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Marketing Training, Gartner Style

By Sally Witzky | November 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

MarketingDigital MarketingMarketing Leadership and ManagementMarketing Organization and Talent

Every so often, we receive a request from a client about how to conduct marketing training. Sometimes they will ask for external resources, such as marketing training firms, certificate programs and the like.

A great question, yet it’s so puzzling to us. Why?

The answer is because Gartner clients and even non-clients have access to Gartner resources for no additional cost. So if a CMO or marketing exec wants to conduct a strategy session with their team, assign pre-work before a meeting, or plan their 2023 marketing strategy, the resources are right under their nose. Literally!

Not a Gartner for Marketers client yet? Here’s what’s in it for you.

Even if you’re not a client (license holder) of the Gartner for Marketing practice, there is a plethora of training materials and content available:

  • Marketing podcasts are available on various platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. See #Hashtags: The Gartner Marketing & Communications Podcast Channel. There’s even a podcast by yours truly with my perspective on marketing org design, which includes consolidation trends such as the Insights role.
  • Marketing Webinars, both upcoming, live and previous on-demand. Easy registration is available at Gartner Marketing Webinars. You can also “choose your priority” to filter the webinars by topic, such as Communications, Customer Experience, Martech and more. Most webinars, except for perhaps panel discussions, allow registrants to download the presentation slide deck.
  • Business Webinars are available across all research practices, such as IT, HR, Sales, and Supply Chain. Simply visit Gartner Business Webinars.
  • Marketing blog posts highlighting research and timely topics can be found at the Gartner Blog Network for Marketers. Similar to the webinars, you can “choose your priority” and filter by topic, or use the search bar if you’re looking for keywords.
  • Conferences are available across all research practices. Plan to attend the 2023 Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo as a team for advanced learning on May 22-24, 2023, in Aurora, CO.

Those resources – all of which are updated regularly – are highly valuable to marketers and can be used for training yourself, your team and even your boss.

You’re already a Gartner for Marketers client? Then you’ve got the golden keys.

All this but, wait, there’s more. At the risk of sounding completely self-serving in promoting Gartner’s research resources, we are a sharing community. We share our learnings and key research findings because we know it helps make us stronger. We’re also not afraid to “put ourselves (and our research content) out there,” where people can view, share and comment on it.

When I first started at Gartner more than four years ago, I thought we gave away too much valuable content. I was shocked at how much key data and findings were shared on social media platforms, for example. I believed that until I had a first-hand look and understood the full value of what was beyond the paywall. My beliefs soon changed because I realized what was given away was only the tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to training their marketing teams, CMOs and marketing executives who have Gartner licenses have they keys to the kingdom. They may not realize it or they haven’t yet considered the applications of how to use our best practices and pragmatic content and tools on for marketing training. Let’s chat about that.

Why using Gartner for Marketing research for marketing training makes sense.

There are a few reasons why Gartner clients should use our content for their own marketing training efforts:

  1. Continual content stream: Foundational research gets regular refreshes. New cutting-edge content with factual data sources like primary research surveys publishes to daily. Authors add voice-of-client from recent inquiry calls to their research and that “client voice” informs primary research survey questions. It is not a static body of research that only gets refreshed periodically. It’s more like a flowing, raging river after a thunderstorm. Each practice works hard to fill in the “research” gaps, often by hiring experts in those specific in-demand areas.
  2. Quality, peer-reviewed content: Research goes through a rather extensive peer review process. In fact, we often say that once a research note has been sent to peer review it is only 50% complete. This gives our clients extra assurance that the content has been reviewed, vetted and edited before publishing.
  3. Varying content types: These days, research comes in many forms. While our clients will still find in-depth research notes helpful, they’re more likely to grab-and-go.  Infographics, videos and short snapshots with just one or two graphics are snackable yet valuable content. Ignition Guides, Quick Answers, Toolkits and Market Guides help clients solve a problem, answer a question, make a decision or get action steps.

But is it our research alone that’s the benefit? No, of course not.

Ultimately, it’s not the quality of our content that is the main reason why using it makes sense. The main benefit is to continually upskill your marketing team on a consistent and ongoing basis. That’s the inherent value so that your team or marketing organization can stay on the cutting edge of marketing, and not fall behind.

The CEO of my last company before Gartner had said, “If you’re doing the same job you were doing five years ago, something’s wrong.”

Today, we might change that from five to two years at most. Marketers must lead their organizations forward; therefore, they must be equipped themselves to do that. A few of the main topics we cover across B2B, B2C, B2B2C and across vertical segment industries include:

  • Marketing leadership and collaboration
  • Customer experience (CX), personas and journey mapping
  • Marketing strategy and innovation
  • Digital commerce, digital marketing, social media and advertising media including customer journey orchestration (CJO)
  • Marketing operations and operational excellence including financial, budget and resource management
  • Content marketing and management
  • Marketing organizational structure and talent, including roles and upskilling
  • Internal and external communications, public relations (PR) and media relations.
  • Marketing data and analytics, measurement and metrics
  • Demand generation and B2B marketing automation
  • Marketing technology management and martech stacks
  • External service provider and agency management

This is also the tip of the iceberg of covered topics.

