March 11, 2014 Support

Helping You Lead Learning…and Marketing

We’re continuing our free Leading Learning Webinar series geared at helping associations and others in the lifelong learning field actively lead the learning their organizations offer—so the learning is effective for the learner, the organization, and the broader profession or society at large.

We’re focusing on three big-bucket topics: learning, marketing, and technology. Our next Webinar (coming up on April 10) deals with how to select a learning management system that’s right for your association. While some might be tempted to assign LMSes to the technology bucket alone or, if they’re feeling generous, the technology and learning buckets, learning management systems really should span all three—technology, learning, and marketing.

LMS as Learning Marketing System

In the years I’ve spent tracking LMS technology, it’s evolved a lot. Traditionally, LMSes enrolled learners in self-paced online courses; launched courses; tracked learners’ activity, scores, and completion of courses; provided basic testing of learners; and generated reports.

But I don’t know many—if any—organizations that would be satisfied today with that narrow, traditional LMS functionality. Organizations tend to want something more to go along with what are now perceived as baseline capabilities.

Exactly what that more is varies, but additional functionality for LMSes typically includes content authoring, the ability to manage a variety of learning formats (self-paced and synchronous, online and off), collaboration and social tools (discussion boards and Twitter chats), and, increasingly, marketing.

I owe the term learning marketing system to Ernie Liang, president of Classroom24-7 (sponsor of the April 10 Webinar), but when I heard him talk about his LMS as a learning marketing system as well as a learning management system, it struck a chord with what I’m seeing associations demand of their learning technology these days. Amazon-like recommendations. Suggestive selling. Bundling of learning products with membership and publication products. Social proof via testimonials, reviews, and ratings.

Here at Tagoras Jeff and I often talk about learning and marketing being a virtuous cycle—they should feed off one other. Educational products can serve as great content marketing. And great content marketing can bring in new members and customers who then engage with the educational products you offer.

Join us on April 10 to think broadly about how an LMS can help your association deliver on its organizational, educational, and technology goals. There’ll be plenty of time for your comments and questions as we share our 7-step process for homing in on the right system for you association. Everyone who registers will get access to a recording of the Webinar as well as resources to help you with the LMS selection process. Our thanks to Classroom24-7 for sponsoring the Webinar—and for the term learning marketing system.