UMAI social circle cpg podcast

#47: 3 Tips to Training your Marketing Team

Welcome to episode 47, where we’ll discuss our top tips for training your marketing team. Our co-founder Alison will dive into the importance of ongoing education and training in the agency and marketing space. At UMAI, our approach has always been to hire & train bright individuals with potential and focus on ongoing education for our team. We’ve developed our own comprehensive training course, drawing from our decade of experience as in-house marketers, as well as in our marketing agency. In this episode, Alison will share key insights to elevate your marketing team’s skills and help your brand scale. Let’s get started! 🤓

Let Us Break It Down For You…

[0:58 – 2:37] UMAI Marketing’s top tips for training marketers
[2:38 – 5:14] Tip 1: Document Everything
[5:15 – 7:52] Tip 2: Incentivize Continued Learning
[7:53 – 10:41] Tip 3: Onboarding and Ongoing training
[10:42 – 11:31] Check out our Marketing Training resources!

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#47: 3 Tips to Training your Marketing Team

Alison Smith: [0:17]
Howdy, listeners. We’re Alison.
Karin Samelson: [0:18]
And I’m Karin.
Alison Smith: [0:19]
And we love growing CPG brands.
Karin Samelson: [0:22]
We’re the founders of a digital and social media marketing agency, UMAI Marketing, and creators of The Consumer Goods Growth Course, where we’ve helped grow dozens of brands to six and seven figures.
Alison Smith: [0:32]
We’re former in-house marketers turned consumer goods marketing educators, who’ve set off on a mission to provide CPG founders and marketers with actionable strategies that drive community and sales. We’re talking real results.
Karin Samelson: [0:46]
If you’re wanting to learn simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies needed to drive real brand growth, without breaking the bank or sacrificing your social life, then this is the podcast for you. Let’s get into today’s episode.
Alison Smith: [0:58] 
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode number 47. We’re calling it Our Top Tips for Training Your Marketing Team. Alison here, and I’m here to talk to you about something that is near and dear to our heart, and really something that every single one of our team members values as well. That is ongoing education and training. It’s very important if you’re in the agency or marketing space. So when we started UMAI, Karen and I knew that we wanted to find talented, smart individuals with potential, but not necessarily experts in their field. We’d rather hire someone smart and savvy rather than, say, field experts who may not be a great culture fit, and give them the training and education that they need to develop their skills.

So from the beginning, we drilled building out SOPs for everything, and even created our own course to train anyone, including our team, how to be a great marketer. We put everything we knew in this training course that we learned from the past 10 years of being in-house as well as in our own marketing agency serving multiple CPG brands at the time. So in today’s episode, we’re going to be sharing a few of our best tips on how to train your new marketing hire or get your marketing team to the next level to help your brand scale. All right, let’s get into it.

Tip number one, document everything, especially anything that is repeatable or anything that you know is the best way to do something that you want the rest of your team to follow, or something that is inherently difficult or the average person would need direction. Documenting it is going to speed up that process for anyone on your team. Most of these documents come in the form of a written SOP, or standard operating procedures, or we use a lot of video, so video captures using Loom or a screen recording via QuickTime Player is great. As you start collecting all of your SOPs, all of your video how-tos, create a library of them. For example, ours is stored in a Google Drive folder, and we have sub-folders with all of the different marketing levers that we pull, so like one for social media, one for email, and we try to use keywords so someone can come into our internal SOP Drive folder and quickly search for exactly what they need.

These have become super handy, obviously when we bring and onboard someone new to our team, but also with interns. We have generally three-to-six-month intern contracts, and it could get overwhelming retraining every quarter, so instead what we do is we give them exactly the SOPs that they’re going to need, exact videos that they’re going to need, and they can get started right off the bat. And final thing about documenting everything. This was something that Karin and I ingrained in our team, every single person that came on, our first hire, we said, “Everything you do, we want to see an SOP for it,” and this just made it super streamlined. We could review those SOPs instead of shadowing that person for a week. We could just look at their SOP and say, “You should do it this way. This way would be faster,” or we’d learn something new. And then if that person went on to a different role and we hired someone else, they had everything that they needed upon onboarding, so a huge thing to do when you’re starting a company or an agency is to drill that into your team, “Do it yourself. Write as many SOPs. Do as many videos as you can,” as you go through different processes.

