They say marketing is the first thing cut in hard times (who are “they” anyway?). Wrong. Training is.
So I must be near-mad to endorse both at once - marketing training.
Why talk about marketing training during a recession? Because: (1) if you have a job right now, you are not in a recession; (2) it’s a requirement for success, regardless of the economic environment.
Let’s look at two recent studies. Through its Marketing Leadership Council, the Corporate Executive Board surveyed 100 different marketing functions at 130 top companies. One of the top-three drivers of "breakout" success, or market-share growth near 30%, was “marketing talent focus.” Here’s an excerpt from CEB:
“…commitment to talent, even in the face of enormous pressure to divert resources to shorter-term needs. Specifically, these organizations prioritize the hiring and development of high-caliber talent rather than over-focusing on specialized skills, such as an expertise in specific emerging media.”
Hmmmmm, I wonder if that last sentence refers to “expertise” like social media?
In addition, at the end of last year McKinsey (the consultants, not the sex doctors) reported that two of the top-three obstacles 100 leading business executives cited as hindering talent-management success were related to lack of management support for, and leadership of, employee training.
If You Are The Boss
Look around at the employees you’re keeping. When was their last review? What specific skill sets were/are inadequate? What plans did you jointly make to address deficiencies? What novel, useful, cost-effective, strategic training opportunities can you come up with in the next six months?
When the hard times end, dissatisfied employees will leave, and a high percentage will be those you don’t want to see go. The poorly trained employees who remain will limit your future business opportunities.
If You Are The Employee
Do you want to grow? Do you want to add more value? How much of your current marketing role requires or allows you to think and act strategically? Do you think “on the job” learning is going to satisfy your needs?
Recession excluded, hiring and firing decisions will be made like always - add measurable, strategic value, get hired; or don’t, and get fired.
Don’t let the train(ing) leave the station without you.