Having worked both in eLearning and marketing, I have watched my profession shift to more learner/customer-centric, personalized tactics powered by data and technology. Customers had gotten too smart, too savvy. It no longer worked to shove our messages in front of a mass audience, hoping that a percentage of them would be convinced of what we had to say. Even Don Draper (for those who have watched Mad Men) couldn’t convince us of traditional advertising’s value anymore.
Customers have started to demand more personalized solutions. It looks like they try to solve their own problems and do their own research to arrive at their own conclusions. An aggressive pitch was no longer persuasive. Educational Content that consumers can find and consume on their own time to guide them to their conclusion, however, is very effective.
So, you might say Marketing borrowed from Training when we started to use words like educate, coach and teach. Marketers went a step further to use automation technology to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time – a difficult yet important aspect of engaging today’s consumers.
This is where eLearning is starting to borrow from marketing. As Technology advances, equipment may be replaced or processes updated and streamlined. Any of those situations can impact how an employee goes about his day-to-day. There is always something new to learn.
Some observations I have experienced of the similarities between eLearning and Marketing are as follows;
- People want to consume that content when and how they want. This means that content needs to be easy to find, available 24/7 and optimized for multiple devices.
- You can’t assume your message got across after one touch. It requires repeated reinforcement.
- Your job as the content creator is to be helpful. In marketing, you’re providing information to help someone make a decision. In eLearning, you’re providing guidance to help someone complete a task or do their job better.
- eLearning Campaigns are similar to Marketing Campaigns via marketing automation platforms; multiple touches, scheduled over a series of days or weeks, are set to deploy automatically and collect performance data of each step.
What do you all think?