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What does 'think like a marketer' mean for L&D?

by Eoin McDonnell

Learning and development strategies

In the recent LinkedIn Learning 2019 Workplace Learning Report, one of the four key findings is that learning and development (L&D) should ‘think like a marketer’. In this short blog, we explore Logicearth's take on using marketing techniques in corporate L&D strategies.

What does 'think like a marketer' mean for L&D?


This idea is not entirely new - a Google search shows articles dating back four years on this topic. What is interesting about the annual LinkedIn report however is not that it predicts future trends but that it describes the current state. When it appears here, it means successful L&D teams are practising this now.

There has been a shift in corporate learning strategies in recent years - a move from 'push' mandated training to 'pull' self-directed learning (see our blog on self-directed learning). When this works well, it leads to higher engagement in learning; however, it can mean that your workers may simply not know about what learning opportunities are available to them.

Talent development needs to put work into promoting their activities and content. Yet training and development teams spend only 15% of their time promoting employee engagement with learning. 

A multi-channel approach including email, intranets, events, signage, and influencer campaigns will always give the best results. Yet time can be scarce and if you need to focus your efforts on one channel - which one works best? 

Email marketing works.

65% of learning and development teams use email marketing to promote learning opportunities. 61% of workers discover learning programs via successful email marketing. For internal communications, email is your best channel.

But consider the messaging - in this year’s report, we learn that 75% of workers take a course if assigned by their manager and 46% discover learning opportunities from their managers and leaders. Use email marketing to send messages from leaders to staff. Working in short quotes or even video clips will give your content gravity and relevance in the eyes of your learners. For example, could your head of IT Security promote awareness training on best practice in cyber security?

If you can re-use email content for internal intranets (55% of workers discover learning programs via the employee intranet), all the better.

We will be coming back to this theme later this year to consider what talent development can learn from marketing when it comes to:

  • demonstrating ROI
  • understanding our audiences
  • and switching from tracking completion to tracking engagement

In the meantime, enjoy our free resource with 30 quick wins for L&D success offering 30 different changes you can make to what your L&D team does so you’ll never run out of support ideas:

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Logicearth has an in-house team of marketers, learning experience designers and L&D experts all working together. Talk to us today about the best methods to increase employee engagement and the uptake of digital learning in your organisation:

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You can download the Linkedin Learning Report 2019 and keep up with the latest research in learning and development strategies over on our Industry Research page. We do the hard work for you by bringing together high-profile research from organisations including Fosway, Brandon Hall and Towards Maturity.

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