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Speaker talking to an audience full of business people: managing change

Managing Change for TV Ad Buyers, Part 1: Skills Training

July 12th, 2017   ||    by John R. Osborn

This is the first in a four-part series focused on the “how” of creating organizational change through new platforms, processes, and business models. The series will provide an action-oriented road map for buy-side workplaces.

Investment is not only defined in terms of what employee training costs the employer, but also in the time, energy, self-motivation, and commitment the employees are willing to invest. Here we will examine the action elements needed to manage change through training.

Internal Training

A strong leader is needed to take responsibility for managing change and planning, in addition to implementing skills training. We will discuss role development for this leader—let’s call him or her the “automated advertising lead” (AAL)—in the second part of this series. First, however, we will focus on internal training, which can take the following forms:

  • Company-Wide Presentation: Here, top management calls an all-hands meeting to present the entire company with the goals, strategies, processes, and benefits of the transition. Leaders showing enthusiasm for change can inspire broader commitment to the work ahead.
  • Small-Group Hands-On Demonstration Classes: This is where digital and traditional jobholders come to learn and grow together. It’s important that these classes be hands-on, where learners bring laptops and aren’t just looking at a presentation screen. When traditional buying experience is shown to be as valuable as digital, cross-pollination and team building can begin to take hold.
  • One-On-One Sessions with Trainers: Because different individuals have different learning styles, it’s important to schedule time where a trainer (internal or external) sits side-by-side with the trainee in front of whatever platform interface applies. This gives the trainee a chance to drill down into the complexities of the new processes, provide feedback, and ask questions.
  • Small Crossover Projects with Colleagues: Managers can assign real tasks that might include creating progress reports or preparing a presentation on automation for a client. Having employees work together outside of their silos fosters informal future collaboration and problem solving.

Outsourced Training

Outside experts can bring best practices and extensive knowledge to the help navigate the latest twists and turns of automated advertising in the following ways:

  • External Training Programs: These training programs—whether through online or in-person formats—are often run by industry associations and can sometimes be customized. Examples of training programs include the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). In addition, organizations with training programs focusing on audience measurement include the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) or Media Rating Council (MRC).
  • Conferences/Webinars: Conferences are held throughout the year by the many of the same industry associations, as well as by independent advertising industry publishers like MediaPost, AdExchanger, Broadcasting & Cable, VideoNuze, and Digiday. Additionally, Broadcasting & Cable, Ad Age, and Adweek also offer sponsored webinars.
  • Industry Knowledge: Ongoing industry intelligence can be gained—and maintained—through newsletters, daily articles, white papers, and webinars from the same industry associations and advertising B2B publishers. One good resource for focused research and analysis is eMarketer, which does charge an annual subscription fee.
  • Third-Party Consulting Experts: There are two parts to the most efficient use of a third-party consultant: First, develop a cross-discipline training day on industry-specific automation and programmatic buying. Second, establish a “train the trainers” module so both digital and non-digital employees can step into internal training roles and curricula. A few relevant consulting companies include Prohaska Consulting, MediaLink, Jounce Media, and Promatica Consulting.
  • Trusted Vendors/Partners: The training elements above (both internal and external) can be enhanced or economized by adding outside partners/vendors who are already under contract. An ad tech company, which might already be involved in automation on the buy and sell side, can play a strong educational role at many levels.

Successfully managing change depends on the quality of the “four I’s”—information, insights, inclusiveness, and innovation—and their ability to move a buy-side company from a legacy workforce to an integrated, technology-proficient team. Personal development and team building come next, which we’ll discuss in the second part of this series.

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