How CPD Gold and Platinum has impacted and strengthened MBA’s business over the last 4 years.
Internationally recognised as a champion of advertising excellence, perhaps best know for the renowned IPA Effectiveness Awards, the IPA's training and qualifications programme is developed to a world-class standard.
In CPD, the IPA has honed a qualification way beyond the 'exam'. IPA CPD is a methodology for how to run a successful modern agency and inculcate a winning culture of professional development in all aspects of agency life - a culture that most importantly meets the biggest test of all - a first class business performance.
So a prized IPA CPD Gold - and an even more prized IPA CPD Platinum, awarded after four consecutive years of Gold - is unique in celebrating this direct and causal relationship between the professional development and career success of each of our only real assets (these days more likely to go up and down the stairs than in the lift) and the company's business success. For this reason, a structured and ever evolving CPD programme is, and always will be, at the heart of how we nurture our talent and how we run our business at MBA.
Each year, our CPD programme has helped us grow our revenue over 10pc p.a as we increase the depth and breadth of our digital and tech capability - across creative tech, content, search, online PR and social in particular. We do this through upskilling and training across all roles, key tech event attendance, tech thought leadership programmes and workshops, embracing shared learning and insight through Slack and beyond. In this way, we are able to deliver our promise to clients of operating ‘Where Digital and Direct Interconnect’. There has never been a time when learning has been more vital, as we all see our marcoms landscape developing exponentially. Every one of us at every level needs to learn (and often unlearn) new skills every day to succeed.
We have always prided ourselves at MBA on delivering an above average industry margin. Again CPD has helped us do this. Each year processes have been tightened through more agile working methods and adopting collaboration tools across the agency such as Trello, as well as through rigorous internal and external IPA training programmes, masterclasses and more – helping everyone reach their potential and be as ‘business fit’ as possible. We have also encouraged internalising new skills such as social video production through investing in new qualifications and training for existing team members. Indeed last year our multi award winning O2 Hologram campaign was a beneficiary of these new in-house skills.
But a business performance that makes a company happy is of course delivered through a company team that are happy. Our #MBAGoodTimes programme helps us do this and consistently improve our staff retention - with such initiatives as white water rafting, office ‘bake offs’, karaoke sessions, team building activities, spa treatments and our hotly awaited annual Summer and Christmas parties. And we have found that monitoring team motivation and attitudes through benchmarking programmes such as Best Companies and the Happiness Index, help give us more direction for everyone’s future professional development, personal growth and motivation.
There is no doubt that CPD (always underpinned by clear ROI objectives and in particular the Kirkpatrick/Jack Phillips 5 stage evaluation model) has a direct impact on our business - on the retention and happiness of our team, on client satisfaction and on our revenue and profitability. This is the virtuous circle that CPD helps foster, monitor and reward. We are only ever as good as our talent and their motivation and happiness. They need to be nurtured and developed, and to learn every day. If they are, business success simply follows as we have seen at MBA and the coveted Gold and Platinum CPD - of which we are immensely proud – will be attained.
Stephen Maher is CEO of MBA, IPA Council Member and Chairman of the Marketing Society
Last updated 30/06/2016