How to create a marketing training course

Are you thinking about training your employees on new marketing techniques to improve their knowledge and skills? There are many different approaches to training and in this article we are going to explore the idea of developing a course around the basic fundamentals of marketing and digital marketing.

The first thing to consider is establishing a baseline or benchmark for the existing skills knowledge and experience of your marketing team. This can be accomplished by creating a survey of competencies among your staff. You can either do this through interviews or by creating a survey that individuals fill out one by one. I also encourage you to create your own assessment of their skills, because undoubtedly their assessment will be more positive than your assessment if in fact you think that maybe there are some gaps in their knowledge.You can use the same initial assessment as a test at the end of your training program to understand and identify the increase or improvement in terms of learning that your team has experienced throughout the course of your training. Think of this as a return on investment on employee professional development. 

The scope of your marketing training program really depends on the gaps identified during the pre-assessment survey. This could range from a broad set of skills to a very narrow set of competencies around a particular area within marketing. For example you may discover that your team is lacking the necessary skills to do a proper Channel Analysis, and therefore you will create a program that addresses this specific need. On the other hand, you may discover that there is a broader, general miss-understanding of the concepts of marketing, and therefore you will develop a course that addresses marketing for my more general perspective.

A key part of your program development is to consider how the course will be delivered. You may either deliver the course in person or online through a variety of learning platforms that are available today. Several factors will need to be considered in terms of your approach. Location and time required by your attendees are just two such factors to consider. If your team is remote, an online course may be more suitable, however if everyone is in a single location then onsite, in person training may make more sense. You may also choose a combination of onsite and web based training. It really depends on your situation.

Another key factor to consider is the support and buy-in from senior management. You will need support from participants’ supervisors or managers to help encourage involvement from those participants. Without this it will be difficult to get employees excited and engaged in your training. Most managers will consider how this training will help improve the bottom line, drive sales, and improve the customer experience. Think about the goals of your training and how it can help improve the lives of your class participants. You may also consider how this training can impact their own professional development and serve as a platform for enriching their own growth within the company.

The course material itself must be interesting and engaging. This can be accomplished by using real world, relevant examples and case studies that will strike a cord with your students. Nonrelevant or abstract ideas are often hard to relate to, and by making it more personalized, you stand a better chance of peaking the interest of your participants. It’s easy enough to ask your participants before hand what they’re most interested in, and what common challenges they face in their job on a daily basis.

Developing content for your course is relatively straightforward with the advent of the Internet. There really is so much content available online for free, that it can be used to create a customized course. I encourage you to find material online and customize it to meet the needs of your participants. Of course, the more you know about your subject the easier it will be to create the content from scratch.

It’s important that you measure the reaction and perception of your students throughout the course. Whenever possible provide surveys and questionnaires to your students to gauge their reaction to the material you are teaching. This is most often done at the end of the course but if time permits I encourage you to do this at intervals throughout the course. 

Every training and learning course is unique based on the needs of your students and your own personal teaching style. Take time to develop a course that will have maximum impact on their ability to do a great job. Training is rewarding and if you put the work in up front, you can create an equally rewarding course for your students. Good luck!

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.

Thanks,
Steinar