October 31, 2002

Stephen Downes:

How to Market E-Learning in Your Company This issue is a bit of a flavour of the month, having shown up in a number of places recently. It won’t last, because there’s not much to say, and most of it is said here. This article is a quick guide to marketing e-learning within your company. The author is unknown, but the source is Brandon Hall. By Unknown, e-Learning Magazine, October 30, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Reply from Jay:


Re: “…not much to say, and most of it is said here.”

Stephen, on Monday Lance Dublin’s and my new book on marketing eLearing in your company was released at TechLearn. We spoke to an overflow crowd. At 140 pages, the book contains but a fraction of the material we developed after talking with some sixty organizations. The publisher shipped in 200 copies; the book sold out.

(Let me be clear: We are not the anonymous authors of the paper on Brandon’s site, nor do we endorse it.)

Like you, I find academic formulas for marketing lacking in substance. But treating learners as you would customers pays enormous returns. Applying marketing disciplines in research, branding, creating buzz, and so forth yield significant results. eLearning’s abysmal record to-date is often attributable to mismanagement of change and/or lack of a marketing mind-set. How else can one explain the lack of management support and/or miserable customer service, scant attention to building lasting relationships with learners, and irrelevant, even shabby, products?

Stephen, as Lance and I describe in our book, we’re talking about the level of marketing that David Packard described as “way too important to be performed by only the marketing department.” Marketing is creating and maintaining customers. It involves all manner of research, planning, product development, positioning, analysis, and promotion. I find that there are a lot of important things to say.


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