From learning tool to marketing tool

Our meetings with HR or L&D managers are increasingly being attended by colleagues from marketing. In fact, more and more requests for an academy are coming from marketing departments. In this blog, I'll be showing you how our clients use their academies to strengthen their brand. We have identified one familiar and two entirely new target groups for sharing knowledge and creating brand value, especially with an LXP. Learning and marketing for employees, resellers and end users. Keep reading to find out more!

Wijnand Langen
Wijnand Langen Creative strategist
Employees: Employer branding

Employees: Employer branding

A company's own staff – HR's main responsibility – is still the largest group. We communicate the essence of a brand to employees using best-in-class interfaces. And those employees breathe their brand. Sure, they have the knowledge – but they are also the best brand ambassadors you could ever wish for.

For some of our clients, their brand is their most valuable asset and they employ a lot of consumer-facing staff. So it's quite common for them to use learning for employer branding. Retailers like Hunkemöller, Rituals and G-Star go a step further than just product updates and straightforward skills training. Learning is an experience. It's surprising.

Hunkemöller is a great example. Through Live it Up! and the academy they have set up an employer branding campaign to recruit 20,000 new employees – and to transform their own employees into ambassadors!

Resellers: learning platforms

Resellers: learning platforms

If your organisation uses a reseller network, those employees fall outside the responsibility of your HR or L&D. But this is a key target group – and you need to promote your brand to them as effectively as possible. A reseller represents your brand. Sometimes they represent other brands, too. So when they choose your brand, it's a more or less independent choice – and packs an even bigger punch.

Clients that have knowledge-intensive products and are dependent on external sales staff are increasingly making smart use of learning in their contact with resellers. Essilor (opticians) and Frans Muller (shoe supplies) have made learning part of their reseller communication. But this is also becoming a popular strategy among companies in the installation technology sector, too.

Resellers need trained staff, but training is also expensive. Which is why Essilor included training as part of its partner incentive programme: resellers can get access to the training programmes within the Essilor Expert partnerprogram.
End users: thought leadership

End users: thought leadership

And finally we have the end users. Knowledge is power. Sharing knowledge is strength. Brands that use a successful academy to share knowledge about their own field have the right to call themselves thought leaders. These academies meet a need of the end user, and they don't even have to focus on their own products to increase brand value.

Medical equipment specialist OMRON uses its academy to share important knowledge with medical specialists. And specialists can also gain accreditation points by taking part in academy activities – a bonus for the specialists. It came as no surprise to us that the OMRON academy easily met its target of 2000 active users by 2020. Also, 90% of these users accessed learning content on mobile devices and mainly during lunch breaks and in the evening. This just goes to show that the academy really does offer something extra.

TinQwise is currently developing a share function for the platforms. An initial version of this tool was created for the OMRON hypertension academy. This tool allows OMRON to successfully expand the reach of its learning content by sharing learning bites from the platform with non-users. The recipient, often a fellow medical specialist, sees a limited amount of content and is invited to log in to the OMRON academy to continue reading or access more content. 

Is it for me?

At your organisation, is learning about more than just knowledge and skills? Does it go right to the heart of your organisation? Is your brand mainly represented by resellers or other external parties? Do you need a considerable amount of knowledge to be able to use or sell your products or services? Do you operate in a market where there is a need for general knowledge on a particular subject? Answered yes to one or more of these questions? Then it might be a good time to start thinking about how you can leverage the potential of learning and marketing through an academy. 

Where should I start?

If learning as a marketing tool sounds like it might be a good move for your organisation, the best thing to do is to just start. Start small. Use what you've got. Start with a small target group; specialists perhaps. Use content that you already have. Make minor adjustments if necessary to make sure it's suitable. Experiment and learn.

Already got the hang of it? Want to take things to the next level, or do you need a helping hand? Then get in touch!

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