Digital Skills Training By Facebook

Why is Digital Skills training important? As Freeformers reports

According to the European Commission, 40% of companies across Europe are now experiencing skills shortages. Additionally, only 57% of European university and school leavers are confident that their education has armed them with the right skills for their future careers.  I was brought in to develop the strategy, proposition, brand , marketing content and  lead all of the recruitment.

The Challenge

In January 2018, Facebook partnered with Freeformers to train 120,000 18-30 year olds across Europe under the Facebook banner. A fantastic initiative enabling people to develop the confidence and the skills they need for future employment in a digital economy.


We wanted this to be based on strong insight so we embarked on a research programme across Europe and I lead research groups with millennials in the UK to help guide the programme. The ambition was two fold:

  • To set up a marketing strategy team, infrastructure and acquisition strategy to manage the activity across six countries.
  • To establish a brand proposition, identity and toolkit that can be used by Freeformers and Facebook for the duration of the programme.
The Approach
  • We didn’t have much time and we needed a scalable business model.

    The first stage was a situation analysis and it became clear that  we had only 3 months to develop the brand, infrastructure and plan before we had to move into test phase.

    We also needed to be clear how Millennia

    ls were going to perceive the offer and how that was going to differ from country to country.  I personally ran a research series, which focused where  we were going to take the proposition in and our approach to marketing.

    Test in London, scale up in Poland, rolled out to six countries, completed successfully.”

    I recruited a virtual team of trusted experts

    that was kept intentionally small to ensure that we delivered effectively.

    I ran the operation with an awesome growth hacker in and UK who was elbow-deep everyday in the Facebook audience manager, alongside a superb head of marketing situated in Budapest who helped support the country representatives.

    We organised a train-the-trainer model to ensure that we could scale appropriately.  

    Freeformers and Facebook are working with various in-country partners and NGOs across Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Poland & the UK to bring the Digital Skills Training Programme to 75,000 18-30 year olds.

    We created a toolkit of assets and used Workplace to facilitate the conversations.

    I oversaw a brand new brand and a fully integrated campaign with over 50 assets, predominantly videos and gifs.

  • We tested a live event at the Facebook offices to assess feedback before we moved to the scale up and roll up phase.  This was absolutely essential in refining the proposition. We also carried out some live user testing that improved the UX.
  • From the start, we set up a NPS feedback loop for every participant at every event.
  • Even though we recruited country managers to manage local activity, I think the cultural differences from country to country continued to surprise us.
    Once up and running, this was an incredibly well oiled machine that ran smoothly with hard work from the operational team
  • The programme is now training 1000 plus millennials a week in digital skills, some of their stories are amazing – see attached.  
  • The net promoter scores are by and large exceptional, with only one country needing a different approach.
  • Once I completed the the initial scale up phase, the operational team managed to create a strong continuous rhythm across the world.
  • Established a  scalable marketing strategy and acquisition plan utilising Facebook and Instagram inventory.
  • Built a Facebook marketing toolkit that can be used from country to country by 50 partners.
  • Proposition, brand identity, creative execution to establish the “Facebook Digital Skills Programme.”
  • Extensive hands on market research to establish customer insight into the 18-30 market to aid NPD.
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