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How To Master Learning and Development Marketing?


An arrow highlighting that the best learning and development marketing strategies are added below

Ah, a new learning program! 


After countless brainstorming sessions fueled by endless coffee and creative chaos, you've birthed a new initiative that promises to redefine the way your team functions. 


Do you feel the excitement of a newly developed project fading as the stress of promoting it takes over?


What if people don’t like it? What if they think it wasn’t helpful enough? Or worse: WHAT IF THEY DON’T SHOW UP AT ALL? 


We’ve all been there. The stress of marketing a new learning program is real. But do you know how to lighten the load? We’ve curated the best practices to get the word of your program out there. 


Who Are You To Your Audience? 


When it comes to Learning And Development Marketing, think about the benefit you want to communicate to your learners. What should they feel and think when they see your communication material? 


You want to give your learners value and make them feel like they have something to gain by attending the program. So how do you communicate that value?  


  • Establish Your Identity: Your brand identity is more than just a logo or tagline - it's the essence of what your L&D program represents. It's about the values, vision, and mission that guide your program. Communicate your core principles and what sets you apart from others. This establishes a clear, consistent image in the minds of your learners.


  • Shout Out Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your L&D program the best? Is it the experience, the content, the relevancy, the flexible learning options, or the skill upgrades it provides? Show everyone why your program is a must-do. 


  • Define Your Role: What’s your mission in the grand scheme of learning? Are you all about leadership development, boosting technical skills, or fostering overall employee growth? Spell out your role in supporting the organisation's goals and how your program contributes to the big picture.


The Lifecycle of Learning And Development Marketing


Pre-Launch Phase


You First Need To Know Who You’re Marketing To


an L&D marketer standing in front of a crowd

It wouldn’t make sense to promote a sales training program to a team of engineers who are more interested in honing their coding skills, right? 


So, when you promote your program and put it in front of those who will find it useful, it will help you attract attention. You already know who your learners are – now it's about figuring out how to talk to them in a way that resonates. 


Strategy Tips


  • Understand the Purpose: Start by revisiting why the program was created. What organisational need or gap does it address? Turn the program’s benefits into engaging messages that highlight how exciting and beneficial it will be for them.


  • Identify the Intended Audience: Is it aimed at emerging leaders, mid-level managers, or senior executives? Knowing this will guide your marketing efforts to the appropriate groups.


  • Establishing a Baseline: Collect and analyse data from past training programs or conduct a pilot test of the program. This helps you set realistic goals and measure the success of your campaign against a known benchmark.


  • Match Needs with Benefits: Ensure that the program’s objectives align with the career aspirations and development needs of the learners. Highlight how your training program can help your learners achieve their goals and overcome current challenges.


  • Communicate Relevance: Tailoring your messaging creates a real connection by showing how your training program meets their needs, boosts leadership skills, and aligns with career goals. 


Personalised communication can lead to five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and can lift sales by 10% or more. It’s about how you communicate with your employees to establish trust, and personalising your approach to promoting your program contributes to achieving that goal.



It’s All About The Hype You Create 


Fun Fact: Did you know that creating buzz for a new L&D program can be just as thrilling as launching a new product? Think of it as building anticipation for the latest smartphone release but with the bonus of boosting your team's skills and morale!


Practical Advice


When you create anticipation and excitement for something, human curiosity will kick in and learners will actively wait for what it is that you’re creating so much buzz around. So how do you build that hype? Let’s go through this sequentially:  


  1. Start with Stakeholder Meetings: Introduce your upcoming project or initiative during team meetings and debriefs. Outline the goals, benefits, and potential impact. Engage participants by inviting questions and feedback to generate early interest.

  2. Engage Senior Leadership: Gain leadership buy-in early on. Present the project’s strategic importance and benefits to senior management. Their endorsement not only validates the initiative but also encourages broader organisational excitement.

  3. Tease Strategically: Maintain momentum by strategically releasing teasers and updates. Share compelling insights or milestones to sustain interest leading up to the launch. Create an air of anticipation without revealing everything at once.

  4. Build Word-of-Mouth: Encourage team members to share their excitement with peers. Genuine enthusiasm spreads naturally and enhances organisational buzz. Provide talking points and updates to keep conversations lively and informed.

  5. Expand with Podcasts and Events: For larger initiatives, consider hosting podcasts or organising special events. Podcasts can delve deeper into project details, featuring interviews or discussions with key stakeholders. Events provide interactive platforms for live engagement and networking opportunities. 


Now, How Are You Going To Promote That Hype?


