Marketo Summit 2015: Focusing on Yourself, Focusing on Your Team

I was reminded today of my own story of professional growth and development. I ran into an old acquaintance at the Marketo Summit here in San Francisco, and as we were catching up on our old CEO I mentioned how much I will always appreciate the fact that he invested in training and professional development for me, as it was that training which really empowered me to grow and mature as a marketer.

body image surveyWhat he did for me was pay for a one-month pass to a local educational program, wherein I could take all the classes I wanted for four weeks. It was a pretty big sacrifice considering that I was a one-man show in marketing at the time, but he saw the value in getting me up to speed on the more technical components of the marketing engine, as technology was just beginning to drive more and more of what we wanted to do. I took classes in HTML and the Adobe Creative Suite, gaining skills which I immediately put to use and leveraged to grow our marketing engine and better control and make changes in email marketing and website development.

Would your boss do that for you?

According to our ANNUITAS survey, it’s clear that it isn’t happening.

“Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing organizations is the lack of skilled resources in terms of Demand Generation. Less than 8% of organizations state that their personnel are highly skilled and more than half are trying to execute on this vital function with an unskilled workforce. This lack of skills only highlights the need to invest in training and will apply more pressure to CMOs who are looking to have marketing provide more value to the business.”

I’m sitting in the Keynote here at the Marketo Summit, waiting for Sal Khan from Khan Academy to come on stage … CEO of a company dedicated to helping people learn and develop new skills. By it’s very nature, user conferences like this have tracks dedicated to education and professional development. LinkedIn just acquired Lynda.com in a great move to begin to help folks better develop those skills that they want to be endorsed for in their profiles. MarketingProfs has grown their online learning areas with MarketingProfs University. Content Marketing Institute offers online content marketing training and development.

These companies get it. Does yours?

Take a look at your marketing budget, and consider the value in diverting some of the money spent on tactics and investing it into your people. For a fraction of your monthly (or perhaps daily) PPC spend, what could you do to help your team do their jobs more effectively? Isn’t that worth investing in?

I’m not talking strictly about technology training either. Marketing automation, or CRM, or web analytics are all valuable skills to develop…but so are public speaking, project management and writing. Investment in professional growth and development will not only help when your team applies their new skills to the job, it will also create a culture of positivity and collaboration that will drive growth and improve performance.

Invest in your marketers, the ROI could be the highest out of all of your tactics and strategies.

Author: Jason Stewart @jstewart_1 is Vice President, Strategy, ANNUITAS

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