These days, learning professionals increasingly have more in common with marketers.
For starters, the battleground is for attention, and it is the ‘first line’ when it comes to getting people to think and act differently – and ultimately – to change behaviour.
In today’s noisy, distracted digital world, where messaging gets lost like so much wallpaper, both marketers and L&D professionals must compete for mindshare by engaging their audience if they have any chance of being memorable, much less, influential.
Great marketers, like Leo Burnett, understand how to leverage creativity. And these days, that requires going beyond slides and bullet points – leveraging both multimedia content and technology – to tap into the psychology of emotions.
Embracing “Always On” as The New World Order
Marketers know that in order to win over hearts and minds – let alone the wallets – of your best prospects and customers, you can’t continuously stop and start. The digital channels are far too noisy with competitive messages for that.
You need a sustained campaign, staying in front of them on their terms, wherever and whenever they want.
The digital, social and mobile revolution has opened up across all channels, and research shows it’s not just Millenials who are attached to their mobile phones, it’s cross generational.
So, it’s the marketing department’s job to ensure your brand and product is visible with the right message at the right time and optimised all the time, not on your time. Not according to your business quarters or when your team can get creative in market. It’s Go Time – all the time.
According to research from Think with Google, ‘micro-moments’ are the new mental model of marketing.
And it’s driven by research that shows what we all know deep down: We want things right, and we want things right away. Of Smartphone users, 91% look up information on their phone while in the middle of a task.
If this sounds like familiar territory, and you’re starting to connect the dots, you should.
Parallels can be drawn with the L&D world where savvy enterprises are busily creating a culture of learning, using in-the-moment and JIT learning.
Engagement: A Common Ground to Learn From
You can’t create change without being memorable. And that means an emotional connection with your audience (learner). And you can’t do that without at least tapping into what this audience has come to expect in their daily lives: A bit of Hollywood, be that through video, VR or gamification.
From a marketing perspective, an engaging, Always On strategy is about recognising how consumers function and embracing the digital mind-frame of being aware, alert, always checking, keeping up on social media, news stories.
That’s why for marketers, Always On is the only option today for cutting through clutter and keeping their brand top-of-mind with their target customer.
So, what does an ‘always on’ look like in marketing terms? One could point to the very successful, Share A Coke always on campaign, conceived and launched by an Australian agency.
Originating in social media channels, consumers could personalise a Coke bottle or can, to share and talk about.
The experience was slightly different in each channel and delivered with a consistency that was striking and effective.
It was a massive and sustainable hit – due to the fact that the marketing team truly understood its customer, their behaviour, and ultimately, made the product useful on a practical and emotional level through mass-personalisation.
But did it affect consumer change? Yep, sales of Coke rose for the first time in more than a decade.
From the blue-chip business side of things, venerable tech giant GE, has long been known for bringing a rather dull category to life. And it did so with an enduring social media initiative designed to spark brand engagement, called #geinstawalk.
GE’s marketing team called on social media influencers and superfans, involving them in touring the manufacturing facilities, and taking, uploading and hashtagging photos.
Talk about ‘always on’. Running for several years now, this campaign netted 8 million views on the GE Instagram account (all without paid advertising, by the way).
On the surface successful campaigns like this look seamless and easy. However, behind the scenes, this kind of campaign requires:
- careful brand and asset management
- content curation and audience involvement
- refreshing as the company and its products evolve
- an agile and efficient production team and the right technology to support it
Stealing The Best of Marketing for Your L&D Enterprise Learning Culture
The recent Hayne inquiry into the banking industry revealed that a permanent mindset change was required around banking conduct and culture.
Had the banking sector embedded an engaging and agile Always On learning culture, perhaps things might have been different. Had it been in play post the Hayne inquiry, public sentiment towards the sector might also have been different, as branded, ‘internal marketing’-style initiatives might have been quickly deployed to initiate mindset change.
According to former Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly, it starts with bringing on board the right people with the right values. She said, “It also relies upon role modelling, and the training and development of middle managers.”
According to Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, “the single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organisation’s learning culture.”
This can be defined as “a culture that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge, and shared learning directed toward the mission and goals of the organisation.”
The simple tenets around this concept are:
- Reward continuous learning
- Lead by example
- Hire curious people
However, as with any high concept, it’s the execution that determines success or failure.
In the case of building a learning culture, the proof is in the structure that supports it.
And that doesn’t just mean technology. As the L&D marketplace worldwide is worth over US$140 billion, there are a bewildering array of tools, and the average enterprise, has over 19 different learning technologies in use.
It’s about finding an L&D partner who will help build the overall strategy, building and leveraging the most powerful tech stack, supporting it with future-proofing in mind, whilst being an extension of the team in rolling out that strategy in an agile, digitally-led fashion, pivoting when required.
However, it’s not all tech. In the words of Dominic Price, Work Futurist with Atlassian, “A fool with a tool, is still just a fool.”
It’s also about creativity. Helping to be your organisation’s internal marketer, to come up with inspiration, ideas and creative solutions to protect and bring to life your internal brand for turning on change for your best and most valuable asset: your people.
Want to ramp up your Learning Culture to create behavioural change in 2020? Talk to us about the new ITC Powered, the complete professional enterprise package to take you there.
Get more insights, high value content, tips & tricks and special offers: Sign up for our newsletter.