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Covid: One year on 12 Apr 2021 - 2 min read

In lockdown the government pushed hard on digital regulation — we need to be educated on the impacts

By Andrea Martens CEO - ADMA
Andrea Martens

When everyone was chained to a computer at home in 2020, ADMA was busy making their courses remote and accessible, Andrea Martens says. But the regulatory wheels were moving quickly, and education should be an important part of the 2021 recovery. 

“We have to be proactive in understanding the ever-changing marketing environment. Not only the changing regulatory landscape, but the changes of consumers’ wants and needs and what they are now expecting from businesses.”

Andrea Martens CEO, ADMA

From industry body to online classroom

Within 24 hours of going into lockdown in March 2020, our education offerings were completely virtual, allowing members to continue their engagement while working from home.

During the eight-weeks of lockdown to June 30, we had a 30 per cent increase in participants engaging with our courses through the online format as we saw many of our members using their new working cadence to upskill and reskill.

We also used this time to renew ADMAs education curriculum, including our iconic Digital Marketing Certificate, which ultimately teaches all aspects of how digital work together and how to structure them effectively to have a lasting impact on businesses — even in a rapidly changing environment. We also partnered with Mark Ritson to deliver the ADMA WFH Marketing Masterclass – a 12-week program which covered all the core topics of marketing in an advanced and applied way, including everything from research design and positioning, to brands and communications. We had over 1200 participants.

CMOs knew they needed to reinvent

We liaised with our members and identified that CMOs were needing to reinvent themselves and their teams, quickly. We adapted the annual Data Day conference to an online format – providing actionable steps through insight into the data, rigour and science of marketing to ensure we create more commercially minded marketers. Many of our members used this as a team building activity for their marketing teams.

It seemed that as we were all in lockdown, the Government stepped up their focus on the regulatory environment. As the largest industry association, we focused on representing the industry on the key areas of privacy and use of data including the submission into the ADTech inquiry; contribution to the GDMA global Data Principles and a submission to the Privacy Act Review and SPAM regulations. We have also just this week submitted to Digital Advertising Services Inquiry Interim Report.

Unfortunately, we saw our industry suffer more than most with the outcomes of the pandemic. To support our industry, we worked together with Arianna Huffingtons Thrive Global, which has a mission to provide a real and tangible service that would help individuals, companies and communities improve their wellbeing and performance and unlock their greatest potential. The Thrive Global program is built on robust science and backed by powerful data. We worked in conjunction with Monash University to provide this platform to the marketing industry first.

“It seemed that as we were all in lockdown, the Government stepped up their focus on the regulatory environment.”

Andrea Martens CEO, ADMA

Data, data, data 

We saw the pandemic year focus marketers on data-led decisions, creativity that reached into the customer psyche and a need for an in-depth understanding of the implication of regulatory and market changes.

There are some things that will be here to stay. We won’t go back to the way we worked pre-pandemic: the digital and flexible pathways we forged in 2020 will not go away. The agile workforce that was always on the horizon has only come sooner than we thought. We need to focus on the real workplace of the future, what our teams need and how this will change the way we will now do business.

Data will be more important than ever before. Understanding how we manage, use and respect that data will need to be our focus, particularly in the current regulatory environment. We know the regulatory agenda in this year is substantial and we are focused on upskilling marketers to prepare for the changes. The imminent change to the Cookie environment is just one example.

We know that this will require all levels of the marketing team to educate themselves on the changes they will need in the way they target their current and potential customers. It will also be key that marketers have an understanding of how their agencies and partners are addressing this issue. 

In our continuing work with Government, we will represent the industry and our membership on the key issues of privacy and data management, providing guidance around the Consumer Data Right, News Media Bargaining Code, Depreciation of Google Chrome Third Party Cookies and the Privacy Act Review Development. It’s an ongoing watching brief for us to ensure we are continually ready to support, influence and educate our members and the greater industry.  

Education is at the forefront of our mind, particularly in relation to the new needs of marketers who have had to adapt and change. We are dedicated to ensuring that we support the career development of the whole industry and elevate the standards and effectiveness of data-driven marketing practices. To that end, we are focused on launching the ADMA skills assessment.

This integrates all elements of marketing – strategic and executional, digital and traditional channels. It will provide a holistic snapshot for individuals, teams and departments; identifying where there is a gap or strength, where to prioritise future skill development efforts. We have developed this to ensure we are developing leaders of the future. 

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