Okay, tip number two is incentivizing continued learning. Sometimes, the education and the value of learning alone are incentive enough for marketers. Generally, marketers love learning. It’s really part of our job. But if you can find out what incentivizes your team beyond just the value of education or beyond just getting better at developing their skills, then you can better ensure that your team is constantly learning, improving, and evolving, which is only going to be great for your own business.

For example, we give our team a yearly stipend for them to spend on any new course to take, so they’ll just know that they have a certain amount of money a year. Sometimes we go over it, but they will just come to us and be like, “Hey, I think I really need a course on project management. I think I’m taking too long to get things moving through a Basecamp, or our project management system. I think if I took the time to learn more, then we could be even more streamlined as a team.” And it’s like, “Okay, do it. Let’s go. Here’s your money. We’ll buy it for you,” and generally, more of the team members step up and also take someone’s course too.

We also have no-call Fridays, because Fridays, for us, if you do need to take Friday off, go for it, but having a quiet Friday allows our team to reserve some of that time to learning, online learning through courses, reading, email newsletters, blogs, et cetera, so Fridays are generally our time to learn. 

And then the final thing I’ll say about incentivizing continued learning is we do a quarterly anonymous survey to our team. If you have a small team, it might be difficult to know, to be anonymous, but making it anonymous just helps people know that they can be as honest as possible, and we simply just ask them, “What motivates you to do a good job?” And a few other questions. And the answers are all over the board. Some people, it’s money. Some people, it’s just words of affirmation. Some people just need to know that they’re supported by the team, and that they are supporting their own team, which is awesome. So really try to dive in and understand what each person needs to be better, work harder, et cetera, because it’s not always what you think it’s going to be.

And then finally, tip number three is onboarding and ongoing training, so ensure your onboarding is the best user experience possible. Onboarding your team, you should spend a good chunk of your time making sure it is streamlined and easy to comprehend, so take your time onboarding new employees, and let them shadow the person who is currently doing that role for as long as possible. For our team, onboarding lasts eight weeks, so what happens in week one is just getting a deep dive, downloading all of the materials. We have an onboarding deck, with videos and links to everything, just getting familiar, meeting the team, things like that. And then shadowing starts, and shadowing lasts around four weeks, so they’re going to shadow the person who is currently doing that job for four weeks. If you can do that on your team, the more time they get to see how the job has been done, the better, and during that shadowing period, they also start providing feedback on what they think could be improved, what could be better. It’s always great to get new eyes on a role that’s been in existence for years, and maybe hasn’t changed that much or evolved.

And then after that four-week period, the next four weeks are them kind of stepping into a leadership role, stepping into that role, and having the person who previously had that role shadow them. So they might be on any client-facing calls or team calls, but silent, and then providing feedback after the call, and then they’ll also have a weekly call, usually with the person whose role they’re taking over, just to talk through any questions, or any feedback, or anything that they think could be better with the role.

But it also doesn’t stop at onboarding your team, especially for marketers. As things change constantly in this space, so if you want your team to stay current and optimized, it’s important that you provide ongoing training or continued learning, so sending your team to things like marketing conferences, having them sign up for webinars or other virtual events, or doing like we do and giving them a stipend or purchasing a online course for them. While this is maybe an additional upfront cost, it is absolutely worth the investment in not needing to rehire and onboard again. That takes a lot of resources to do, and it’s better to have retention with your employees, so having to rehire and onboard is obviously losing a lot of valuable time, and we all know that time is money.

All right, y’all. That is it for our top three tips for training your team to stay current and continue to create better and better marketers. Investing in your team is investing in your business, so if you’re ready to make an investment in training or continued marketing education, you absolutely should check out the Consumer Goods Growth Course. It’s the digital blueprint that will allow you to train your marketing team and drive consistent sales for your CPG, and you can do it all in just six weeks. It’s what we use to train every single person that comes on our team. If you want to learn more about it, you can go to, and as always, you can DM us on Instagram @umaimarketing if you have any questions after listening to this episode.

Karin Samelson: [11:32]
Thanks for listening to the UMAI Social Circle, y’all. We’re here to support you in your CPG journey, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any new podcast episodes. And while you’re at it, please leave us a review on your listening platform of choice. Shoot us a DM @umaimarketing on Instagram if you have any topics you want us to cover on new podcast episodes.

Alison Smith: [11:50]
And don’t forget to access our free masterclass, where we’re showing you how to create a solid marketing strategy. You can access that at And we’ll meet you back here for the next episode.

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