L&D, Comms and Marketing

There’s a natural meeting of the minds when you bring L&D, Comms and Marketing people together. They’re all trying to achieve behaviour change, albeit for their own devilish purposes. And that behaviour change outcome means these three people can sit down and talk about meaningful ways to make that happen inside a company.

For me, I remember my old boss, Dan. He was telling me to think like a marketer back in 2003. He wasn’t just telling me to think like one, he actively made sure I was exercising that muscle. He was buying books for the team on the subject, he was getting us to be creative about our comms and how we worked with the comms team, and we were actively involved with the marketing team and their efforts.

It helped me to think beyond my role as an L&Der and how through better use of images and words, you can raise awareness that something is afoot, and that there’s a process of thinking and getting to a point where you ask people to make a call to action.

The last session at Learning Live I attended was Craig Taylor’s Course to Campaigns talk. His previous role had a focus on developing e-learning content. One of the last projects he was tasked with was around the compliance training needed to be completed within the company.

As well as doing some good piece of consultation with the subject matter experts across three key subjects, he wanted to explore other ways of effecting desired behaviour change. What emerged for him was to collaborate with suppliers who could bring a different approach to the e-learning solution by asking them to develop ideas on how to market the desired change.

This helped Craig to work with suppliers who wanted to be involved with the project and really do something interesting other than make the e-learning more engaging or better designed or more social.

The simple idea they landed on was in creating two personas of people who would become the core focus of a marketing campaign. One persona would show how to do the right behaviours (better online security), and the other would show what the consequences of not (possible hacking of systems). And on the posters and other online material there would be a link taking you to the e-learning directly.

We can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we need to go out with a big bang of activity and then things will magically start to happen. Of course, human behaviour doesn’t work this way. Especially in a working environment. We need reminders, we need prodding, we need enticing, because otherwise we’ll forget and move on. At a previous company we called this comparing a fireworks display with a bonfire. The fireworks display is nice for initial awareness but you need to plan for the bonfire for lasting change.

So, my thanks to the LPI team for asking me to be a Live Reporter at Learning Live. As I said last week, content is king and this conference absolutely delivered.

Oh, and if you’re interested Craig is looking for his next role. Why not get in touch with him?