Wednesday, April 02, 2014

10 MARKETING TASTERS in online learning to create sense of URGENCY

Online learning is so often launched then unused and unloved. So much effort goes into the making, that the marketing gets ignored. How often is there a substantial marketing budget in the project? Rarely. How often is there anyone with real marketing expertise in the team? Rarely.
1. Create sense of urgency
You’re reading this because something in your head said – this matters. Kotter, the great expert on change management, says that before you write vision documents, project plans and Gantt charts, ‘create a sense of urgency’, the first in his famous 8 steps in change management. That may be a threat, new initiative, new product, the promise of something new for them– use a trigger to excite people. The same istrue of learning. You must stimulate curiosity.
2. Tasters
Good movies have good tasters. Good courses should also have good tasters. Tailor the taster to the needs of your learners based on the 7 key questions you’ve used in your market research. What do they want to get out of this? If the main barrier to use is the perception of compliance training as a ‘lose the will to live’ experience, spice it up. Remind them of the dire consequences of not doing hte training. Remember that a good taster needs to stimulate curiosity. It needs to be short, relevant and intriguing.
3. Title tricks
Something that often receives cursory attention is the title. Yet this is the tip of your marketing spear. You can live with a boring old teacher-speak title such as ‘Introduction to marketing’. That’s OK if you want it to be literal (there may be good reasons for this). Alternatively, if you’re appealing to people who want to acquire a skill it may be better to say ‘Practical marketing’. If you need to create a sense of urgency then up the stakes to ‘10 things you need to know about marketing’. You get the idea.
4. Email
Whatever people say about social media, email is still the hub in the centre of many people’s communication wheel, with spokes coming in from social media and other sources. Short emails, when cleverly written, with links to tasters and a clear call to action are still an effective marketing tool. Tasters can be sent as attachments or embedded so that they appear in the email when it is opened. The email, in itself, should be seen as a taster.
5. Tasty tweets
Internally, perhaps on yammer, or externally on twitter/Facebook, Tweets, posts and messages will get to people through that little portable, powerful and personal gadget in their pocket – their mobile. I, personally think mobile learning is more about the mobile marketing of learning, and tasters, spaced practice and so on, than the delivery of courses.
6. Trigger txts
Your learners almost certainly have a mobile, so why not text them. Whatsapp also allows you to send images, even videos. Snapchat is fun – why not. Make sure your txt is short, sharp and sweet.
7. Curiosity question
Ask a fascinating question from the course. one that will puzzle or surprise. Along the lines of Why do men have nipples? Make them think. This can be around a surprising statistic, counterintuitive fact or technique, anything that makes them curious. Every learning experience should have this cognitive ‘apercu’, something that makes your eyebrows rise.
8. Infographic
Infographics summarise a course. They are single graphics that encapsulate al of the main learning points using a graphic style. This has become a well known graphic genre on the web and can also be used as an aide-memoire screen for the course as a whole.
9. Trigger video
Create a short, snappy taster video and upload it to YouTube or wherever it can be retrieved. It may even be a short ‘talking head’ message from someone who really matters in the organisation – Principal, Expert, CEO etc. If you can’t get a video done, record a short audio piece and send out as a podcast – may be easier if you don’t have time and budget.
10. Calls to action
Links, registration, email addresses – whatever you’re after, you will need a call to action. This is the time you say, come forward and sign here. Without this you’re still in the word of awareness marketing. You need to grab them, get them through the door and get them to commit. So work on this – the call, link….. if you have any suggestions please leave a comment on this blog (it will be much appreciated).

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