non-marketing functions) have to know and understand marketing.

The future winners in business and in marketing, in particular, will be generalist managers who know and understand much more than just marketing.

As business managers, they will be able to think strategically and know how to avoid getting bogged down in short-term tactical issues.

As a result, they will require not only marketing training, but also general and operational management, finance and communications training.

Shifts toward global branding and marketing has caused Canadian companies to look beyond their domestic market.

If a company is not part of a larger global operation, it must develop strategic alliances and partnerships to remain competitive.

This new world order has created a need for training that will focus on how to target and retain highly profitable customers while identifying and maximizing new opportunities.

Marketers need to develop the ability to think strategically, to stay focused on their organization’s goals, to anticipate customers’ future needs, and to win in the marketplace by meeting those needs before the competition is even aware of their activities.

It all comes down to two basic keys to success – ‘know your customer’ and ‘know your competition.’

It all means that the need for marketing training in the late ’90s is going to increase.

The content of such training will be more relevant to the challenges and concerns of the marketers, and just as marketing itself is becoming more technical, the nature and scope of marketing training will become more technical as well.