Here’s the thing: creating hype is just the beginning. The real challenge is sustaining that excitement and converting it into action.


The Drake meme showing that multichannel marketing is better than omnichannel marketing

Here's how to sell that hype effectively with a multichannel approach:


  • Posters and Signboards: Strategically place eye-catching posters and signboards in high-traffic areas like break rooms, elevators, and hallways. Use bold graphics, catchy slogans, and intriguing questions to grab attention and spark curiosity.


  • Office Announcements: Utilise internal PA systems or team meetings to make brief, enthusiastic announcements about the program. Hearing a leader or a respected colleague talk about the program can significantly boost interest.


  • Workshops and Info Sessions: Host short, informal workshops or info sessions in common areas like the cafeteria or lounge. These can serve as quick, engaging introductions to your new program, allowing employees to ask questions and learn more about what they would be in for with the program. 


  • Showcase Success Stories: Share testimonials and success stories from past participants of previous programs. Highlight how your last program has positively impacted their careers and personal growth. Real-world examples make the value tangible and relatable - seeing others gain something would make you want to gain it too right? 


  • Team Meetings: Have team leaders discuss the benefits and importance of the new training program during regular meetings to encourage participation.


Launch Phase


It’s time! This is when your program will be hosted, and this is what the build-up has been so far. 


  • Kick-off Webinars or Workshops: Host a live event or a webinar to announce that your program is now live and that people can attend it. 


  • Email Blasts: Send out detailed emails stating that your program is now ready for its audience and include the date, address and time of when your program will be conducted. This serves as a reminder for learners to attend the program. 


  • Metrics Analysis: Keep a check on how your program is responding to the immediate launch so that you have all the data gathered in this phase, helping you analyse it better in the post-launch phase. While it’s not possible to gather all the data already, keep track of how many people responded to the buzz you created and rushed to attend your program immediately. 


Post-launch Phase


Now finally, how did your program perform? That’s what this entire journey has been all about. 


Here’s how to measure how much impact your program created: 


  • Track Participation Rates: To calculate the participation rate, divide the number of participants by the total number of people reached, then multiply by 100. For example, if 200 employees registered out of 1000 reached, the participation rate would be 20%.


  • Gather Feedback: Ask participants to share their reactions and overall satisfaction with the program. This feedback can include engagement levels, learning experiences, and any observed behavioural changes. Positive feedback and high engagement levels indicate a successful campaign and a valuable program.


  • Post-Training Impact: Observe and record any changes in participants’ performance after completing the training. Have they applied any of the skills they learned to solve any issue, or displayed the correct usage of it? This can be done through self-assessments, peer reviews, and supervisor feedback.


  • Track Costs: Keep track of the costs associated with the training program, including materials, instructors, and other resources. Comparing these costs against the benefits can help in evaluating the program's return on investment (ROI).


  • Analyse Satisfaction: Measure the overall satisfaction levels of participants through surveys and feedback forms. High satisfaction rates are a good indicator of the program’s success.


  • Email Updates: Send out emails to communicate with your learners, and others too, about how well your campaign performed to show them how much of a success it was. Thank all those who participated, and maybe send a small teaser that you’ll be coming up with a new one soon so that your audience can look forward to attending a new one.


Learning And Development marketing metrics and how to measure marketing efforts

Celebrate Success: Recognize and Reward Progress


Creating a buzz and sustaining interest in your program doesn’t end once it begins. Recognizing and rewarding progress is essential to keep employees motivated and engaged throughout the program. 


Here are some actionable tips to celebrate milestones and make participation more appealing:


  • Award certificates to participants who complete various modules or the entire program. 

  • Highlight participant achievements in company newsletters, during team meetings, or on internal social media platforms. 

  • Offer small incentives, such as gift cards or extra time off to participants who reach specific milestones. 

  • Create a friendly competition by introducing leaderboards that track progress and achievements. 

  • Host events to celebrate the completion of the program, such as a graduation ceremony or a recognition luncheon. These events can include speeches from senior leaders, the distribution of certificates, and fun activities to honour the participants' hard work.


Conclusion


And we did it! 


Following these tips can make the process of promoting your new training program easier than expected. 


Did you know that organisations with well-executed L&D campaigns typically see a significant increase in employee engagement and performance? After putting all that effort into creating an extensive program, the last thing you’d want is for people to give it a miss. 


One of the best ways to make the most of your training program is to promote it irresistibly to your learners so that most people can take advantage of it and develop themselves with the goodness of the program.  


Over to you now to market your new learning program like a boss! 


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