The Association of National Advertisers wants the marketing world to take a training day Sept. 14, billing it as “24 hours to reboot the global marketing industry” through a wide range of free expert-led online courses and discussions from the ANA and elsewhere.
The Global Day of Learning, which comes in conjunction with Ascential’s Cannes Lions, was spawned by the ANA’s Global CMO Growth Council and developed in virtual meetings during the International Festival of Creativity last month.
Spearheading the effort have been Lego Chief Product and Marketing Officer Julia Goldin and American Express Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Rutledge, alongside Nick Primola, exec VP and head of industry leadership and the chief marketing officer practice at the ANA. He says it sprang from "a groundswell of top CMOs reconciling with the rapid transformation of business culture and capabilities.”
Online courses will be available free over a 24-hour period for anyone who registers at the Global Learning Day website. The full range of offerings will be built out over the weeks ahead, but in addition to ANA and Cannes Lions offerings, courses also will come from 42Courses.com, Spencer Stuart, Morning Consult, Facebook, Google, Twitter, the B2B Institute at LinkedIn, Forbes CxO Series, Mastercard Global CMO Raja Rajamannar and Yale School of Management.
Registrants can create their own agendas from the menu, which will include self-directed on-demand classes, pre-recorded “Ask Me Anything” Q&A modules, keynotes, insights and research presentations and private group workshops for teams.
While skills training is a focus, broader industry issues including diversity and inclusion, mental health and best practices for bringing people back to offices post pandemic are also likely to be addressed, Primola says. Some chief marketers noted the mental health toll the pandemic has taken on people in their organizations and interest in offerings to address those needs, he says. And since Sept. 14 will be a time when many companies are just bringing people back to offices, discussion of policies on how to do that will be another possible focus, he says.
Rutledge sees Global Training Day as extending American Express’ focus on talent development to the broader marketing community. “Whether attendees are just starting out in marketing, or they’ve been in the field for years,” she says, it will be “a great opportunity for the marketing community to hear about new trends, digital capabilities and get inspired by peers.”
While the day was developed for marketers, it’s also open to their agencies or other partners. White Castle CMO Lynn Blashford is among the marketers who plan to invite agency teams to participate.
“As kind of a medium to smaller-sized company we don’t necessarily have all the training resources that many of the really large companies have,” Blashford says, but White Castle has regularly used ANA on-demand training. “So the Global Day of Learning is really a great catalyst for us to be very purposeful about setting aside a day and actually having some fun with the program.”
White Castle put the training day on marketers’ calendars last Friday, Blashford says. “We’re looking forward to maybe a combination of self-paced classes and listening to some great marketers from global brands,” she says. “And then we want to cap it off with a happy hour and having a fun day, or bringing in lunch.”