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Strategies for the Introduction Stage of eLearning Marketing

Written By Vega Bhutani

Strategies for the Introduction Stage of eLearning Marketing

In continuation of the series of blog posts on selling eLearning in your organization, when introducing it for the first time, you need to use advertising strategies for building awareness of the brand/drawing attention to your brand and communicating the key benefits to users at different stages of the eLearning Product Life Cycle. Today, we’ll look at a few effective strategies for the introduction stage to promote eLearning in your organization:

  • Provide a simple course that has content highly relevant to the selected learners’ learning needs. A simple asynchronous learning, self paced course will do great. Make sure it is well designed – one bad experience with a badly designed course will nullify all of your marketing efforts.
  • Introduce it only to the innovators – identify them carefully and let only this select group receive eLearning. Ask for volunteers to become advocates for e-learning. Establishing champions at the grass root level helps in promotion. Be sure to reward your eLearning champs. Also offer eLearning to a pilot group in this stage.
  • Send email announcements. Especially from leadership.
  • Make announcements in company magazines about the upcoming launch.
  • Run a series of face-to-face sessions where staff can come and try e-learning in a supported environment. This is especially effective in scenarios where the workforce doesn’t use computers on an everyday basis such as shop floor employees in the manufacturing world or supervisors in a pharmaceutical company etc. This also addresses their fears of using technology as well. It is assumed that your company has already put in place training initiatives to up skill learners who need PC skills.
  • Introduce an eLearning component in a regular meeting.
  • Offer gifts and publicize rewards.
  • Offer Incentive programs- of various kinds. Instituting a compensation or recognition program for those who are active supporters gets you more active supporters.
  • Celebrate success publicly- this generates publicity.

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  • I led a team for an LMS rollout in a global organization, and we created a slick brochure touting the structure, benefits and basic steps to using the new LMS for personal development. On the morning of the “Go-Live” we placed the brochures and new headphones on each employees’ desk around the world, and followed that up with an email campaign. We generated a tremendous amount of traffic to the LMS in the first few weeks after the rollout.

  • Good strategy. The hard part will be identifying the target groups, finding the true innovators and early adopters. Sometimes members of an organization want to be members of those groups but lack the patience and perseverance.
    Regarding the introductory course site: It may become the template for all subsequent courses. Be careful to model exactly what you want the early adopters to emulate. And, avoid including every tool; consider, instead, creating 2-3 templates for the online workshops, each tailored to the learning objectives of each program, degree, or department.
    The communication plan should include a timeline for announcements, email, etc., target audiences, locations, and who to contact for access to the organization’s plasma screens, web site, bulk email, and other channels. Getting leadership to act as spokespersons in promotion materials is really a good idea.
    Balancing asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences helps to appeal to diverse learning styles and comfort needs. Trainers with good interpersonal skills that break down the fear barriers to moving to new learning spaces. Anticipating the needs of learners who are unfamiliar with basic PC skills is an important factor in reaching full adoption.
    Finally, repeated publicity that showcases the successes of the early adopters and pilot participants will enable the program to win credibility with late adopters and those who resist new technologies. That’s really a MUST DO to get the entire organization to transition to a new learning space. If you’re lucky to have the means to provide financial incentives and rewards, then play it up, a lot.