agency knowledge

Does your agency need to close the skills gap? 4 strategies to boost your agency’s knowledge and expertise

Tangram Founder, Helen Johnson shares insights on addressing knowledge gaps and future-proofing your agency 

One of the advertising industry’s great strengths is adapting to changing requirements; from navigating evolving client requirements, to keeping up with emerging competitors and the ever-shifting media landscape. For agency leaders, the ongoing challenge lies in focusing on agency growth, team retention and consistently delivering the high-quality work expected by clients. 

Marketing Week’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey reveals data and analytics are the most significant skills gap in marketing departments and 15.9% saying their business has identified ecommerce as a skills gap. The question now is how agencies can strategically position themselves to address these skill shortages and avoid falling behind 

1. Utilise the Right Technology 

In the changing landscape of advertising agencies, relying on traditional monthly reporting packs is no longer sufficient to meet the speed at which projects evolve. Cloud-based products like Deltek Workbook have emerged as invaluable tools, ensuring continuous connectivity and efficiency in file management, collaborative processes, and project execution. For agencies to stay one step ahead, they need project and financial management systems to evolve into reliable sources of real-time, self-service information, empowering finance teams and account management with the insights needed for quick decision-making. The emphasis is on implementing cloud-based architectures that not only facilitate seamless collaboration but also redefine the way projects are scoped, executed, and delivered within the constraints of time and budget. It’s a transformative approach, ensuring that agencies stay ahead in an environment where accurate, real-time business information is at their fingertips. 

agency knowledge

2. Tailor Agency Learning to Different Levels and Styles  

As the traditional agency setting transforms into a hybrid work environment, the challenge of nurturing agency knowledge and skills becomes more intricate. The shift to remote collaboration unveils a noticeable gap in the development of essential commercial, project management, and financial skills—particularly in leveraging technologies crucial for scoping and delivering projects efficiently.  

Recognizing the diverse learning preferences within the agency landscape is paramount. Learning is an inherently personal journey, and a well-rounded program involves the documentation of workflows, providing comprehensive training materials for those who prefer reading, and conducting live sessions for hands-on learners. TEACH by Tangram is an eLearning tool offering interactive inductions and training for agencies where all learning modules are self-paced and perfect for introducing new team members to business tools or refresher training for existing employees.

Offering refresher courses and facilitating discussions cater to different learning styles, ensuring a holistic approach. Moreover, incorporating online learning modules for those who thrive on self-directed exploration and allocating dedicated time for questions fosters an environment where continuous learning is not just encouraged but seamlessly integrated into daily operations. In essence, it’s about embracing variety in learning methods to empower every team member. 

3. Encourage Cross Functional Learning

Agencies need to integrate training seamlessly into the fabric of every job role, irrespective of prior experience with similar agencies or tools. The expectation for agency professionals to learn through collaboration and idea-sharing remains, but the method needs to evolve. 

Recognising that learning is a personal and diverse experience, agencies should leverage internal expertise to contribute to learning and development programs. Lunch n Learns are a great, informal way to share ideas and facilitate knowledge exchange.  

A mix of documentation, live training sessions, online learning modules, and discussion forums caters to varied learning preferences. If your agency is in search of learning solutions tailored to agency needs, TEACH by Tangram offers over 40 interactive on-demand lessons for finance teams and account and project managers. Whether they’re new to the industry or looking to level up, we have courses that cover essential skills and knowledge for all levels in the advertising industry.  

Taking a proactive approach could involve assigning experts within your agency for Q&A sessions, fostering an interactive and approachable environment. At Tangram, we host a weekly session where team members can drop in, addressing and resolving any issues they might encounter. Whether it’s navigating specific software challenges or seeking optimal processes, knowledge is openly shared and documented across the entire organisation, contributing to the ongoing upskilling of the entire team. It goes beyond having the right people; it’s about ensuring that their wealth of knowledge is actively and consistently shared through a structured learning and development platform. 

4. Foster a Culture of Ongoing Skills Development 

It’s not a one-off. Just like creative, strategy or code skills- project management, management technology and commercial skills don’t just get learnt once and then known. Agency knowledge and skills are developed through time, experience and changing circumstances. By putting ongoing programs in place, successful agencies actively foster growth and development in crucial areas such as project management, financial and commercial skills. As the working landscape continually evolves, agencies must embrace a culture of learning, adaptation, and growth to effectively manage projects, clients, and budgets. The first step toward progress is acknowledging the gaps in knowledge and actively working to bridge them. 

If your agency needs help or support to find the right solution to help upskill teams and share knowledge, TEACH by Tangram could be the right fit for you. 

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Helen Johnson
+61 404 458 797


Christian Arpe-Hansen
+45 31 36 66 03