What you should know about marketing automation in L&D

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Written by Issy Nancarrow on 14 October 2016

I was lucky enough to take part in a fascinating #TJwow webinar last week, with Neville Pritchard, ceo of HR in Flow Ltd and Con Sotidis, solutions architect at Kineo. The most interesting tangent of our discussions was how to apply marketing automation techniques to internal comms and how this approach could support the learning offer in L&D departments.

What is marketing automation and how can we apply the principles and technology to internal comms to support learning engagement, behaviour change and ultimately, to achieve business goals?

Marketing automation connects multiple touch points including social media, email marketing and content. Software pulls in data about customers’ engagement with emails, websites and any direct communications with the company. This data makes it easier to send personalised and targeted messages, direct customers to relevant content or landing pages and provide them with easy ways to purchase if they are ready. All this makes communication stronger and messages more relevant. When you use marketing automation you can tailor your messages to each client based on their interests and goals and offer them exactly what they need, when they need it.

Looking at applying marketing automation techniques to internal comms, the principles of connecting with customers through marketing and engaging staff through internal comms are the same. Encourage either to take action, whether that be buying a product or upgrade, or reading an important piece of learning content, taking a course or signing up to a webinar.

Good internal comms automation should take into account the evolving needs of your learners, and the behaviours and interactions they have with you across all of your channels.

Using behavioural inputs and information from multiple channels, such as position within the company, social clicks, viewing a piece of e-learning or consuming a particular piece of content gives L&D departments the context they need to fully understand a learner’s challenges. With this information in their toolkit, L&D professional can best decide how to guide staff members to the next stage of their professional development.

The most effective marketing automation not only collects data from multiple channels, but uses those various channels to send their messages as well. That means the success of your learning campaign relies less on just email communications and more on a combination of communications via intranet/LMS, email, content, management interactions and the analysis of staff engagement with each.

We can use marketing automation techniques to inform employees about learning programs they should attend or new content they can access to support their knowledge and development, but more than that we can use this software to provide campaign learning. We can offer bite-sized learning, memory jogs following training or content consumption, or point learners to social platforms where they can discuss their recent learning experience with colleagues.

The concept of the ‘forgetting curve’ was developed by German Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in the 19th century. His research showed an exponential loss of information learned, with over half of the information lost within one hour. If we can use automation to target learners with memory jogs, quizzes and opportunities for discussion at the correct moment, we can have a profound impact on the retention of information and really make learning stick.

Furthermore, we can use this technology to send relevant messages that respond to shifting business priorities and that really focus on improving staff performance. Good internal comms create engaged employees; happy informed people, who will go the extra mile, take less sick days and stay with the company for longer. They’ll take the vision and values of the company to customers with enthusiasm and ultimately impact the bottom line.


About the author 

Issy (Isobel) Nancarrow
 is the Managing Director at Campaign Learning and founder of Nancarrow Partnerships and Campaign Learning. You can contact Issy via admin@campaignlearning.com.


Read more from Issy

What is Campaign Learning?

Issy on the #TJwow webinar
See the recording of the communication webinar.

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