27 Sep 2021

  • Digital Marketing

Teaming towards the future

Engage your team in a new data-informed marketing skills assessment which ADMA has developed to support marketing excellence during rapid business transformation.

Working smarter, not harder, is possible no matter how fast changing regulations, technology and customer behaviour upend the zen for modern marketing teams.

As business models speed up (or turn topsy turvy), ADMA has invested to offer marketers a holistic data-led assessment of the proficiency of their team.  

“Understanding and identifying the capability of a marketing team – and identifying opportunity areas requiring strengthening – is becoming increasingly important to senior marketers to ensure ongoing team success,” ADMA CEO Andrea Martens says.

The Marketing Skills Assessment has been developed by ADMA with extensive input from industry to ensure marketing teams excel, are equipped to deliver against accelerating business models and can maximise opportunities from technological change.

The tool helps marketers identify the right mix of team skills using the ADMA Marketing Capability Framework as the foundation, elevating overall competency to be greater than the sum of its parts.

The tool covers the full marketing process in four operational quadrants of discovery, strategy, planning and execution to holistically assess team members in line with the soft and hard skills needed for marketing excellence. The underlying Marketing Capability Framework ensures the tool is relevant across industry verticals and the diversity of marketing roles.

“While skills change rapidly, often due to new technology, most core marketing capabilities such as insights, strategy and innovation are timeless,” Martens says.

“Understanding the relationship between the 16 core capabilities and 50+ skills and investing in skill development helps marketers remain relevant and effective in their role.”

As the career path to Chief Marketing Officer evolves - with many leaders moving between specialist and generalist roles as well as horizontally - ADMA advisory board member Alexander Meyer, also CMO at THE ICONIC, says the Skills Assessment tool offers a fantastic reminder for marketers to remain mindful of unprecedented change.

“Firstly, don’t panic! Stay curious and agile, but overwhelmingly be aware of the health of the team,” he says.

Engaging teams with the tool

“Creating teams with the capabilities your business models needs means everyone can learn - and perform - at the speed of change,” says Rowena Millward, a former global CMO who helped develop the Skills Assessment tool after liaising extensively with marketing leaders and the industry.

As leaders in locked down states face the prospect of bringing teams back to work in hybrid face-to-face and work-from-home offices, the Skills Assessment is a simple way to re-energise teams.

“The Skills Assessment is online, making it easy to support meaningful career conversations.   This is about empowering capability in a way that works for marketers, CMO’s  and organisations,” Millward says.

Marketing no longer one skill that fits all

Marketing skills increasingly collide with fast-emerging specialisations like data science, analytics, personalisation, artificial intelligence, social media, programmatic media and even software development and product creation.

“Today, no marketer has in-depth knowledge of all marketing skills end to end,” Millward says.
“It’s more about understanding how to harness the expert knowledge of specialists, with the broad end to end knowledge of generalists.  That is the new model, and why we developed the Skills Assessment.”

The Skills Assessment works for junior, mid-level and senior marketers to make clear which skills are needed to support accelerating business models.

A strong united team calling on well-rounded skills can deliver commercial outcomes more quickly than teams waiting to hire unicorns.

Increasingly, the old argument of generalist versus agency-style specialist skills has gone out the window for marketers as employers reach beyond old lenses of demographics, categories and mass media to support the customer journey.

Eyes on the customer

THE ICONIC CMO Alexander Meyer says in days of old marketing was considered a cost centre to communicate the brand, but industry change has elevated its importance.

“Inevitably and excitingly, marketing sits fully at the intersection of demand, data and insights, technology, customer experience, creativity and storytelling,” Meyer says.

ADMA CEO Andrea Martens says marketers are rightfully taking their seat at the business leadership table.

“CMOs are hungry for growth and want to get to a higher level of sophistication that will allow them to get that growth opportunity - this has to involve a continued passion for innovation,” she says.

What’s more, new business models like data personalisation, loyalty programs, ecommerce, programmatic offerings or customer-focussed product development are demanding a different set of skills within the marketing team to execute the business strategy and grow revenue.

“Marketers are now in a position where they can have more influence over business than ever before. Giving them the tools through the Skills Assessment allows for marketing teams to shortcut managing career development and commercial success” Martens says.

Make sure your teams’ skills fit together to support the revenue and brand models

It amplifies impact

One corporation using the Skills Assessment has found marketers are more inspired and engaged in the business strategy while advancing their careers and learning market-relevant skills.

“Previously, the individuals had been directing which conferences to attend or which training courses to go on - once they’ve done the Skills Assessment, marketing leaders know that all the resources are going towards improving corporate capability, not just individual capability,” Millward says.

“It also motivated everyone to come together and have more meaningful conversations around delivering work.”

Marketers will continue to lead the future

“COVID highlighted how fast consumer behaviours can change. Businesses suddenly relied on marketing to predict the future, as there was no baseline.  We had to understand the consumer, and how they would react to the global COVID disruption,” Millward says.

This taste of disruption is only the beginning of what will happen across industries and professions.

“All of the leading global organisations, including the World Economic Forum are predicting greater disruption, which means major shifts in consumer behaviour will continue.  Marketing will be at the forefront of understanding, predicting and developing new consumer solutions,” Millward says.

”Marketing leaders have been testing the Skills Assessment with their teams and discovered they can build stronger capabilities more quickly by creating individual profiles of their team members and assembling the profiles into one overarching capability to see match the business outcomes that need to be delivered.

Just like a great sporting team, a balanced tension between challenge and skill creates optimal performance to face the shifting sands of technology and customer behaviour.

The assessment looks at four key areas - insights and growth, goal-setting and strategy, brand development and innovation as well as execution of the customer experience - to create an overall skills profile.

The skills profile is holistic and designed to show excellence in narrow areas

“The Skills Assessment is not a pass-fail so much as helping leaders understand you are only as good as the skills inside your team,” Millward says.

“Learning needs to happen with the speed of change. That’s what cap-agility is about – the ability to learn and relearn quickly, accurately and gracefully.”

Find out more about the ADMA Marketing Skills Assessment



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