If you really think about it, eLearning and marketing are not so different from each other. Both have a core goal of influencing how people think and behave. Both are always looking for way to connect with and engage their audience. So does this similarity between marketing and eLearning mean that eLearning could actually steal some pages from the marketing handbook? Yes, it does! Here are 4 marketing tips that eLearning professionals can learn from. Have a look!
- Learners Are Your Customers
You know that marketing is fully customer-centric. Marketing professionals must know what their customers like, what do they need, what are their preferences, what are their motivations as well as their other behaviors in order to sell products or services to them. Sound similar to something you know? eLearning professionals too, must know the goals, motivations, needs, preferences, behaviors, experiences and existing knowledge of the learners they are targeting in order to educate them better. You’ve probably noticed how tenacious marketing professionals are, that is because they are diligent about audience analysis and use that information to design the right message for their target customer. Thus, eLearning professionals too, must analyze their target audience, i.e. their learners well and create compelling eLearning tailored to them. You must learn to design eLearning courses through the eyes of a learner, so that you know just what to create.
- Storytelling Is More Important Than You Think
Most people will likely have seen lots of advertisements throughout their lives. But have you noticed that a good, hard-hitting advertisement always has an amazing story to tell? This is because everyone loves a good story. Why? There’s a scientific explanation for that. Neuroscientists at Princeton University who conducted a study on the sensory centers of the human brain found out that when listening to a well-told story, the exact same areas of the brain light up on an MRI in both the storyteller and listener. Your brain, as the listener, mirrors the brain of the storyteller. In other words, when you hear a well-told story, your brain reacts as if you are experiencing it yourself. Thus, eLearning too, can and should use powerful, meaningful stories and narratives to help learners grasp complex concepts by giving their brains a new perspective and helping them get emotionally-invested in the learning, which makes it easier to retain.
- Prove Your Value To Businesses
Do you know who needs marketing the most? That’s an easy one. Businesses! In fact, marketing couldn’t be this big of an industry itself if it weren’t for businesses. And there are only a handful of businesses which do not market their products and services in some way or the other. But how did marketing become such an indivisible part of business? This is because marketing professionals constantly demonstrates the value marketing adds to businesses through various metrics. eLearning needs to do the same, to convey its value to businesses. eLearning professionals need to recount the core capabilities and the unique value it brings to businesses, which is helping their workforce learn new skills that can improve production, cut time spent in creation of their product or service, reduce production costs, reduce mistakes, build confidence in the workforce, and create a better working environment.
- Reach Your Customers, Instead Of Bringing Them To You
Marketing professionals anticipate customer needs, build products and solutions and identify multiple ways of reaching and engaging with their target audience. They don’t wait around for the customers to come to them and ask for their product or services, or ask them to create a product or service that fulfills their needs. As mentioned before, marketing is completely customer-centric. What eLearning needs to do, is be completely learner-centric, Marketing empowers customers. eLearning should too. In fact, eLearning already has begun its efforts to be learner-centric, by using themes of personalization and customization, as well as informal learning, social learning, microlearning and other emerging concepts, tools and technologies to reach learners and respond to their needs. However, only a handful of organizations utilize the full potential of these concepts, which needs to change.
eLearning needs to put itself out their more, like marketing, and give learners what they want. It also needs to focus on the bottom line when communicating its worth to businesses, which is that it can help create a higher quality, more effective training experience for employees, at a more affordable cost.