eLearning

e-Learning For Marketing Agencies

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Marketing needs better marketing.

I mean, we always hear about the heroic entrepreneurs or inventors that created some new product or service (e.g. Jobs, Zuckerberg, Larry Page and the rest), but we seldom hear about the marketing departments and agencies that helped make it a success after it was created.

Maybe that’s because most people think that marketing is superfluous, and that “if you build it, they will come”.

Well, this might have worked for Kevin Costner, but it’s a sure-fire way to tank in the market for the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world; unless you market it correctly, it’s near impossible that it will succeed.

In today’s post, dedicated to the unsung heroes working in marketing, we’ll take a look at how e-learning can be leveraged by marketing agencies to boost their productivity and efficiency.

To begin with, I don’t believe that the idea of introducing e-learning in your marketing agency should need much marketing itself. At this moment in time, e-learning has already been established as an invaluable business tool, and has been adopted by companies and organizations big and small.

Marketing agencies are not much different from any other company or company department in this regard. They too need to cover the same basic needs that e-learning helps other businesses cover. Let’s go through them:

Employee orientation

Employee orientation is the task of introducing new hires to your working environment and giving them the basic information they need to start being productive, including your company’s operating procedures and policies, restrictions and guidelines.

If your marketing agency hires new people frequently, automating employee orientation is one of the best investments you can do, and e-learning software, such as the eFront learning management platform (LMS), is your best option for this.

Sure, you could just toss some relevant information in your intranet pages, or (even worse) in a Word or PDF file and ask new hires to read it, but that’s nowhere near as effective as using a proper LMS.

That’s because an LMS also helps you organize your orientation material in accessible chunks (lessons), has support for including third party information (videos, wikipedia articles, presentations, etc), and includes tests and auto-grading, to help you access your new hire’s progress and understanding of the material.

Plus, the LMS system helps you track orientation course attendance and completion status, something which can serve as a legal proof that your company has indeed provided knowledge of stuff like company policy, sexual harassment laws, etc, to your employees (a feature worth its weight in gold in case of legal dispute).

Training

New or old hires both need training, including frequent re-training as marketing methodologies, techniques and approaches change.

You could ask some of your employees to train the rest – something which will disrupt both the trainers and the trainees normal workflow. Or you could invest in an e-learning solution, to help train your employees at their own pace and with no business disruptions.

Plus, an e-learning deployment works just as well for companies of any size. And it can achieve all that with a fixed purchase or subscription cost, whether it involves 10 or 10.000 employees (in fact we’ve seen adoption from companies with hundreds of thousands of employees and branches all around the world too).

Just try estimating the cost savings compared to¬†a¬†classroom-based training for 1000 people (much less, 100.000), and you’ll see our point.

Again, of course, the same benefits as with e-learning based employee orientation apply: you get quantifiable information and statistics for your employees progress and understanding of the material. eFront, for example, our flagship LMS system, contains a comprehensive Reports feature to help you stay on top of your employees training.

And if your training material changes frequently (which probably is, as the marketing business itself, from the 50’s “Mad Men” persuasion to the 2010s viral campaigns is far from static) an e-learning based solution helps with that too.

You can update all your courses without wasted paper and dead trees, re-use and expand content as you see fit, and share courses between different departments or branches.

Knowledge retention

Are there a few employees in your marketing agency whose experience is crucial for the success of some or all of your projects? Ever thought what would happen to their knowledge if they retire, quit or get fired?

It could be John from Sales, that’s the only one that knows certain facts about a client or a deal. Or it could be Jill from IT, that is the only person in the company that can fix your email server when it goes down.

An e-learning solution can help you store all this information in a formalized and easily accessible way. If you do it thoroughly, the end result would be a complete and detailed description of how your company operates that is safe from changes in your personnel and can be studied and taught to new hires.

An LMS is better than a document management system, because you not only get a document library and a reference source (available throughout your company), but you can also use all this information to train new employees or teach existing employees.

This way, when John retires and goes to play golf in Florida, his decades of business knowledge stays with your business.

So that’s it. A few basic reasons why a marketing agency should look into e-learning solutions. And if we’re allowed a little marketing ourselves, we suggest you look no further than our own eFront.

It has thousands of satisfied customers, including several multinational companies, it frequently trumps the competition in industry reviews, and is renowned for its ease of use. