iSchool – Digital training for advertising agencies

The more people you can educate about your discipline, the more people you can encourage to do the selling for you.

My core discipline is digital and I love trying to teach as many people as possible about it. However, there are a lot of people within digital/online/interactive who think it is best to keep up the barriers and ensure digital is the mysterious black box it use to be.

While I was at Y&R Brands, I put together an 10 week digital training course to try and educate all traditional account service, creative and production people about digital – making sure that everything was easy to understand and translatable to traditional advertising speak.

Below is an overview of the 10 week course and the homework for each week.

iSchool loging screen

iSchool login screen

Week 1: Introduction to Digital Strategy

Learn the how’s and whys of the internet and how you can use various tools for branding, lead generation, acquisition, promotions, retention, distribution and customer service.

1. Find at least one interesting advertising/ interactive blog & subscribe to a blog aggregator. Submit links & comments to our blog.
2. Find a blog that might be relevant to your client’s industry & subscribe to it.

Week 2: The Internet Consumer
Who is the Australian digital consumer? What are people doing online and when? What does the global digital consumer look like? How does online compare to other forms of media consumption?

Learn the online demographics and segmentation and the different interactive environments and the marketing, media and targeting opportunities they present.

1. Find at least one article on Forrester’s Technographics and identify which segment you belong to.
2. Start thinking about how current campaigns can be segmented into smaller, tailored groups to communicate a more relevant message.

Week 3: The Digital Marketing Toolbox
What sites can I use to make me look like I understand online? What are the tricks to the statistics? Where do I find the “next big thing”?

New digital tools are becoming available all the time, and the secret is knowing how to use them.

Learn what you could do with tools like digital television, online sponsorship, rich media, classifieds, games, viral, blogging and podcasting. Then, how to integrate digital channels with other media and reap the benefits.

1. Set up your own blog & experiment with vlog, moblog & photolog techniques. Submit comments and the link to your blog on the iSchool blog below.
2. Start thinking about what online tools & applications could be relevant for your clients Upload ideas to the blog (reward for best ideas)
3. Log in to The Loop & After The Click. Investigate!

Week 4: Internet Campaign and Media Strategy
What is the process? How do I include interactive? How much does it cost? Understand all you need to integrate online into an overall strategy. What sort of planning tools and key metrics are used? What do they mean?

Learn to evaluate campaign effectiveness, return on investment and budget requirements and optimise campaign conversion. Explanation of After the Click®

1a. Have a look on an online advertising aggregate site & find your favourite rich media execution.
1b. Find an online advertising execution that has got it wrong. Submit links & comments to our blog.
2. Think about upcoming campaigns you have & where you could potentially be using a tailored & segmented email or online advertising campaign.

Week 5: Search Marketing
What is a keyword? What is search engine optimisation vs search engine marketing? Why did Google grow so quickly?

Search engine marketing is both an art and a science, and understanding it is crucial.

Discover how to optimise a site for better positioning in search databases and how to deploy, track and optimise search engine marketing campaigns. Understand the current and future trends in search marketing.

1. Pick one of our clients:
a) Think about 5 keywords that might be important to them.
b) Go to Google, Yahoo! & Sensis and do a search on all five words.
c) Note where our client appears on the blog & any observations about competitors or the client’s search engine activity. (paid vs natural) (brand vs keyword)
2. Ask your clients if they have registered their company details with Google.

Week 6: Creative Strategy: Being Creative Online
How can I push the boundary online? What is the latest and greatest creative? Did it actually work and deliver against the objectives?

Online offers even more creative opportunities to talk to the audience. Learn how to develop an internet strategy and how to integrate creative ideas on and offline.

1. Look at your clients’ microsites & see if there is anything you can improve from a usability perspective.
2. Review an email you received. What was good, bad & could be improved?

Week 7: Web 2.0
What is web 2.0? Why has there been a change from web 1.0? Learn more about new digital tools and social networking sites. Discuss how these can be relevant for your client and leverage business objectives.

