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Marketers are no longer getting the training they need, bemoans former CMO

Many marketers coming through the ranks to senior roles in Australia are not being trained well enough on how to do their jobs, the former CMO of Nestlé has said.

sage-2016_david-morgan-inese-kingsmill-tim-mccoll-jonesSpeaking on a panel at Secrets of Agency Excellence in Sydney on October 12, David Morgan, who has held top marketing roles at the likes of Samsung, P&G and Bankwest, and who now runs a consultancy called Morgan, bemoaned the lack of training saying it was part of what has led to the breakdown between agencies and client relationships today.

“In the 80s and 90s the industry was trained pretty well by the large package goods companies,” he said. “They’d have intense marketing training programs, then they’d send these people after five or six years overseas and they’d establish themselves as leaders in those markets and learn how to advertise in them, then they’d realise Australia was the very best place in the world to live and they’d come back and work for other companies here.

“The Unilevers, Procters, J&Js and Coca-Colas, all those guys were generating great training. Then, when cost-cutting came 15 years ago, marketing training was the first to go, and the whole thing has collapsed, and what we’re feeling now is the end of that now.sage-2016_david-morgan-inese-kingsmill-tim-mccoll-jones-and-simon-canning-cropped

“There’s a very smart and well-intentioned marketing community who actually don’t have ways of working. They don’t have discipline and process, but you need basic ways of working. We’re making a lot of money training people in ways of working now.”

He said some larger Australian organisations are now putting training back in place, but added “they are few and far between”.

Earlier in the session Morgan had bemoaned a lack of “respect” from marketers toward their agencies, and recalled how he had heard from an agency about how one of his staff at Nestlé had turned up late for a meeting, demanded lunch and spent 25 minutes on the phone to her daughter, before giving them five minutes to pitch because she had to leave.

He added: “There’s more inexperience in marketing leadership today than we’ve seen in Australia before.

“We’ve done a survey of 80 CMOs – there’s a large percentage of them who are at a stage of their tenure or salary level that would not have allowed them to be leaders 10 years ago. We haven’t trained our marketing people in how to treat their partners with respect and get the most out of them. We don’t have the senior leaders who are teaching them how to do this. ”

Former Telstra marketer, Inese Kingsmill, added: “This is a relatively small industry and we’re working with people all the time. If you treat people well you’ll pay it forward, and if you’re a dickhead people won’t want to work with you. You’ll burn bridges and people won’t go back.”

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