A favorite content format is the Article Top View or ATV.

One of my favorite content formats is an Article Top View, which is a summary of multiple notes on a single topic with links to the individual notes because clients can:

Ways that CMOs or marketing executives can use Gartner’s research in their team training efforts.

Gartner’s research can be used for marketing training in many ways and by anyone in the marketing organization. Managing marketing resources is typically a responsibility of marketing operations. If you need a place to tuck marketing training as an effort, that’s where it can officially reside. Below is a short list of ideas to spur your own:

  1. Upskill your team to become more strategically-minded (or fill in the blank).  Our portal includes a marketing strategy pitch deck toolkit and template by our marketing strategy and innovation expert, Chris Ross. Get your strategists to use or adopt the pitch deck and a handful of related research notes, such as our hierarchy of metrics. Just doing that would have considerable impact on strategic clarity, and deliver aligned and measurable outcomes for next year’s plans. Use our research to get your marketing organization to become more data-driven, customer-centric, collaborative, martech savvy or __________ (you fill in the desired change or challenge you want your team to achieve).
  2. Benchmark your marketing organization and maturity against your peers. Our research includes multiple ways to do this from our SCORE assessments, marketing maturity models on specific capabilities such as marketing analytics, primary research surveys for comparable best practices and more.

Planning a team meeting?

  1. Make one research note required pre-reading for a team meeting or offsite. Is your team weak in one area? Is there a capability that you feel needs to be shored up? Do you have a theme for a team strategy session or offsite or perhaps an area that your marketing team is assuming sole responsibility of? Sometimes just one research note is all you need to tee up a subject and lead your team forward.
  2. Use a video for training at your next team meeting, whether it’s virtual or in person. One of my recent favorites is on the topic of How to Read a Media Plan by expert Andrew Frank. It’s informative, instructional and humorous! In just four minutes, you can train your marketing managers how to read and evaluate a media plan, and be more strategic and smart when working with a media agency. Goodness knows, Andrew has reviewed as many media plans as Chris has reviewed strategic plans. So, when they share best practices in a video or a toolkit, they’re sharing knowledge from hundreds of client inquiry calls, maybe thousands by now.

Pro tip.

If you really want your team members to advance faster, then get them their own Gartner for Marketing practice seat. It is the best investment you could make in their training and development. Our clients would likely tell you that having a Gartner seat benefits them both personally and professionally. And it allows them to create and contribute value to their organization in ways they couldn’t do alone.

We’re a Research and Advisory company.

While we don’t bill ourselves as a training company, there are various ways to train your marketing team. Some of my favorites are simply to:

  • Train and uptrain on your martech because our research shows that a good chunk of the martech stack is underutilized. Martech adoption should always be part of your training. That’s a given. Start with our on-demand webinar about our 2022 martech survey to get the latest martech insights and supplement it with the research notes available on Tap your martech vendors for their resources and make martech adoption part of your team’s performance discussions and goals.
  • Have a book of the month club in which staff members volunteer to read one business or marketing book each month. Audiobooks make this super easy. Then have each person who participated take five minutes in a team meeting to share how one thing they learned could be applied. If you implemented one to five times every month, you would create momentum for the application of learning. Not just learn to learn, but learn to apply.
  • Have a Gartner research note of the month club. In the same way as you would use books as just described, you can use Gartner research notes.

Only one action step.

Whether or not you’re a client, we encourage you to make use of Gartner resources and research to the extent possible. If you’ve read this far, set one goal for yourself and/or your team to do just one thing today or within the next 24 hours, such as:

  1. Share the link to this blog post with a friend, colleague or your manager, and discuss how you can use these resources to your and your marketing team’s advantage
  2. Sign up for a live webinar and submit a question if attending live
  3. Listen to a podcast
  4. Get to know our marketing experts and their coverage areas
  5. Read a research note, blog or that marketing book you’ve been putting off
  6. Schedule a strategy session even if with just two or three of your peers
  7. Implement one insight you’ve learned by applying it to your business

Pick one and do. Rinse and repeat. And let us know how you’re progressing on providing ongoing training for your marketing team.

Note: Some hyperlinks used in this blog are public and accessible to everyone, and some are behind the paywall and accessible only to Gartner for Marketing practice license holders. Our goal was to provide a mix for both clients and non-clients. Gartner clients have access to the practice’s research on the customizable portal, and can request inquiry calls with practice and research experts to discuss their critical priorities. Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Marketing Executives with the CME client upgrade also benefit from regular interactions with their Executive Partner. 

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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