7 Learnings from Cannes Lions 2016 The 2016 edition of Cannes Lions, the world’s
10 lessons for
More companies are planning to set up an in-house Marketing Capabilities hub as a competitive solution to keep the Marketing team ahead of the curve. Marketing Capabilities provide real brand building ammunitions on top of empiric experience and the more scholarly learnings from business schools. Here are my top 10 learnings on how to set up a Marketing Capability hub that creates more confidence and effectiveness in tackling the brand challenges, scoring 99% participants’ satisfaction, attracting external recognition and preparing Marketers like athletes ready for competition.
#1. Earn support from the top
First step is to develop a business case that builds the rationale for Marketing Capabilities. This may come from a broader change program that highlights the opportunity or the initiative of the CMO. The business case will cover:
- A burning platform that creates impact and interest
- The connection between a stronger Marketing team and the realization of the company ambition
- The specific opportunity to build competitive superiority
- Thumbnails of the program
- Overview of the deployment of the Marketing Capabilities Program
- FTE and budget
- Internal communication plan.
You need the support of at least ¾ of the top management to move ahead.
#2. Pick the right people (as I did:)!)
For a successful Marketing Capability hub in your Company you need to have full-time, 100% dedicated Marketing Capability Managers. Their task is to develop, deliver and support the embedding of the specific Marketing Capabilities they are responsible for. Their single most important feature is that they must have been marketers in a line function themselves, as they can only be persuasive and lead a debate if they are credible and have the first-hand experience. Trainers that are specialized in training methodologies and not in content will find it very difficult to survive the first heated debate with line marketers! Capability Managers should remain in this specialist role for about two years, and it is considered a transitional development assignment for which only high potential senior managers are eligible. In this job they get global exposure to the most senior layer of marketers, as well as General Managers. For a capable Marketing Capability Manager such visibility will become a valuable trampoline for the next career step back into Global Management or Operations.
#3. Create a internal Brand
The Marketing Capability Hub in a Company must share the same culture and values of the company it belongs to. The Global Commerce University at Heineken shares the same company values, like fairness, integrity and respect, as well as its creativity and vibrancy, in a learning environment. Develop a positioning as you would do for a Brand to give an identity to the Marketing Capability Hub:
- Target group: who are the addressees, senior marketers, all marketers, the specialists?
- Insight: what is the leading insights of this group regarding Marketing Capabilities? What is their level of interest and what are their concerns?
- Promise: what will be the benefit for them? How will this influence their way of working?
- Credibility: why will the Capability Hub make them better marketers?
- Role: what will be the role of the Capability Hub for Marketers’ development and career?
- Personality: will it be a highbrow academy or a peer-to-peer shop, or something else?
- And finally: develop a tagline that you will use in all internal communications, capturing the essence of the Marketing Capabilities Hub.
#4. Secure internal advocacy
A powerful coalition of influential supporters from within the Marketing function is crucial to gaining internal advocacy. Senior Marketers will look at Marketing Capabilities as an opportunity to develop and retain their teams, as this is one of the key concerns of CMO’s (Kyle Wong, Forbes, The 4 Cs Of CMO Concerns: Content, Culture, Capabilities And Commerce) and also make a persuasive asset in attracting external talents.
#5. Choose your battles very carefully
The spectrum of Marketing Capabilities is very broad, ranging from the Marketing Foundations, to the whole cluster of Digital Transformation Capabilities, to the Marketing Capabilities that create a turnaround in the way of working. Be wary of the risk to select too many capabilities and deliver a complex menu that will be very difficult to roll-out. Best practice is to identify those maximum 10 capabilities that are the closest enablers to achieving the company ambition. It is really important to share the ownership of the choice with senior marketers, as a validation of the selected capabilities and a key step for their commitment.
#6.Develop outstanding learning sessions
You will not have a second chance to make first impression. The impact of the learning experience will largely determine how much people actually learn, how high they will rate the module and how full the sessions will be! As you design a training module think about your busy and demanding audience and make sure that you keep the interest and energy of the group high at all times. You are after the highest concentration of value for the participants, packaged in a simple, surprising and truly useful learning module.
a. The learning substance should focus on the essentials, stay away from complexity and cut the details which will not be memorized nor used.
b. Keep recapping and re-listing the key points in the course of the session, you want to make sure that people keep following and learning even if they had a moment of distraction. In learning, repetita juvant.
c. Use examples liberally to bring the learnings to life
d. The learning sessions are the place to land new words that will harmonize the Marketing language, session after session you will establish your company’s Marketing lexicon.
#7. Deliver to create conversations
a. Interactivity is key, great learning sessions are full of participative moments that allow participants to air their pov’s or concerns.
b. Use creativity: re-boot attention with surprising videos, visuals, quotes or objects that are genuinely pertinent to the theme and create impact.
c. Humble and smart: a successful trainer will be genuinely willing to add value to the team, and should be a master in balancing unpretentiousness and confidence.
d. Use everyday language, keep away from pedantic & scholastic
e. Embed some form of playfulness in the learning experience, tap into the kid that lives in all of us!
#8. Blur the “trainers/trainees” lines
A successful session is always co-trained by senior marketers. The Marketing Director of an operating company where the learning session will be deployed will host the session and co-lead it, using the opportunity to share with her/his team elements of her/his personal experience that tap into the learning objectives. A local training is also an opportunity for the Marketing Director to have quality time for the development of the team without having to invest time in the development of the learning session. It is good practice to have a preparation session with the senior marketer who will co-deliver, to review the roles and apply the necessary tweaks to the learning module to maximize interest and value for the local team.
#9. Hold hands until the learning sticks
I would like to share three fundamental learnings about how to ensure that the training session actually gets applied so the organization takes full benefit from the investment in building Marketing Capabilities.
- Design the Marketing Capability training session in a way that the principles, tools and measures connect with other capabilities, tools, definitions of existing practices and other modules, so the pieces are interlinked in a simple and logical way.
- Act as sounding board for the teams that need an expert opinion on how to apply the learnings to their brands. This can be done by putting the team in contact with teams that are more advanced in the application of the capability, or having short working sessions to answer specific questions or offer your experience to come to the best solution.
- Develop an Annual Brand Plan template in cooperation with Finance/Control/Planning that captures the lexicon, assets, tools that have been trained so far, including placeholders for tools that will come up shortly. It is essential that the Marketing Capabilities are connected to the more formal expression of the company governance, as a Brand Plan travels outside of Marketing.
#10.Take feedbacks as salutary lessons
Creating a useful and engaging Marketing Capability program is an iterative process, and after every session there are opportunities to make the next delivery better. Use a digital survey tool to ask feedback (for example www.surveymonkey.com) and embed the recurring comments in your capability module. This will make the Marketing Capability Hub in your company the headquarter of thought leadership, participation and collaboration.
Other posts you might be interested in
What is the real meaning of Marketing Capabilities?
The key motivations why Marketing Capabilities are adopted