The training and education arm of demand side platform MediaMath is to launch in Asia Pacific amid claims that marketers and senior executives are struggling to keep pace with the rate of technological change in the industry.

The New Marketing Institute (NMI), formed by MediaMath in 2012, will open courses in the region later this month in a move to arm companies and their staff – including CEOs – with a greater understanding of technology, including programmatic trading.

A variety of courses will be open from anyone from students up to boardroom level executives and are not limited to MediaMath partners or clients.

“We have tried to be as agnostic as possible,” NMI vice president Elise James-DeCruise said.

The launch comes at a time of growing importance for programmatic trading – and digital as a whole – as marketers direct more of their budgets into the space.

But knowledge of its capabilities and mechanisms among many marketers remains foggy.

NMI certification and program lead Marrah Africa said marketers in Asia, as in other regions, are simply struggling to keep up with technological advances in the digital world.

Others have come from a traditional marketing background and “need to get up to speed” with trends and terms and learn the art of programmatic and other issues relating to digital advertising, she said.

“It’s one thing after another,” said Africa. “By the time you learn and understand innovation A, it moves to the next level. By the time you learn about the next level, innovation B has arrived. It can be overwhelming.

“I feel that what whatever I learned five years ago for example is now almost obsolete.

“It’s also important to understand the evolution of innovation, such as programmatic. When it started Real Time Bidding (RTB) was there because there was remnant inventory that needed to be sold and it was being sold at a competitive price.

“But now you see premium inventory is sold, so RBT had moved to programmatic. It’s not an auction, it’s automation and smart decision making that is taking place.”

NMI vice president Elise James-DeCruise said NMI was formed initially to provide training courses for clients on Mediamath’s TerminalOne technology. But it soon emerged there was a far wider knowledge gap.

“There were, and are, a lot of new people coming in to the programmatic space from traditional marketing roles, so we started looking at closing that gap quickly and providing them with the support they need to be able to hire and select the best people,” she said, adding it also helps to reduce turnover.

“We wanted to create an environment where people felt comfortable about asking questions, where they can put their guard down.”

She said training courses as are geared towards the c-suite as much newcomers to the industry.

“We have a lot of CEOs and CMOs who are very advanced in traditional marketing but when they get over to programmatic they need to get up to speed quickly on trends or terms within that space,” she said. “We want to become their trusted advisor so they can not only learn the skills, but to lead the organisation and empower their direct reports to have thoughtful meaningful conversations.”

MediaMath senior marketing manager Isman Tanuri acknowledged that marketers in the region need to develop their skills and take advantage of sophisticated technology.

“Presenting the right message in the right place at the right time has always been the mantra of marketing, the end game,” he said, “And at this point in history, what we have been talking about for 100 years is finally happening.”

NMI also works in partnership with universities and trade associations to develop training courses.

Read at Mumbrella Asia