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Training needs for the “Digital Talent”

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Many companies struggle to hire digital talent. There is plenty of talent out there. However, an Small or Medium organisation might not need a big team with 6 people dedicated to a different aspect of their strategy. The most common situation is that you hire someone who has done a little bit of everything. Someone who has previous experience with an Small or medium organisation and try to do the best out of it.

The good part of that is that you will have a 360 professional ready to cover everything within certain limits. However, the digital world changes so fast that to be on top of everything, you need to make sure that 360 professional is well trained and up to date with the latest trends and softwares available.

Having an up to date Digital Talent within the organisation is a big phrase that some people are not quite sure of what it really means. The “Digital industry” is growing and companies find it hard to keep up to date with all the new products and services that come out every day. So we thought, How do you plan the training needs for the Digital talent in your company? 

How do you train your “digital talent”

Not that long ago, I had the oportunity to speak to a freelancer who mentioned that he was extremely surprised on how some companies call themselves “Digital transformation agencies” and they are not even up to date on the latests amazon or google impovements. He mentioned that even one of those agencies printed their CV in paper for the meeting where they were going to talk about “revolutionary changes”. 

Unfortunately that is true, it happens every day. Is not that they are not professionals, it is just very difficult to stay up to date with all the latest tendencies. Supporting the training needs for the Digital talent is extremely hard. Even with all the online training platforms available nowadays. How do you do it? Do you give your employees time within their working hours? Or would you expect them to do it on their own time. 

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To solve these questions we have spoken to several professionals from different areas of digital marketing, so we made sure they gave you their tips on how to stay up to date. They all have different strategies, so you can make sure you can chose what is best for your team and your company. 

Bob Bentz, from Purplegator (Marketing agency based in USA) explained how he stays up to date with webinars and podcasts. However, the key to success is to watch them after working hours. “I’d rather get the replay later and then I can fast forward to the most important parts or abandon if its not of value to me”

There are many blogs out there where you can learn, Jon Zacharias, Founder of GR0 , Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and Kent Lewis from Anvil Media recommended the following ones.

  1. Search Engine Journal
  2. Search Engine Watch
  3. Hubspot Academy
  4. MOZ
  5. The Recipe for SEO Success
  6. Search Engine Land
  7. Ahrefs
  8. The Drum
  9. Emarketer

90% of all the professionals that talked to us mentioned that they subscribe to newsletters and actually read them ( 🙂 ) to stay up to date. However, Mark Webster from advised:

“For me, it’s about creating a sandbox to play around with ideas and concepts. We can all go out there and read tons of resources and learn about the latest and greatest tips and tactics, but until you actually implement and test them yourself, you’re never really going to know what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to follow current news in the industry, but what you read doesn’t always translate to reality. Take Google’s Core Web Vitals for example. Most marketers know it’s coming and what it’s all about, but in reality, how do I improve my score? The only way to find out is to actually start implementing fixes, looking at what tools I can invest in and tinkering with my websites.”

Mark Webster, from

How much time should you spend in training?

Most of these CEOs and Digital Marketing specialist have mentioned they spend a minimum of 200 hours per year in developing their skills, which is a minimum of 4 hours a week if you study even on holidays.

It doesn’t matter if paid or not paid, but they all invest quite a big percentage of their week to learn new things about their industry.

How much money do you spend in average on training per year?

John Provencal, an experienced Marketing manager who has been working mostly in the engineering and construction industry explained how he spends an average of $10K per year in training. However, he also does as many free courses as possible at places like google or hubspot

Others mentioned figures from 5K to 20K per year including trips, hotels and prices to conferences.

Bob Bentz, mentioned that he sees this money as an investment. “I’m happy to invest in training for staff members and willing for them to dedicate a day or two to in person training and invest over a thousand dollars if needed. It comes back to the company in increased productivity, new ideas and increased job satisfaction”

We asked them, If you could chose just one thing to train on, what would it be?

  • Technology
  • The changes to the way advertisers will be able to identify the best target markets for their messaging.
  • SEO and Google Ads
  • Analytics
  • Omni-Channel Marketing

How do you keep up to date with the new updates? 

Paula Glynn, Head of Search and digital at a digital and marketing agency based in Australia explained to me how she attended Online Masterminds and conferences “This was in person conferences but has transitioned over covid. It’s actually opened up access to more expert and relationships I wouldn’t have had before. Online masterminds allow for knowledge sharing and learning from people at the same level with the same or very similar businesses. It motivates me to do better and improve our business and likewise we share information and our knowledge. Conferences are learning new technologies, new ways to do things, aspirational leaders etc.”

How much time do you dedicate to training as a team on monthly basis?

We have a meeting every 2 weeks reviewing performance and our internal procedures on how we can better ourselves for the next time should there be a situation we believe can be worked on. For them, the most efficient way to make sure their team is getting the best training is “In-person hands on training with supervisors on standby should there be.

We also spoke to Simon Mikail, a Senior Project Manager at an Online Marketing Agency based in Los Angeles. Their industry is really competitive and an important key to survival is to be better than your competitors in a world that is constantly changing. At 405ads they have a team of 20 collaborators and it is a challenge to coordinate the training needs of all that Digital Talent. Creating a training plan for them is essential.

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