WTF Does Marketing Have to Do With It?

Are you a marketer? Take a few moments to seriously consider your answer. 

If you answered no, I’d like to suggest that, as Seth Godin says “Everybody is a marketer

We either don’t realize this or equate salespeople with shady characters who try to steal our attention, lie to us, and swindle us into buying things we don’t want. If you’re in that camp, I’d ask you to consider a few things. 

Learning & development professionals want to make change happen, influence culture, and help people succeed, don’t they?

What are the best ways to convince your leaders, your co-workers or your stakeholders to action? What’s the best way to convince them to support your efforts or join your cause?

The answer depends on a lot of factors, but none of them involve elearning tools or learning management systems. If you want to really connect with your people and get better results ,you should seriously consider trying out some marketing tactics.

What are some things good marketers know that many L&D pros don’t? 

  • “The human brain doesn’t run on logic any more than a horse runs on petrol” -Rory Sutherland

  • First impressions really matter. The first second of your content may matter than all the rest. (If there are any others.)

  • Anything that doesn’t capture attention doesn’t exist. (See the “Monkey Business Illusion”.)


Marketing done right changes the game. It can amp up your impact, help you create better designs, and most importantly give you a new perspective. A perspective that can unlock new and exciting new possibilities. 

The best thing about it is that mindsets are free. This doesn’t require any expensive new tools or software. Just using what you have in an innovative new way that helps you:

  • Spread your message in a way that resonates
  • Save time, money and learn to use your tools more effectively

I’ve been a big believer in applying Marketing tools and techniques to L&D for a very long time and have seen the difference it can make first hand. Bianca Baumann and I are running a full-day pre-conference workshop on these topics at DevLearn – “Using the Marketing Playbook to Score Better L&D Results”. 

We think it is a great way to adopt a new “marketing strategy” for your L&D efforts But don’t take my word for it here are what some of the previous participants have to say about it. 

Past feedback: 

  • Terrific class. More than worth the cost of the conference!! So good!
  • This was a great, information filled workshop. Very worth my time. I’ll be taking back a lot of ideas to try out at “home”.
  • Terrific information and tools. You were very generous in the resources shared with us. One of the most valuable aspects was having to work on applying learnings. Thank you!
  • Really great. I enjoyed the fast paced, new information; relevant and actionable for a project back home. Exciting new ways to educate myself and share the knowledge with my company. Great handout and activities. Both of you had great energy and it showed! Thank you for introducing me to these tools. Totally stealing everything!
  • Great session. I appreciated many of the resources and tools the instructors recommended. Gives us a good place to start and I feel our company can immediately apply what was learned today.
  • It was a great workshop. I loved that we covered a variety of topics so that we knew enough about lots of things that we could dig deeper on our own.
  • Excellent ideas and resources that I’ll be able to take back and apply right away.
  • Very helpful! Appreciated the ability to walk through a whole project (in manageable chunks) and also appreciated the wealth of tools we covered both in class and as part of the takeaway package.

Bianca Baumann and I invite you to join us at DevLearn to learn more about that marketing has for L&D pros

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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