Companies are increasingly making the choice to fill marketing roles with people who have technical backgrounds.  These “Accidental Marketers” have the requisite product knowledge but need skills that will help them find ways to differentiate their products and succeed in the marketplace. 

And they need them quickly!    

This need is especially critical if you have recently invested in a new strategic marketing process (see Systems).  You may now have powerful strategy tools, but your people need the skills to use them effectively in demonstrating strategic leadership.  

There are several different ways companies choose to train strategic marketers.  MBA programs provide credentials, but take too long to complete and cover a lot of extraneous topics. 

Executive Education programs are quicker but are too general in scope and so learnings are hard to apply back to the business.  Consulting companies can provide industry best practices but aren’t set up to help you find novel approaches nor do they teach lasting skills.  

Impact’s Action Learning™ approach combines the best aspects of all these alternatives.  We spend about 20% of our time teaching in academic settings at executive education programs like at Caltech and Columbia University.  This sharpens our ability to articulate marketing concepts with clarity. 

And we spend 80% of our time working directly with Fortune 500 B2B companies on projects, which hones our highly-practical and relevant methodology.   This enables us to deliver relevant skills to our clients faster than any other approach. 

Our teams love this process because “solving” is in their DNA. By using Impact’s tools, they can take a strategic & systematic approach to address their real business challenges. They create the evidence needed to gain support internally – as well as externally.
Ralph Elwell
People Learning Leader & Engagement Manager, GE Renewable Energy

Three Unique Aspects of Impact’s Action Learning (TM) Methodology:

  • We Insist You Work on Real Problems – We flat out reject any requests to provide generic case studies for participants to apply training session learnings to.  Why?  Because there are enough interesting opportunities within your own business that marketers can work on while they learn. 
    • Even better, we want most people in our training sessions to be working on a project that they are responsible for.  We feel strongly about this because it removes a translation step that is so often necessary in more general training.  By learning and immediately applying, most participants are getting real work done while they are learning.  
  • We Use Analogous Examples – Most training content is either too general or too specific to deliver rapid skills development.  Very general examples of strategic marketing principles slow down the learning process because the translation process has to be done in the participant’s head.  Examples of “what good looks like” that are very specific to your industry often result in unimaginative, “me-too” strategies that don’t change the game at all. 
    • Our Action Learning approach for illustrating principles finds analogous cases that are neither too general or too specific.  We can do this because we have worked in almost every B2B industry imaginable. 
    • The result is that the cases we use create rapid understanding and spur creativity
  • We Utilize a Linked Framework – most marketing training delivers topics that cover a broad spectrum of topics.  However, the lack of linkage between topics leads to another translation step that slows down skills development.  Participants are left on their own to figure out how each topic relates to the next in trying to develop a complete skill set. 
    • Impact frameworks connect each successive strategic marketing topic to the previous one.  For example, stakeholder analysis is connected to customer needs analysis which leads to needs-based segmentation, and so on. 
    • The result is that if the participant can simply remember the first topic in framework, they can find their way through the rest when they go to apply the topic back on the job.

Using our Impact Action Learning approach, marketers of all experience levels quickly become adept at market analysis, strategy creation, and execution. 

As a formally-trained veterinarian that found myself in a marketing role, I truly am an “Accidental Marketer”! I have personally used the tools to successfully lead the launch and rebranding of several products – as if I have been a marketer all my career.
Shelley Stanford
Business Unit Director, Swine and Poultry, Zoetis