Now and Post-COVID-19, Continuing Education Is a Necessity for Ad Industry

By The Myers Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Now and Post-COVID-19, Continuing Education Is a Necessity for Ad Industry

When you live in an era of exponential change and work in an industry that continues to struggle with adapting to that pace of change, you consistently feel behind, perhaps lost, and even some FOMO. One day, you think you understand all the industry acronyms (DSP, SSP, DMP, etc.), then a new one pops up. You think you finally have the differences between first-, second-, and third-party data when along comes privacy rules that upend the game.

Then coronavirus (COVID-19) thrusts everyone into a world where society leans in to digital at an unprecedented, rapid pace. From consumer media consumption to the way that buyers and sellers engage, driving the next evolutionary step in programmatic buying, all will occur in an accelerated time frame triggered by the virus.

A renewed commitment to ongoing education is critical. Upskilling is no longer about helping older generations maintain relevance, although that is an extremely important element. Millennials and Gen Z should recognize that the rising combination of AI, data, immersive interfaces, voice, and a never-ending array of technologies to allow for privacy-compliance creates overwhelming confusion and options. The response should be a commitment by employers to ensure that their employees have access to a robust, accurate, and compelling continuing education program.

We raised the question of ongoing programmatic education in The Myers Report Media Supply Chain Study. The answer was unequivocal: 86 percent of marketers would value additional education to feel informed in their agency conversations and 89 percent of agency leaders feel the same to be able to provide the best service on behalf of their clients.

According to the study, the more experienced the respondents, the more they value continuing education. This is an incredibly positive testament to our advertising and marketing industry. We have always embraced curiosity. From the start of the digital era, we have recognized that technology has a short shelf life in the Age of Innovation. Interestingly, it is those who are entry-level on the agency side that come in with great enthusiasm and, perhaps, a mistaken view that they've learned everything they need to know in college (56 percent value continuing education in this cohort). As the chart above clearly shows, by the time agency respondents have three to seven years' experience, they have learned that they are part of an incredibly exciting, always-evolving industry that will require them to be students of the craft throughout their tenure.

The impact of COVID-19 has put the spotlight on online education. Our children are sitting in front of webcams taking classes via applications such as BlueJeans, WebEx, and Zoom; Ivy League schools have opened many online courses to the masses at no charge; and MediaVillage is partnering with Giide (download today on iOS and Google Play), an innovative, interactive, multi-modal audio platform that bridges the worlds of education, podcasting, and presentation software. Giide allows companies to teach their employees via short-form audio content, supplemented with charts, images, and links that users can either refer to while listening or review after. MediaVillage is continually developing content in partnership with its members to raise brand marketers' level of knowledge and preparedness.

"Work from home" (WFH) culture only accentuates the need for our industry to embrace new ways of training employees and making them feel that they are part of their company's culture, even if they are not physically present.

In addition to Giide, we have beta-launched MeetingPrep.com, an AI-driven search tool that will quickly get you to the information you want across advertising, marketing, and media content, as well as top-level expertise.

In an era of exponential digital change, education is essential and, as our research shows, highly valued by employees. Add to that the instantaneous change to the methods and ways we work, and it is hard to conceive of an organization being able to continue and advance without it.

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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.

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