From capability academy to creative marketer of the year: congrats to AB InBev!

Feb 28, 2022 by Nomadic Team

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Congrats to our partner AB InBev on their marketing team's big win at Cannes Lions!

From AB InBev:

"Today, we are proud to share that we have been recognized by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as the Creative Marketer of the Year. This remarkable recognition reflects our commitment to harnessing the power of our global portfolio of brands to connect with people in new ways and make a meaningful impact in the world––and with 2 billion+ customers and consumers worldwide, we don’t take our potential to make a positive impact lightly."

We're thrilled for this well-deserved win for a team of very talented marketers––and we can't wait to see what they accomplish next.

From a marketing capability academy to real transformation

Several years ago, AB InBev began the journey of transforming their marketing function. They came to Nomadic with a clear goal: to build a world-class capability academy that would equip their marketers with modern marketing skills, tools, and behaviors to drive consumer-centric growth for the business.

We appreciated what Ryan Verschoor, AB InBev's head of marketing capability, had to say about Nomadic's role in transforming AB InBev's global team. "Nomadic has been a crucial part of our journey," Ryan said, "so thank you for your partnership in helping upskill our people and embed our new processes and ways of working."

We loved working with Ryan and his team to help them build a capability academy that would achieve their goals of breaking down silos, making their marketing team more innovative, and deepening and celebrating creativity across their organization.

For these capabilities, AB InBev saw that a cohort-based Academy with a social, collaborative learning style would be the most effective. Nomadic's semi-synchronous Academy allowed the global team of more than 2,000 marketers, distributed across more than 40 countries, to learn and build their skills together in the flow of the work, without major time zone or logistical hassles.

“The proof has been in the pudding," Ryan said, "in seeing the amount of engagement, with people interacting with their peers, arguing, discussing, debating, provoking."

And of course, the results speak for themselves. In addition to the CMOY award, AB InBev also received a record forty Cannes Lions, including two titanium, two grand prix, and nine gold awards.

A huge congrats to AB InBev for all they've accomplished. As our CEO and co-founder, Matt Burr, said: “We're very proud to partner with Ryan and the AB InBev team on their global Marketing Academy. We always knew they were the best. Glad to see Cannes Lions recognizes it too!”

Why are capability academies so effective?

Why was a marketing capability academy so effective in helping AB InBev marketers elevate and champion creativity? "Creativity" is a complex and multifaceted capability, involving different mindset skills, processes, ways of working together, and even aspects of culture and teamwork, like building psychological safety. To drive real impact for a global team working in many different regions, across many different brands, AB InBev needed a learning solution that went beyond check-the-box training and would instead help to fundamentally shift the way their marketers approached their work.

As HR analyst Josh Bersin explains, "An academy goes beyond a 'library of content.' It is a place people go to advance their job-related capabilities. It goes beyond technical and functional skills, and focuses on the business capabilities a company needs to thrive."

For hard-to-teach domains like creativity and teamwork, and for the major mindset shifts needed to drive true transformation, click-next e-learning simply won't work. Digital cohort-based capability academies, meanwhile, can have real learning impact in "soft skills" and leadership skills, at the scale today's global companies like AB InBev need.

A marketing capabaility academy in action

To learn more about how AB InBev's capability academy, check out our case study about how they implemented a cohort-based learning experience across their 2,000 marketers. We especially like the part about how the social and collaborative learning experience helped drive innovation. Not only do the cohort members learn from each other within the capability academy, but their comments, questions, ideas, and observations all become a record of insights that can lead to new initiatives and solutions, both within the marketing function and beyond.

Capability academies at Nomadic

Want to learn more about the Nomadic approach to capability academies? Get in touch to request a demo. We'd love to hear from you!

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