Marketing 101 for Org Learning

I’m thrilled with the evolution I see happening in L&D, brought on often by listening and learning from other industries. One of these, the Marketing industry, is quite popular for L&D but I think they’re missing the mark a bit. L&D is taking the customer life cycle stuff, personas and campaign ideas but overlooking something really important — going to where the attention is.

Any Marketing function worth their salt knows that much attention by consumers today is on social media and their mobile devices. They don’t try create a new space, they don’t try to pull them back to print, TV and billboards. No, they go where the market is.

With that said, where is the attention of employees at work?

Easy, their job! Attention at work is on the WORK they’re doing.

A learning professional might say, that microlearning (small content assets floated into the workflow) is the ideal solution then but it’s really not. It’s A solution but should not be the first one (see my point about marketers focusing on TV). Hitting people with content that isn’t specifically targeted to the exact thing needed right at that moment - at best is a nice to have and at worst is a distraction. So, until AI knows what i’m doing and need and can grab just that for me, I’m not bought in. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take people out of work to learn as training has it’s place, but it should be the last option not the first. With people’s attention on their work then, the first option is in learning that is less designed. People working want immediate answers, they want to know why something was or wasn’t effective, and they want to know how to make something a little bit better. This type of learning happens best through conversations with peers and experts. And creating more space, or as I like to say carving channels, for these types of conversations to happen is key today.

Markets are Conversations after all and conversations in work and about work is where the attention is AT work.