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Marketing Your Training Programs and Services

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As a result of the need to drive enrollments in live virtual programs and self-study courses, and a general need to make training visible, marketing should be central to the work of training and development professionals whether they work internally or externally. But is it? And if not, what should training professionals do to market their products and services? In this session, you’ll learn about resources available to you and discuss how you should market—including the print, online, and face-to-face approaches most commonly used in marketing, and the key marketing messages.

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Marketing Your Training Programs and Services

  1. 1. Marketing Your Programs and Services Saul Carliner, PhD, CTDP Professor Concordia University saulcarliner@hotmail.com
  2. 2. Opening Activity Internal Focus External Focus You manage a product training department. Your group recently finished developing a series of courses on the company’s strategic new product for the company’s sales and support teams. Although you are proud of the new courses, you are also painfully aware that no one developed training for customers. You had suggested it when the program was planned but management did not think your group had the expertise needed to develop customer training. Two members of your staff have prior experience in customer training, but you never had the opportunity to mention that in previous conversations. How might you promote: 1. The new internal training programs 2. Your staff as the vendor of choice for customer training You are president of a small, 8-person firm that develops training for clients. Your group typically handles development of e-learning courses that your clients design. You have a long-term contract with one of the major employers in your metro area so this work is secure. But when you have tried to suggest to your clients that your team can design courses as well as develop them, the clients have not pursued the idea. How might you: 1. Expand your development business? 2. Move into the design business?
  3. 3. What you should learn  Describe the percentage of resources that you should devote to marketing (including differences for internal and external trainers)  Identify the most crucial programs and services to promote  State when to promote different types of programs to drive enrollments  Identify the key print, online, and face-to-face approaches most commonly used to market training programs and services.  Identify the key marketing messages used to promote training programs and service.
  4. 4. Results of 2017 study of training practice What’s working for internal and external trainers generally
  5. 5. About marketing Build and maintain awareness of your programs, services, and capabilities Necessary to generate revenue (work) for the organization Ongoing activity –Primary or tertiary responsibility for external trainers –Secondary or tertiary responsibility for internal trainers
  6. 6. How training groups generate revenue Internal groups External groups Type of Payment Percentage Type of Payment Percentage Apportionment 93% Flat price 43.6% Paid by the job 1% Different arrangement with each customer 30.8% Combination of the two 7% Time and materials with limits 12. 8% Sticker price 7.7% Time and materials without limits 5.1%
  7. 7. Percentage of resources devoted to marketing Percentage of Total Budget Internal Training Groups External Training Groups 0% 38.5% 23.1% 1%-5% 43.1% 43.6% 6%-10% 10.1% 12.8% 11%-15% 3.7% 5.1% 16%-20% 0.9% 2.6% 21%-25% 1.8% 0.00% More than 25% 1.8% 12.8%
  8. 8. Identify the most crucial programs and services to promote Internal trainers Programs Services Face-to-face* Online self-study* Blended Live virtual Design and development services* Leadership development* Organization development Coaching Facilitation of special meetings Performance consulting
  9. 9. Identify the most crucial programs and services to promote External trainers Products Services Learning Management Systems* Testing and assessment tools* Authoring tools Classroom support tools Design and development services* Needs assessment Coaching Performance consulting Leadership development Facilitation of special meetings Evaluation Organization development
  10. 10. Approach to promoting these services Internal External About even—between the entirety or individual offerings 44.% 46.2% As a whole 16.5% 28.2% Individually 39.5% 25.6%
  11. 11. When to promote—when enrollment peaks Time frame Internal External Between 10 and 12 weeks before the course is scheduled 2.8% 12.5% Between 8 and 10 weeks 3.7% 25% Between 6 and 8 weeks 5.5% 12.5% Between 4 and 6 weeks 14.7% 0% Between 2 and 4 weeks 30.3% 0% Between 1 and 2 weeks 28.4% 25% During the week before the program 14.7% 25%
  12. 12. Promoting self-study programs Internal External Once per quarter 39.5% 66.7% Once a month 24.8% 0% Bi-weekly 3.7% 0% Weekly 1.9% 33.3% Between 2 and 4 times per week 0.9% 0 % Daily 3.7% 0% Other 25.7% 0%
  13. 13. Promoting services Time frame Internal External Once or twice per year 31.4% 0% Once per quarter 37.1% 31.4% Once a month 17.1% 20% Bi-weekly 2.9% 8.6% Weekly 11.4% 17.1% Between 2 and 4 times per week 0% 2.9% Daily 0% 0% Other 0% 20%
  14. 14. What works? Online vehicles (internal) Type % Using % Find It Effective Blog 11 50 Catalog of products, programs and services 56 72 Email address for incoming inquiries 74 79 Email messages promoting the general capabilities of the training group 56 76 Email messages promoting individual programs 94 90 Email messages promoting specific services 54 85 Email service such as Mailchimp 17 75 External social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn 18 67 Facebook page Only asked a general questionLinkedIn profile Twitter Internal social media (such as Yammer) 31 60 Online portfolio of past projects 18 59 Schedule of upcoming programs 84 90 Web pages describing particular capabilities of your group 58 67 Website describing general capabilities of the organization 70 75
  15. 15. What works? Online vehicles (external) Type % Using % Find It Effective Blog 61 83 Catalog of products, programs and services 61 70 Customer testimonials 71 85 Email address for incoming inquiries 66 84 Email messages promoting the general capabilities of the training group 58 82 Email messages promoting individual programs 61 91 Email messages promoting specific services 63 96 Email service such as Mailchimp 47 94 Facebook page 63 46 LinkedIn profile 82 74 Twitter 58 50 Online portfolio of past projects 53 65 Schedule of upcoming programs 47 72 Web pages describing particular capabilities 89 88 Website describing general capabilities of the organization 100 89 White papers about your products or services 47 89
  16. 16. What works? Print vehicles Type % of Internal Groups Using % of Internal Groups Find Effective % of External Groups Using % of External Groups Find Effective Annual report 32 74 15 50 Brochure that focuses on the general offerings of the training and development group 58 80 85 79 Catalog of programs and services 47 79 61 88 Flyers about individual programs and services 81 84 82 83 Posters 47 71 32 55 Schedule of upcoming programs 75 87 43 75
  17. 17. Also use 1:1 sales calls
  18. 18. The key marketing message Improved performance (internal and external groups)
  19. 19. So what should these groups do? Internal Focus External Focus You manage a product training department. Your group recently finished developing a series of courses on the company’s strategic new product for the company’s sales and support teams. Although you are proud of the new courses, you are also painfully aware that no one developed training for customers. You had suggested it when the program was planned but management did not think your group had the expertise needed to develop customer training. Two members of your staff have prior experience in customer training, but you never had the opportunity to mention that in previous conversations. How might you promote: 1. The new internal training programs 2. Your staff as the vendor of choice for customer training You are president of a small, 8-person firm that develops training for clients. Your group typically handles development of e-learning courses that your clients design. You have a long-term contract with one of the major employers in your metro area so this work is secure. But when you have tried to suggest to your clients that your team can design courses as well as develop them, the clients have not pursued the idea. How might you: 1. Expand your development business? 2. Move into the design business?
  20. 20. Take-aways What’s the most important thing you learned in this session? What one question remains?

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