Twitter to launch online training app to Aus media agencies

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 18 September 2014

Twitter is launching an online video training program to show agencies how to use its tools for clients as it tries to grow paid-for ad product revenue.

Starcom has a global partnership with Twitter and will be one of the first agencies in Australia to take it up when it launches early next year.

The fragmentation of the market is also hitting social media as well as other new media channels now facing competition.

A row broke out between Spotify and agencies earlier this year after AdNews reported Spotify's MD Kate Vale claims that agencies are not taking enough risks trying new digital platforms because they are under resourced and struggle to keep up with the tools available on emerging platforms. 

But the onus is on tech players to do to educate the market on what they offer, how it is changing and what use it can be, so that agencies can then get clients to spend their dollars adopting it. They also have to prove that their distribution platforms are better than existing channels that media agencies and brands are more comfortable with.

The easier they make it for agencies and brands to understand how and why to use them, the more money they will attract.

Google takes a workshop-style approach. It is currently running its two day Brand Labs event in Sydney to show brands and agencies how to use YouTube more effectively for content. Facebook too takes a road show approach, going out to agencies and inviting them in to talk about its tools and products.

Twitter is taking a different tack. It launched flight School program in the US in August and is bringing it to Australia. Twitter wasn't able to confirm when, but Adam Bain, Twitter's global president of revenue, was recently in Australia visiting agencies and broadcasters. He pushed the envelope.

“Training and learning is not new to the category. The way that we’re doing is somewhat new in terms of the features and functionality of the software that we put in place. The feedback from the agency community is that it’s a huge improvement,” he claimed.

Twitter's approach, said Annick Perrin, managing director of Starcom Sydney, said that Twitter's Flight School approach makes it easier for the entire agency to get up to speed on Twitter's tools, how to use it and the measurement metrics.

Often the 10% of digital specialists in an agency get training “but no one else has a clue,” she added.

“Normal training means people sitting in room, it's quite slow and cumbersome and it's individual teams – not everyone. [With Twitter Flight School] we can get all 100 people in Starcom Sydney trained in one day,” she said.

She plans for everyone within Starcom Australia, including herself, to use the program.

Having more of the agency training in how to effectively use the social platform will help Starcom increase the proportion of campaigns that have a social element “entwined” she said, adding that she aims for around half of all its work to include a social element next year, up from around a quarter now.

Twitter says the “bite size modules” within Flight School “contain everything agencies need to know to develop high-impact marketing campaigns for clients”. Content is tailored to different roles and functions within agencies from planning, campaign management and leadership and will be updated regularly.

Agencies can also access the curriculum on mobile so that they can dip in and out when they have time.

More than 2,000 agency staff in the US have already gone through the training programme since it launched three weeks ago.

For more on Twitter's vision and strategy, get the next print issue of AdNews, out Friday 19 September, to read an interview with Adam Bain. Subscribe in print here on get it on the iPad.

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