A few days ago, I got an e-mail from the folks at Root Learning about a new management training offering they’ve put together. The message included a link to a video that satirized the typical manager development experience. In this clip, our protagonist is literally roped into an assignment he knows nothing about, and is given a perplexing set of tools and a manual to accomplish who-knows-what.
I don’t really know that much what Root’s learning program is actually like and can’t offer any additional information on that score, but the video they put together to promote it is certainly intriguing. I point it out to CLO readers to give them an example of how they can “advertise” their learning programs to their “customers” in their own companies.!@!
We’ve talked about marketing learning offerings in the pages of Chief Learning Officer magazine before. But as the field of marketing itself has rapidly changed in the past few years – with terms like “viral,” “guerrilla” and “word of mouse” describing leading-edge methods – this is a topic worth revisiting.
Paradoxically, it’s never been easier or harder to market to an audience today. The means to reach that audience is very accessible and inexpensive. (For instance, how much do you think that Root video cost? Posting it to YouTube was free, the camera equipment couldn’t have been more than a few thousand, and I’m guessing those actors weren’t getting paid according to the SAG scale.) However, most people in developed countries are bombarded with messages in various forms of media in nearly every waking moment, and making your marketing stand out is more difficult than ever.
As you consider how to reach your audience, be sure to think about the following:
1. Do we have a relationship with the marketing function, and can we enlist them in our efforts to promote learning?
2. What kinds of media do our learning audiences respond to best? Can we employ these in our marketing efforts?
3. How should this message be communicated (e.g., Donald Gunn’s master formats)?
4. Is there a way to track the success or failure of our marketing initiatives?
How have you promoted learning at your organization? What questions do you ask about how to connect with the employee population? Let us know about it in the Comments section.
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