NextGen is personal development programme developed jointly by iProspect with Google. It’s a Digital Marketing Leadership course split across five main modules, each covering a different facet of digital marketing and leadership.
The NextGen course is important for those who work in the industry and feel that they may be only exposed to one aspect of marketing – for example, PPC marketing. It allows you to think outside of that box and work closely with other marketing disciplines such as SEO, Social, Display, to name a few. As the industry is constantly evolving and changing, it is important for us as marketing experts to stay ahead of the curve and continually innovate to deliver solid business growth for our clients.
The sessions are hosted by Google and selected expert speakers, combining interactive live classes and collaborative virtual group projects. In addition, there is a “leadership stream”. This is designed to challenge and develop leadership skills.
On this year’s course we were joined by people from across the global Dentsu Aegis community. For example, in my project team I worked alongside colleagues from Israel, Turkey, Spain, France, India, South Africa, Germany, Latvia, and Italy.
In addition to the theoretical knowledge and leadership stream, we worked on three major group projects: 'Pitch of a disruptive business model', 'Deployment of an advanced integrated digital strategy' and 'Writing a white paper on emerging digital trends for an industry'.
During the first project we explored digital disruption and how this is changing the way brands and consumers interact. We built a digital disruption proposal and developed a business plan for a disruptive product. The goal was to create an online business pitch featuring a revolutionary idea. As a team, we had to come up with a viable business model, analyse the market opportunity, competitive environment and customer segments. The plan also covered revenue streams and cost structures.
In the second project we developed a digital proposal for a new product. We needed to demonstrate an understanding of customer touchpoints, the role of all channels, digital and traditional, and their interaction. By building a comprehensive marketing strategy, we were able to gain a better understanding of how we can help our clients develop holistic marketing strategies, considering all channels, not just the one we specialize in.
The final project focused on applying what we had learnt in the programme in order to write a whitepaper about how digital trends impact a certain industry, such as logistics or telecommunications.
NextGen is a great opportunity to learn about other channels and understand how they fit together to create more integrated strategies for clients. Some modules focus on specific trends such as the rise of social and mobile from a consumer behaviour perspective. We looked at real case studies to understand how advertisers can use different digital platforms to create brilliant campaigns in a constantly evolving digital environment. We learnt about business model frameworks, data analysis methodologies and tools but also ways we can work more effectively in the digital world.
The course used online classes from tutors with many years of experience in digital marketing. Caroline Henne delivered a fantastic session on attribution and the future of attribution modelling; whilst Kelvin Newman took us through changes in display marketing and programmatic development.
The Masters was the final hurrah for our NextGen Journey, an opportunity to run through a branding workshop and collaborate face to face with others from around the world. Held in New York during election week, it was a great opportunity to catch up with our virtual team members as well as experience an amazing city at such a significant time
We looked again at cross channel solutions and how we can add more value to future campaign planning. We covered content management strategies, redefining briefs and consumer forensics. On the last day we applied everything we had learnt and delivered a final pitch back to the learning team and our cohorts. It was a great end to a fantastic journey.
As a result of completing the programme, those that took part definitely feel much more comfortable in advising clients on how best to approach a multi-channel marketing strategy. This includes recommendations if investment is better suited to a different channel outside of their specialisms, with the goal of achieving more positive results. The individuals involved are now able to understand in much more detail how each channel works alongside the others and the role they play in a consumer’s journey.
Josh Reynolds, Sona Kollarova, Aurélie Nerbusson & Azeem Ahmad