4 reasons why ongoing Amazon education trumps course-style learning for Ecommerce Managers
By Kiri Masters, founder of The Marketplace Institute & Bobsled Marketing Wednesday January 15, 2020
Let’s state the obvious: there are plenty of Amazon courses and training programs out there. On your quest to improve your Amazon smarts, you’ve probably come across all manner of online courses, multi-day workshops, and other learning formats that promise to teach you all about Amazon’s inner workings and how to be successful.
But if you’re an ecommerce director, channel manager, or someone with a job responsibility to handle their company’s Amazon business, you might be wondering what is the best option.
At The Marketplace Institute, we strongly believe that learning how to effectively manage an Amazon channel is not a one-and-done thing.
How do we know this?
Our parent company, Bobsled Marketing, has trained up dozens of Amazon managers & specialists who’ve gone on to manage hundreds of brands’ Amazon channels. We understand both the initial training and ongoing education required to stay top of your game with Amazon. So when we created The Marketplace Institute, we replicated our internal education process, to give Amazon channel managers access to the same tools we use, under a membership model, rather than a one-and-done training model.
Here’s 4 reasons why we believe that this is the superior model for both getting up-to-speed as a new Amazon manager, as well as staying fresh with new programs, trends, and strategies wherever you are in your career.
Never Ending Learning Curve
You can’t sit down, “learn Amazon”, and be done with it. To start with, there’s a huge volume of information that you need to absorb - much of which wouldn’t be relevant at the time. For example, until you have to deal with Amazon incorrectly flagging your product as a Hazardous Material, there’s not much point learning about the process. But when you do run into that issue, you’ll want to have that information handy (and for it to be up-to-date). That’s why instead of offering course-style learning, we offer as-needed Processes and shorter training modules, that you can access on-demand as the need arises.
The strategies that worked 6 months ago aren’t necessarily the best ones today. Related to the above point, Amazon releases changes to policies, new programs and opportunities with high frequency. The trouble with highly-produced video courses and other training is that the content is outdated rapidly. In our membership, most processes are updated weekly - since these are the same processes we use at Bobsled Marketing (our parent company) to manage over 60 seller and vendor accounts.
Reaction time is critical. As someone who tracks all these changes on a weekly basis and spends 100% of my time in the world of Amazon, I still don’t manage to internalize every new feature that they throw at sellers and vendors. One-time training fails to account for the constant change and adaptation required as an Amazon channel manager. Unless you can spend a couple of hours everyday monitoring the news & changes that could impact you, you need a program that helps you sort & screen the developments that are relevant to you, and understand how you should adapt. A core feature of The Marketplace Institute is a weekly news digest that synthesizes what each news item means for brands, and members also have the opportunity to learn how their peers are approaching various changes and programs through our private Slack community.
Amazon Support System
Sometimes 1:1 help is needed. With Amazon providing a very limited support model for the majority of Sellers and Vendors, the folks in charge of these channels within their companies are left to their own devices. “There’s no Amazon helpline” is the feedback I got from dozens of interviews about how ecommerce managers stay up-to-date with their channel. Some problems or questions are simply too nuanced or specific to be answered in generic training material. That’s when it’s helpful to be able to consult 1:1 with an Amazon expert - one that’s not trying to sell you anything. We have 13 experts on-call with specializations in VC operations, SC operations, marketing, and advertising. Members are able to schedule 20-min calls with these experts and significantly speed up the time to resolve their issues.
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