Education versus Training

Most enterprises I encounter who are implementing MarTech platforms (like Web CMS, Personalization, CDP offerings, etc.) understand the importance of employee training, and at RSG we certainly advise customers to pay close attention to training within RFPs as well as subsequent program planning and roll-outs.

However, unless your workplace constitutes some sort of rigid digital production line, your colleagues need something else besides training. They need education.  Education means explaining to people why you're implementing a new or replacement system, including the broader context and hoped-for benefits, along with future enhancements. It also helps ground them in what often become new functional options in modern platforms.

To be sure, both training and education are important.  They just emphasize different things.

Training

 vs.  

Education

How  -  Why
Details  -  Context
Process  -  Adaptation
Now  -  Future
Proficiency  -  Benefits

Education becomes particularly important with platforms where you intend to follow a more self-service model for workaday marketers to use the system.  Fore example we see this often with Email / MAP and Campaign Management platforms, though somewhat less so for ops-heavy platforms like CDPs. For platforms where you intend to distribute usage to tactical marketers, those colleagues' lack of clarity around purposes and norms may make them cautious about participating (or leveraging advanced features), and put more pressure on a centralized digital team.

Many MarTech vendors we cover argue that their tools are "so easy to use you hardly need any training."  That's bunk. Training is almost always essential. But even if your colleagues take readily to simpler tools like DAM platforms, that doesn't mean they understand the purpose, value, and expectations regarding how they update or access which assets.  And since metadata is so critical to an asset's value, some deep learning becomes required there for mastering a DAM.  An educated participant will get more value from, and contribute more value to, a DAM platform.

Your Job

MarTech systems rarely work quite as advertised, especially with initial implementations.  And the vendor that provides excellent training may never get around to deeper education. But really that's an enterprise job: you understand best the context and rationale for this investment, and can best educate your peers. Education takes work, but in my experience it's worth it. People who understand the bigger picture will more fully adopt and obtain greater value from the technology in the long run.


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