A learning campaign is the process of using marketing alongside the delivery of learning or change interventions. The campaign delivers value by increasing awareness, engagement, communication, participation, retention and the embedding of learning behaviours. By using a marketing approach, we can reduce information loss, create value for the learning provision and track the impact of a campaign.
The basics of creating a learning campaign
Know your audience
It is imperative that a needs analysis is compared with perceived learning needs from staff and leaders, which will ensure that learning interventions meet the actual needs of staff and the business as well as reducing unnecessary learning provision.
Identify platforms for learning – expanding POC
Points-of-contact (POCs) include all opportunities for internal communications, both digital and physical; they are the platforms on which campaign elements are presented to learners and the way the message is spread.
The more POCs that are utilised with an audience, the greater the impact of the message. By increasing our POCs, using media, messaging, branding and incentives we can have a significant impact on learner ‘buy-in’ levels.
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Possible POCs include leadership meetings, the intranet, company bulletins, events, business social networks and even promotional collateral, the success of a full-blown marketing campaign can be directly related to how the points of contact with the audience are utilised.
Understand key messaging and dynamic delivery options
Mapping out how to utilise POCs is an important step in planning a learning campaign. The key messaging must be planned carefully so it is not too repetitive.
The message should be punchy, make an impact and intrigue. To create a message with impact consumer marketing and branding techniques can be very helpful.
Utilising a strong brand can help build trust and enthusiasm towards the learning campaign and make the communications stand out from the noise.
Recurring sequences of messages and media
Repeated messaging not only provides more impact but also enables the embedding of information delivered by a learning intervention such as elearning.
Providing quizzes and bite-sized memory nudges at relevant intervals we can go some way to combatting the inevitable loss of information learned.
We can also use multiple POCs to ensure our message cannot be ignored and tailor messages for staff by job role or department to make them more relevant.
Internal communications and networking
The problem of isolated learning and development teams can be overcome to some extent by improving networking with internal comms departments.
To really make an impact in this area communications must initiate a two-way conversation with staff on the ground.
Low-level management and staff need to realise the benefits of the learning initiative. Well promoted leadership buy-in adds gravitas to a message and can break down perceived absence of contact by higher level management.
These messages can also include introductions to the learning and development team and position the department as an integral part of the organisation.
Analysis and proof of business impact
It is important to understand the business objectives as well as the priorities of both the business leaders and stakeholders.
By ensuring that our internal communications and training programs are aligned with our business goals we can better understand the impact that these initiatives have on business performance.
It is now possible to measure engagement with various learning resources that’s so much more than just who accessed which resource and how they scored on a quiz.
We can measure interaction with emails, time on a web or intranet page, length of time they watched a video and return visits to resources.
Introducing the FLAG Model
At Campaign Learning we have developed a model for delivering a structured campaign that sits around the learning pathway and uses messaging well before and after any training intervention.
It is executed though messaging designed with the clarity and structure of a well-told story.
Filter though the noise and be heard. By delivering dynamic and tailored messaging with appropriate branding for impact, we ensure the message is heard through the noise.
Utilising multiple POCs our campaign messages are instant recognisable, embedded in the workplace and takes learning beyond the space of training delivery.
The messages of the campaign reach out to the learner in a language they can relate to and in a way that makes them, stop, think and reflect.
Messages are concise and relate directly to workplace practices enabling behaviour change to feel easy. Like any effective campaign, messages must speak to the viewer, using the type of wording, imagery and interaction that resonates with them.
Being able to access training and messaging on any device and from anywhere is crucial. It is also important that user experience is considered with the highest priority.
If the user can be directed towards a resource and access that resource immediately or within a few clicks they are more likely to engage.
We take this a step further by embedding messages into all the day-to-day communication streams of the company, whether that be a staff notice board or the company intranet.
The learning campaign must relate directly to business objectives. By curating the development of staff performance through ongoing communications we can assist in achieving the company’s strategic goals.
A learning campaign that utilises modern marketing tools can generate tracking data that not only records staff engagement with the campaign but behaviour change that can then be related directly to business performance.
Developing a suitable approach for modern challenges
It’s clear that ustilising marketing tools and techniques can be beneficial for learning providers, this is an idea that could become an essential part of learning interventions for the whole industry.
However, how we approach the creation of such campaigns will have an impact on their implementation and effectiveness. Developing the approach and delivery of learning to integrate marketing vs developing marketing campaigns to support learning are two solutions we must apply and observe.
This is part of the ongoing research and development of Campaign Learning.