Since 2015, I've been a vocal advocate for applying the tools and techniques used by marketers in the Learning industry.
What marketers do influences millions of people around the globe. We have conditioned people how to expect information and...how to learn.
Most Learning professionals with whom I've spoken note that their main competition is Google. Marketers have been growing alongside Google for years, and have been studying not only how to rank higher, but also how people engage with any medium, as a result of the dominance of this platform. The impact of the rise of search engines and how this has impacted how people think can not be underestimated.
I began exploring this topic while in graduate school in 1996...that's one year before Google started! This was in the days of Excite, Yahoo!, WebCrawler, Lycos, Infoseek, AltaVista and Ask Jeeves. The concept of "surfing", where someone could easily click on something to pursue information about something related, but different from the original topic was new. I watched this transformation and I wrote about it at the time. (I wanted to write my dissertation on it, but the phenomenon was still so new, the professors didn't understand what I was talking about!)
My predictions from those early days have come true. The way people think and pursue information - knowledge - to help them be aware, to understand and to act is structured by the ability to click at will and go where one wants, when one wants.
"Self directed learning?" That's called Google. It's the expectation and the norm.
Add on to this the millions of dollars advertisers and marketers (we'll get into the difference in a later post) spend to get, keep and reengage your attention and interest...well, the Learning programs in many corporate environments are just doomed by comparison when doing things the pre-Google way.
So in addition to sharing how marketers have insights to help enhance Learning programs, we'll also explore how the obsession with data, testing and tracking. This is what garnered marketers a 'seat at the table' - and millions of dollars in budgets. More importantly, it's this commitment to collecting data and using it that has made us effective as the 'go to' for learning.
So in addition to helping you learn about marketing, I mainly hope you find this helpful to learn how to improve your Learning programs.