Fabric Academy is a digital learning and development community founded by entrepreneur Lisa Eaton.

Lisa Eaton is the founder and managing director of Unwritten, a strategic communication agency based in the North of England.

Lisa launched Fabric during lockdown. It’s a digital marketing academy to support marketing professions in developing an integrated communications strategy from scratch.

Fabric is a practical and applied programme that takes 12 weeks to complete and runs three times a year. The first cohort starts this month.

I caught up with Lisa in Newcastle to talk about Unwritten, Fabric and plans for 2021.

Do you think COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on marketing services?

There is no doubt, COVID has been hugely disruptive to marketing services, in some areas more than others, but we’ve seen changes right across the board and that fluctuation is likely to continue throughout the early part of 2021 I’d imagine. 

Where I believe COVID will have a longer term impact will be in consumer behaviours. How and why consumers choose brands, products and services, and how they purchase from them.  We’re already seeing significant changes here, particularly around technology and data and how this is used or stored and a reluctance to spend in the same way as pre-COVID times. More consumers than ever before are conscious of saving money, and we’re seeing a large shift in their feelings towards travel.  

How has Unwritten managed the creative process during lockdown?

We’ve tried to recreate as much of the ‘in-person’ creative process sessions as possible via video calls.  So brainstorming sessions, scamping ideas, sharing suggestions and feedback loops have continued.  We’ve used software a lot, Pinterest and various others have been a great way to share ideas.  Our creative team is extremely strong and they've worked together for years so they know each other well, which has really helped keep processes flowing.  

What’s Fabric Academy and who is it for?

Fabric was built for ambitious marketers to access years of marketing experience to help them progress in their career and make a real impact in their organisation. It’s a remote, 12 week training programme that teaches marketers of all levels how to build an effective strategy from the ground up, and is packed full of templates, tools and guides to support this. Unlike conventional training courses, you build your own strategy throughout the training programme, of which we assess and feedback on, so that your organisation benefits from a real life marketing strategy that you are equipped to deliver.  It’s 20 years of experience packed into 12 weeks and is perfect for anyone who’s currently working in marketing.

Why does marketing have an uneasy relationship with learning and development, and qualifications?

I’m not sure it does necessarily, but the options around the types of L&D offered in the marketing space are extremely limited and predominantly academic. Businesses are looking for marketers who have proven results in their efforts and who are able to build an effective marketing strategy for their organisation and help take it to the next level – the traditional courses on offer don’t necessarily teach the broader skills needed to do this. I guess this is why we’re so passionate about what Fabric can offer to the marketing learning and development arena – it’s offer is so unique, teaching marketers how to define businesses objectives, understand audiences, analyse data and report to a board of directors… these are the skills that are needed to really stand out in your profession and make a difference in an organisation. 

What advice would you give to your 25-year-old self?

Take a breath every now and again, and enjoy the small things. I’m guilty of running at 100 miles an hour all of the time and sometimes forget to look at what I’ve achieved and enjoy it for a moment.

Focus on the things you’re able to control and don’t worry about the things you can’t!  2020 has certainly reminded me of that lesson! 

Surround yourself with the most amazing people who inspire you every day and treat everyone as you’d like to be treated.