Who needs another training provider anyway?

In Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcolm was by far the cleverest character. He was bang on the money when he said just because you can bring dinosaurs back to life using a bit of DNA trapped in amber, it doesn’t mean you should.

It’s a lesson I thought about a lot in 2023.

Because I can teach, I was a university lecturer for many years. I know a lot of stuff about effective marketing, and I’ve been coaching marketing people since 1999.

But if I brought new training courses to modern day earth, would I, one day, regret it?

With my team at Magic Numbers, I interviewed marketers, carried out surveys, and ran a pilot course. We found something out. It’s that although there’s more training for marketing people than ever before, there’s an important gap in what’s on offer.

Marketing training gives people knowledge, but not the skills to adapt that knowledge to their own business, or the credibility to use it convincingly.

It means people struggle to convert their training into marketing strategies that actually get used.

It’s all a bit “one size fits all”

In the UK, only 24% of marketers have any formal training, and 66% agree this is a “major blocker” to progress. In the US, only 27% are trained, and in Australia, it’s better, but still only 32%.

This should mean that marketers who partake will have a competitive advantage. Their businesses or clients should do better in the marketplace, and their careers should flourish.

So why don’t more people do it?

Well, part of the problem is that some marketing training is too formal, too full of contorted academic language, too long winded and boring.

The marketers we interviewed found some training they’d had “horrific”. They wanted training that’s “concise”, “punchy”, and in “plain simple English”.

But there’s another, bigger problem. One that applies even in places where the delivery is much better. It’s that even though the knowledge is right and relevant, it can be a bit “one size fits all” and theoretical. It can be hard to apply in a real-life business.

People said their marketing effectiveness blockers aren’t about knowing the theory. They’re about “changing theory into practice” and “being able to talk persuasively about why it’s worth it”.

A real need for practical training

We asked marketers what they want next. In their career “being seen as an expert” came up top, and in training, number one was “use data to influence decision makers”.

We’d uncovered a genuine need.

If people not only knew what works, but could also apply it to their specific context, they’d know exactly what to do. For this business, right now.

And if they could use data to communicate with decision-makers in a way that’s convincing, they’d be listened to. Businesses would take good steps forward.

The flywheel continues because when those first initiatives worked out well, the marketers who proposed them would become even more credible, they’d truly be seen as an expert.

No one could accuse them of just wanting to spend money on shiny things that look nice.

With growing respect in the c-suite, they’d be able to make bigger decisions, apply bigger theories, and get even more in terms of growth for their businesses and clients.

Enter Magic Works

I designed our training to meet this need, to put our students on this flywheel. And people that joined early cohorts say that’s exactly what they got.

They said the learning was “practical”, “hands on”, and “instantly applicable”. They said it showed them “how to bring the whole organisation on board”. 86% said they’d be able to use it in their job.

Because Magic Works it’s different to the rest, we briefed the very talented &Agency to make it look and feel different too. Closer to Magic Numbers than to the Marketing Week Mini MBA.

At Magic HQ we’re meeting the new year with a new brand, a new website, and two courses running in spring.

In March we run a course for online businesses, that teaches marketers to get the right mix of performance and brand, and in April a course that’s for anyone that works with marketing data but has never been trained on it.

They’re both practical, down to earth, and full of ways for marketers to see the right next steps and put them forward in a way that’s credible, convincing and compelling.

As to the can vs. should question, we’re pretty sure Dr Malcolm would sign off on our prediction that no-one’s going to get eaten by a T-Rex because of all this.

And we also reckon marketers should study with us. Because our students, their businesses and their clients are bound to get dinosaur-sized results, leaving giant footprints on 2024 and beyond.