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Unlocking Top Marketing Secrets for L&D Professionals

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Are you tired of seeing your learners’ eyes glaze over during training sessions? Do you struggle to create learning experiences that truly captivate and inspire? If so, it’s time to take a page from the marketer’s playbook and unleash the power of engagement in your L&D programs.

As L&D professionals, we often focus on delivering content and checking boxes, but we forget that our learners are humans with short attention spans and competing priorities. That’s where marketing comes in. Marketers have long understood the importance of capturing attention, crafting compelling messages, and creating experiences that resonate with their target audience.

So, what are these game-changing marketing secrets, and how can you apply them to your L&D initiatives? Here are five key strategies to get you started:

Secret #1: Tap Into Your Learners’ Primal Brains

Marketers have long understood the power of engaging emotions and tapping into the subconscious mind to influence behavior. By leveraging techniques such as personalization, contrast, simplicity, memorability, visuals, and emotional resonance, marketers effectively capture attention and motivate action. L&D professionals can apply these same principles to design training programs that are more engaging, memorable, and effective at driving lasting behavior change.


Secret #2: Crafting Learner Personas—The Who’s Who of Your Programs

Creating learner personas is like writing a guest list for an exclusive event; knowing your attendees is essential to customize their experience. Whether it’s Jane with her detail-oriented nature or Bob who prefers concise overviews due to his busy schedule, understanding your audience enables you to develop relevant content. Use interviews, observations, and data to truly understand your learners’ emotional states.

Secret #3: Designing Engaging Learner Journeys—The Road Less Boring

Once you know who your learners are, you can design an experience for them. Marketers have long used consumer journeys to send the right content at the right time and place. What if you could use the same concept to design a learner journey? Designing a learner journey shouldn’t feel like planning a route on Google Maps. It’s more like crafting an epic quest where each step brings your learners closer to the preferred goal—transforming them from mere passengers to heroes of their learning journey.


Secret #4: Leveraging Visuals to Improve L&D Results

Just like marketers battling for consumer attention, L&D pros can benefit greatly by adopting the power of visuals. Compelling images, infographics, and videos can break through text overload, grabbing learners’ interest from the start. This visual engagement doesn’t just attract attention; it enhances retention. Our brains process visuals much faster than text, and well-crafted graphics can become memory anchors, solidifying key learning points long after the training session ends.

Secret #5: Writing Good Copy—Words That Woo

Marketers are experts at crafting clear, relatable messages that tap into our basic instincts and nudge us to act. L&D pros can borrow these strategies to make their educational content much more effective. Focus on making your writing easy to understand and follow. By following four key principles—simplicity, usefulness, emotional connection, and skim-friendly content—you can develop effective learning experiences that grab attention and get results.

Join our session, Unlocking the Top Marketing Secrets for L&D Pros, at ATD24 International Conference & EXPO to dive deeper into these five secrets aimed at crafting unforgettable learning experiences, because, in L&D, you’re not merely teaching; you’re spearheading a campaign for learners’ minds and hearts.

About the Author

Bianca Baumann is VP of learning solutions and innovation at Ardent Learning. She has more than 15 years of experience in the L&D industry. Over time, she has developed processes and methodologies to help organizations meet their growth targets with the help of innovative L&D approaches, including workforce transformations, onboarding and reskilling programs. She has spearheaded multiple projects in the marketing, automotive, financial and events industries, creating award-winning programs along the way. She shares her expertise in her blog and at global conferences. She teaches Learning Experience Design at OISE and published the eBook, The Little Black Book of Marketing and L&D, a practical guide that helps integrate proven marketing techniques into L&D. You connect with her on LinkedIn:

About the Author

With over two decades of real-life, in-the-trenches experience designing and delivering learning experiences, Mike Taylor understands that effective learning isn’t about the latest fad or trendy new tools. Known for his practical, street-savvy style, Mike is a regular and highly-rated speaker at industry events, and consults on learning design and technology at Nationwide. Mike holds an MBA degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree in educational technology from San Diego State University.

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