The Most Important Metric to Measure Learning ROI? Start with Marketing
Engaged learners are the backbone of any successful training event. And Learner Engagement Marketing (LEM, I took the liberty to coin this acronym given that most organisations tend to focus less on this) can be your ultimate driver for maximizing and influencing learning opportunities and outcomes. But how do you prove to stakeholders and leadership (and to your HR colleagues) just how effective your training events are at engaging your employees?
While tracking short-term goals like Trainer rating, End-of-Program feedback andeSAT’s are a good start, it is essential to take a look at marketing data to analyse your training success.
The most successful learning organizations take a marketer's mind-set when developing and implementing learning programs. Successful L&Dprofessionals are wise to embrace marketing best practices en route to increasing overall learner engagement, raising participation rates, generating more successful performance outcomes, and making a clearer case for L&D’s value to the enterprise.
Now let’s dive into four ways to prove the value and impact your marketing initiatives can have on your overall L&D strategy.
The Marketing Funnel
Before learning analytics, training professionals had two real measures of data — Registrations vsAttendance. Today, as a result of the collision between the class-room training and online, we can broaden our data set to include engagement metrics. The picture therefore you should be focusing on, starts with number of promotion emails sent, off-the floor program marketing, learning themes and champions, online and offline events, promotions; hence number of attendees and ends with number of conversations had. These engagement cues paint a full picture of your program impact and allow you to set benchmarks to improve upon program to program.
Not sure exactly where to start? Before the event, gather your marketing team, CMO, and VP of Sales to determine the event’s objectives. Nine times out of ten the focus will be on education, advocacy (retention) and sales pipeline. Working backwards from your goals to determine what you should measure will help you to structure your event for success. Know Your Customer
Marketers like to create personas to put a face to the target audience. Personas are more than demographic info - psychographics come into play, as well. Understanding their passions and learning interests is invaluable in making engaging connections. For instance if your organisation is mostly made of millennials, then you will need to adopt a largely social-driven L&D marketing strategy versus a managerial audience needs more of a hands-on approach.
Knowing your ‘learning customer’ is the key to developing longer-term engagement which will enable you to develop a program that is on point. If you don't understand who you're promoting or talking to, your content will fall flat.
Pique the Learner’s Interest. Pre-Launch
Perception matters in marketing, just as it matters in building engagement for training. Don't shy away from active promotion. Easy and effective promotional tactics could include cafeteria table tents, posters, desk drops, social media posts, teaser ad’s etc. And don’t settle on just one of these—make your outreach omnichannel. The more ways you can reach employees, the higher the engagement rates will be. Multiple impressions on different channels can make a huge difference in participation.
The L&D team should work with the Marketing and Corporate communications team in creating promotional materials. This gets everybody on the same page, so that when they're networking and talking to people about impending program launches, they can convey the passion and excitement about what’s being built and what it means.
Don’t Sell the Training, Sell the Benefits
Remember, the only thing that learners and stakeholders listen to is WIIFM—"What's In It For Me?" Unless you explain the value to them of the training initiative, they won't be motivated to participate and engage.
In marketing, the term is USP. What is the unique selling proposition of your learning program, or your L&D department? It’s the specific problem you’re solving for your customers, the learners. It’s the thing that will make their work lives better, the thing that they can’t get anywhere else. Showcase the destination, not the journey. Creating a Learning Marketing Strategy and developing a coherent plan will support the needs of your organization and its core team. Through determining the key goals and objectives, identifying your key stakeholders, articulating the training proposition, and choosing the right communication channels, you can greatly increase the value of your training and improve your return on investment (ROI).
Do you want to ensure the success of your training program? Learngage can assist you in developing a winning learning marketing strategy to excite and engage your learners.
Learngage is an award-winning learning transformation provider experienced in developing engaging and innovative eLearning and blended training solutions. www.learngage.com