Complex learning delivered simply.

Publicis Media’s IQ Academy helps achieve business goals through skill-based learning approach.



worldwide, in more than 100 countries


Voluntary sign-ups in 5 months


Adobe Learning Manager ›

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Establishing flexible eLearning within a large, global organization

Keeping learners engaged and motivated

Supporting business goals through skills-based learning

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2,200 voluntary sign-ups for IQ Academy in five months

Seamless experiences teach relevant skills

User engagement reinforces learning

Learning aligned to business goals

“The Adobe Learning Manager interface lets us quickly roll out curricula with the skill and competency mapping that we needed to align with our business goals.”

Rick Ransome

Associate Director, Global Learning Strategy, Publicis Media’s DTI Practice

Driving programmatic integration and learning

In late 2014, Publicis Media evolved its programmatic model from a centralized one via its programmatic center of excellence (formerly VivaKi, now the Publicis Media Data, Technology and Innovation (DTI) global practice) to an integrated approach, shifting its programmatic buying and planning functions directly into its four agency brands: Starcom, Zenith, Optimedia | Blue 449, and Mediavest | Spark. This move placed programmatic at the front and center of client conversations, ensuring it was a key part of the overall media plan versus a separate line item.

As one of the fastest growing sectors in advertising, it was important that agencies got up to speed on programmatic planning and buying — and quickly. In the process of onboarding new programmatic experts into the agency teams and upskilling existing agency talent who had never worked in programmatic before, it was crucial to find a training process and education curriculum that served as the gold standard for programmatic training and certification — regardless of geography, background, skill level, or title. Publicis Media set out to build something that could meet this need.

“We envisioned a platform that could easily get interactive learning in front of Publicis Groupe agencies. During our research, we were excited to learn that Adobe was entering the LMS field and launching Adobe Learning Manager,” says Carol Sinko, Vice President, Global Learning Strategy, Publicis Media’s DTI Practice.

The success of IQ Academy

To fulfill its mission, Publicis Media created the IQ Academy, a first-of-its-kind interactive learning practice for building the expertise and skills workers need to support modern advertising. The company’s Global Learning Strategy team chose Adobe Learning Manager as IQ Academy’s learning management system (LMS) for administering, tracking, and delivering eLearning programs.

IQ Academy is designed to educate Publicis Media agencies, as well as other agencies within the Publicis Groupe network such as DigitasLBi, about new marketing technologies and techniques using rich, robust, interactive content. The first program launched in the IQ Academy included 22 foundational courses, 6 phase-level assessments, and 1 final certification exam covering all aspects of automated digital ad purchasing practices known as programmatic advertising. Given that the audience for the material includes multiple agencies across the global network, the Learning Strategy team used the flexible catalogs within Adobe Learning Manager to deploy content in line with each user group’s unique business goals.

“Training is an ever-present need,” says Pietro Bartoli, Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy and Analysis, Digitas LBi. “Having a well-thought-out regimen of modules put together so that, upon completion, it gives you a new set of skills relevant to what you’re doing, is a powerful combination.”

“The Adobe Learning Manager interface lets us quickly roll out curricula with the skill and competency mapping that we need to align with our business goals,” says Rick Ransome, Associate Director, Global Learning Strategy, Publicis Media’s DTI Practice. “Adobe Learning Manager lets us deploy eLearning programs that engage our learners and make them want to come back.”

“Adobe Learning Manager lets us create eLearning programs that engage our learners and make them want to come back.”

Rick Ransome

Associate Director, Global Learning Strategy, Publicis Media’s DTI Practice

Delivering a learner-first experience

The user experience was one of the most important considerations Publicis Media made when it chose Adobe Learning Manager. Its universal Fluidic player eliminates the distracting links and popups common to other LMSs. The HTML5 player also makes learning experiences seamless and modern on virtually any device.

According to a Client Operations Supervisor at a Publicis Media agency, when completing a course, the Fluidic player is very user friendly. There are not a bunch of pop-ups that require users to repeatedly click, ‘Yes, I approve. Yes, I approve.’ It all stays within a nice clean window.

From the user dashboard, learners can immediately view their progress, timelines for completing courses, and badges they’ve earned for their accomplishments. The user interface also recommends courses for building additional skills and gives learners a single space for accessing all media and taking notes.

“Whether I am looking at a PDF, watching a video, or pulling up a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, it is really fluid. I don’t have to download anything additional or open new tabs, which helps me stay focused,” says Jose Aguero, Analyst, Strategy and Analysis, Digitas LBi. “Having a notes section and the ability to write notes and come back to them is extremely helpful.”

Structure to support quality learning

Skill-based learning delivered through Adobe Learning Manager helps agencies develop one competency at a time — each one a small component of a larger learning goal. Keeping learners engaged promotes knowledge retention, so the DTI Global Learning Strategy team sought a solution that could support a variety of learning elements and get learners excited.

The gamification feature in Adobe Learning Manager is one of those motivational tools. It encourages learners to participate through friendly competition, with badges and the ability for learners to share their achievements.

“Instead of feeling like it’s something that you have to do, it kind of feels like something that you want to do—you want to earn badges, gain points, and stay engaged,” Aguero says.

The solution also provides reporting so Publicis Media can monitor how teams are gaining skills and knowledge. Adobe Learning Manager includes more than 120 reports, such as skill achievement and course completion.

Extending paths to success

Publicis Media is currently allowing users to decide how much they want to engage with the IQ Academy. Early adoption has exceeded expectations. In the academy’s first 5 months, more than 2,200 users created accounts.

The positive buzz is also extending beyond the Publicis Media. As trade press and other media have publicized the progress of IQ Academy, partners from within the programmatic and online advertising ecosystems have been asking how they can contribute.

“We’ve always envisioned the IQ Academy as a central repository for all kinds of training related to advertising — not just Programmatic Certification,” says Sinko. “Our goal has been to link to the many partners we work with to make it easy for our agency employees to access the training that is crucial for them to be able to manage campaigns effectively. Now, partners are calling us asking how they can get their content to our audience through our instance of Adobe Learning Manager.”

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