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Facebook and IMAA launch ‘university’ to overcome digital marketing skills gap

A Facebook-backed training course has been launched with the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) in a move to help plug a skills gap created by COVID lockdowns.

Dubbed the Facebook and IMAA University, it will offer digital marketing and leadership training for “rising stars” of independent agencies.

Facebook and the IMAA said it will arm participants with “highly sought after” skills. Specific training will be provided on Facebook’s marketing tools.

IMAA general manager Sam Buchanan said the collaboration will provide much-needed training in an environment where staff have been denied the opportunity to learn face-to-face from colleagues.

“Australia’s rolling lockdowns in various states and working from home models have created many challenges and skills gaps in our industry as people are unable to meet and learn in office environments,” he said. “This means that education has never been more important for the independent agency sector.

IMAA general manager Sam Buchanan

“The IMAA’s key focus is ensuring our member agencies have access to key education initiatives for their people and keeping them ahead of the curve, which is what this partnership will achieve.”

The launch comes a week after the IMAA launched a campaign to promote the benefits of independent agencies to brands and marketers.

Earlier this week the 18-month-old industry body also signed a series of group deal arrangements for members, offering savings on industry reporting, training and media tools.

Speaking of the university initiative, Harry Lowes, head of independent agencies at Facebook ANZ, said it will bring the two organisations closer together.

“Over 18 months with the IMAA, we’ve enjoyed building an even stronger two-way relationship with Australia’s independent agency industry, and learning what Facebook can do to support an ever changing market,” he said. “Through this education programme, we hope to respond directly to the industry’s feedback and empower them with the Facebook knowledge and skills to support their business, their teams and their clients.”

Participants, who must work for an IMAA member, will receive Facebook Blueprint Training, an online programme covering a range of digital marketing skills including media buying, planning, strategy and creative.

They will have be able to attain Facebook Blueprint certification that recognises advanced-level proficiency in various aspects of digital marketing with Facebook products.

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