Co-Authored by our co-founders: Andrew Fayad and Simon Casuto
Believe it or not, your Learning and Development (L&D) department is the key to getting your growth marketing strategies on point. You want a consistent, engaged, and loyal audience, right? Well, so does the L&D department, they just do it internally.
Most marketers tend to look at what competitors and colleagues are trying out, and they then pick and choose a few “new” methods to try. Utilizing that strategy, it’s easy to think that we have exhausted all new ways to enhance our marketing strategies. But that’s not the case!
When it comes to L&D, the tendency is to keep it on the self; thinking that’s it’s only good in a few ways:
- Skill enhancement
- Product knowledge
- Customer service
Realistically, there are other departments that can really benefit from a good L&D program and Marketing just happens to be perfectly aligned.
Marketing and L&D are all about creating a great learning and customer experience. Both start with a learner analysis or customer experience evaluation as a base, then they throw in a learning mentality that is constantly focused on how to better engage a learner and customer, before finishing off with the same mindset on how to add value to learners and customers while engaging with new ones.
Here are 5 points for you to use when letting L&D help you create your growth marketing “secret sauce”:
1) Learning Amplifies Engagement By Building Customer Education Into Your Marketing
There are 5 typical stages a customer will experience before they make a purchase decision. After recognizing a need for a product or service, the second stage involves seeking information both internally and externally for possible solutions to their problem. This is where great customer education within your marketing can put you way ahead of your competitors in a customer’s mind.
Customers education programs can offer tailored, engaging learning experiences around your business for customers through a variety of delivery methods to improve the reach and trust of your product or service.
Things like explainer videos, digital learning tools, and more are things your learning and development team are already (or should) be implementing internally already, that have a profound effect on customer loyalty when used externally.
To start your thinking on what kind of customer education programs make sense for your business start with a strong belief in your product or service. Then, most importantly, find ways to impactfully express that belief in your business to customers.
Real World Example:
Free budget application Mint.com helps clients solve their personal and professional budgeting issues. They offer a community center with blog posts and how to videos educating customers on how to manage their money at all levels. Their emphasis on adding value through customer education creates a positive and trust-building experience with their customers.
2) Using Learning To Rethink and ReDesign Your Internal Communications
Learning and development can set a solid foundation when it comes to your internal communications. Great learning experiences share meaningful content that adds values to a learner’s needs and goals. The same holds true for the best internal communications.
Characteristics to add to your internal communications that L&D teams are already using include:
-Telling impactful stories
-Including relevant content
-Constantly finding creative delivery methods
Let us paint a picture for how this might look. A large company has been neglecting their employee work-life balance for years. The company now realizes that employees are disengaged, and they need to shift their mentality and begin to really implement a more employee-centric culture. They need a way to share this shift in beliefs and company culture with their employees, but they are stuck.
What can they do?
They could create a custom, animated video to launch at a company-wide meeting that is honest and vulnerable, admitting they messed up. This video can then delve into a very open conversation of where the company is now, where they want to be, and steps they are going to take to get there.
3) Using Learning to Enhance Your Growth Marketing Mindset
When it comes to L&D, they need to know their educational audience. When it comes to Marketing, they need to know their consumer audience. Seems pretty relatable right? There are only a few differences between an L&D audience and a Marketing one.
L&D does extensive study into their learner analysis when creating a learning program.
- They need to know what their audience is looking for in an educational program so that they know what to create. Marketing does the same thing. They send out surveys and study campaign analytics to find out what resonates with their audience and what they’re looking for.
- L&D spend time getting to know their audience, delving deep into what kind of education they want and what they expect to gain from the experience. Marketers are constantly making sure that they’re aware of what their audience is searching for and what kind of experiences they’re willing to pay for.
- L&D developers have to know exactly what their primary purpose in educating their audience is because if they don’t have a clear learning strategy then their programs will be all over the place. When it comes to growth marketing, marketers have to know why they’re pushing their campaigns and for what purpose they’re going to serve.
4) Learning Can Create More Engaging Marketing Campaigns
A key strength of a good learning and development team is instructional design (or ID). ID is a method for developing instruction and if followed, facilitates the transfer of knowledge to the learner.
A marketing campaign is created for the same purpose: to transfer information to consumers about a business, product, or service and for the customer to retain that information. When the customer has a need for the product or service, marketing campaigns aim to have impacted and engaged with customers enough for them to recall the solution at this time. Marketers can take key instructional design principles and implement them into their content creation and delivery within a marketing campaign to aid in the transfer and retention of this knowledge.
5) Learning Helps Marketers Become Better Storytellers
The one thing every great learning and development team does well is implement the components and power of storytelling into each learning experience. Here are a few tips your marketing team can take to expand their own storytelling abilities.
Connecting the message to personal experiences. By connecting the audience to the material, it becomes “real” to an audience, a strategy which could help learners see themselves as the beneficiaries of eLearning.
Balancing visuals with the narrative. The best story in the world (or the most important information) still requires a visual component for the brain to become stimulated and engaged.
Increasing trust. Both L&D and marketers must build trust with their audience like any good storyteller does in order to make sure that they take away the core elements of the learning and marketing tactics. In short, when learners and consumer feel confident that they’ll benefit from an experience, they’re more likely to engage.
So fellow marketing leaders, head down past the break room, through the sales team, around the HR department, and set a meeting to get to know and collaborate with your L&D team!