1. Find a website that is using web 2.0 principles: What do you like about the website? What don’t you like about the website? How would you improve it?
2. Think about a client campaign & where some of the web 2.0 principles would be relevant. Customer communication & feedback
3. Sign up to Twitter & submit 4 posts.
4. Find a social network site & apply the honeycomb rule Outline what area you think it is focusing on

Week 8: Email Marketing
What can I track in an email? When is the best time of day to send an email? How do we segment an email? Understand when, how and who to deliver emails to, ensuring you have the right message for the right person at the right time – with extremely measurable success.

This lecture will detail eMarketing best practices as well as mandatory processes to follow when developing websites.

1. Go to Google & sit through the Google analytics video. Provide examples for your clients of where you could use it.
2. Identify where a website could be used for your client. Run through the 7 steps.
3. Subscribe to a number of different emails (retail, newsletters, product launches, etc) Write some common themes, your thoughts about messages, subject lines & offers.

Week 9: Mobile Marketing
How can mobile marketing build brand equity? What are the different types of mobile marketing? Is SMS all I can use? What is WAP?

Understand a brief history of mobile marketing and how we use it in the agency. Explore the future of mobile marketing and the possibilities for emerging technologies.

Revise everything!

Week 10: Pitch

Synopsis: Pitch to show understanding of the the last 9 weeks. There will be three guest judges (clients) who will award the winning team.



7 Responses to iSchool – Digital training for advertising agencies

  1. Jim Dugan says:

    Hint for Week 9 Homework While Revising Everything.

    Think Instant Mobile.

    Grip your mobile phone and go to:

    What you will see is a previously secret stealth site which has just been released to the public upon which advertisers can publish their own eCoupon offers or branded message with a barcode for consumers to use at their point of purchase for instant savings and for companies wishing to provide more customer awareness of the fact that they are a company that uses the latest in technology, which might signal the type of company that some would prefer to deal with rather than one behind the times, and also provides an additional media for those people who are on the go, but prefer the convience of expecting companies of today to provide them with the easiest access to using their services or acquiring their products should they choose.

    And, if they’re offering any extra incentives for us to consider, is it too much to ask for them to put it within our reach.

    We’re really not that lazy, but we really don’t have the time to go to everyone’s website to see all of the best deals in the area anymore.

    Please understand that if you provide us with a great or even very good value offer, we’re definitely going to consider it and weigh our interest compared to what else is out there.

    But, if you aren’t even up here, we don’t quite see the full out effort we’d like to see form a company with which we’d like to do business.

    GripOffs provides the instant global mobile marketing solution never before available.

    Advertiser created and supported.

    We all benefit.

    There’s no waiting on us – GripOffs – to get the ad up. The advertiser creates it, publishes it on the site and can change it as often as desired.

    Consumers using their mobile Internet phone see all participating advertisers’ offers at one mobile location –

    One location, instant savings, instant changeable ads, more customers for the business, paperless program for the environment, saves time and money.

    GripOffs – Saves Great – Less Billing. Revise Everything.

  2. rory says:

    Jim, i think you need to revise all previous weeks tutorials, especially when it comes to your website.

    All that text is a put off!

    The internet consumer, has a limited attention span and if you cannot get your message across within the first 5-10 seconds, you’ve lost your opportunity to sell to the customer.

  3. Pingback: Digital marketing 101 - An introduction to interactive « Dominique Hind’s Collective

  4. Jason Baer says:

    Very good stuff. That’s a ton of material! I cannot believe you can get people to hang in there for 10 weeks. Amazing.

    I might add more stuff on landing pages and testing, and perhaps some Web site usability and information architecture content, but this is an outstanding outline.

    If I ever get the time to teach at University, I’ll be in touch!


    Jason Baer
    Convince & Convert

  5. Pingback: Bookmarks about Communication

  6. pattyk says:

    I absolutely agree with your comment about moving all of this knowledge out of the black box. This medium is making it more difficult than ever to hide and protect information and the more people who have the knowledge, the faster the industry will grow.

    Was this an online course? I’m in the process of finishing our elearning course now, but with a focus on buying and selling advertising (vs. creative agencies). Gives people the chance to experience and play with the concepts in a way they can’t in a face to face session.

  7. gyanfinder says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!. We are providing Online Training

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