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A shot in the arm for 4,000 marketers

The pharmaceutical industry is fiercely competitive, and sales depend on highly-targeted customer communications. Having set a strategic goal to ‘put customer experience at the heart of our output’ our client identified a need to upskill and empower their team to become highly proficient marketers in the digital age.

The Challenge

The Global Marketing Director needed to roll out a global learning and development programme, to 4,000 members of the marketing team, located across 65 countries. A key challenge was to retain student and manager engagement given the wider business pressures.

Realising the traditional classroom approach wasn’t going to work, they turned to AVADO, for a solution based on fresh ideas and exceptional digital execution capability.

Within 18 months, the whole marketing team had completed the programme. What made the difference when re-booting the marketing skills set?

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The Solution

AVADO devised a blended learning approach, using technology to combine virtual bootcamps, digital certificates, bitesize learning and face-to-face workshops. The programme was set up to allow each person to learn in a way that best suited their schedule, location and the company’s broader organisational goals.

At the programme’s core was the Multi-Channel Marketing Certificate, a 6-month, tailored certification programme run within a virtual campus. The MCM is made up of a mixture of live, interactive online classes, individual and group projects and culminating in a virtual graduation.

While they weren’t participating in the full certificate, managers also needed a solid grounding in the principles, concepts and language being learned by their teams, to be able to offer the support they needed to put everything into action.

Introducing Manager Bootcamps

Given that they were spread across dozens of international territories and time was tight, this required an innovative approach. The AVADO team successfully leveraged online technology to run a series of facilitator-led virtual bootcamps built within an online classroom and incorporating presentations, discussion and interactive group work in real time for 20 students at a time.

A series of Senior Leaders Digital Bootcamps was rolled out in London, New York and Singapore to drive the required change in mindset at the most senior level. While these were run as face-to-face events, collaborative learning technology was used in many ways, including the sharing of supporting materials, analysis of barriers to change, pre and post surveys addressing digital confidence and ongoing dialogue between distributed participants before, during and after the bootcamps.

Finally, a bitesize overlay – MCM Lite – was built into the programme as a whole to address the needs of the 2000+ staff that work in functional roles (e.g. finance), supporting the marketing team’s efforts. Delivered via a hybrid of webinars, eLearning and downloadable assets, this component had the clear objective of building knowledge to support a strong partnership between MCM Lite participants and the marketing teams they work with.

The Results

Over 1,600 people from 65 different countries enrolled on the certificate.

AVADO case study results

Through the effective use of technology and digital execution, AVADO has been able to successfully scale a global learning and development programme for our client’s marketers across multiple time zones over five continents. The programme has fundamentally enabled the company to ‘level up’ its approach to marketing and work is underway to reinforce and embed the learnings still further across the business.

At the very top, the company’s marketing best practice is being completely redeveloped to incorporate the core principles of the AVADO programme.


Here at AVADO, we work with global brands to digitally upskill and future-proof their teams. If you’d like to get in touch and see what digital-first learning programmes we can offer your organisation, get in touch here today.

Sigrid Daniel

Posted August 20, 2018