In this podcast we’re going to delve into some marketing theory: The 4 P’s of marketing, also known as the marketing mix. The marketing mix is a fundamental element of marketing, and allows marketers to be strategic in their thinking – making sure we’re covering the full spectrum of marketing goodness through our strategies. The 4 P’s are:
And looking at these words in isolation, you probably think they have absolutely nothing to do with learning. But the reality is different. These four elements have the ability to help L&D professionals change their way of thinking about learning awareness, engagement and promotion. So let’s look at them in a little more detail:
If you’ve already thought ‘I know my product, it’s… eLearning/Face-to-Face training/Virutal learning’ (or any other alternative), you need to change your perspective. Now. Those are your delivery methods. Instead your product is what you’re giving your learners. It’s exploring the ‘what’s in it for me’ and considering what your learners will take away from the learning intervention. So your product may be: a way to enable your people to be more productive, helping people gain the skills they need to progress through the company or the knowledge they need to be a better leader. THAT’S your product. THAT’S what you’re giving your learners.
Similarly to product – if you think your ‘place’ is your learning platform, you’re wrong. Place as a ‘P’ in marketing is about where you find your audience. So before the invention of the internet, place was always a shop front, a stall or similar. Now with the invention of the internet this P has completely exploded and your place can be in a multitude of locations on the world wide web. But in L&D your place is where your learners are hanging out, where they’re spending their time – and I’d bet my bottom dollar that’s not your LMS or LXP (not matter how new and shiny it is!)
Your place might be your intranet, emails, live chat (think MS Teams or Slack) – it could even be a poster in the office. It’s the place where you’re going to get your message to your learner at the right time.
Which leads us nicely onto promotion. All too often L&D teams send one lone email and consider their learning intervention ‘promoted’. But one email is never going to change a behaviour, build a habit or prompt someone to take continuous action. And that’s what we’re trying to do with marketing for learning. So you need to think about how you’re going to consistently promote your learning offering, across a range of channels in order to boost awareness of your learning.
Whenever I talk about price with an L&D professional, I’m met with one, consistent reply: Oh, we don’t sell our courses. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a price associated with your offering. In fact, in L&D we’re asking people to give up their time, instead of their money. Which is often harder to get people to part with. So you need to make sure that the price (i.e. the time) you’re asking people to give up, is equivalent to the value they’re going to get out of it. And then you need to communicate that effectively to you audience (and you do that by digging into the ‘what’s in it for me’!)
So, now you know the 4 P’s of marketing, ask yourself: Does your product meet your learners expectations? Does the price match the value your learners are receiving? Are you promoting your learning in a place that your learners actually spend time?
Take the answers to these questions and use it as a basis for change in your L&D team, a foundation for your marketing for learning strategy – which ultimately will boost engagement and awareness amongst your learners.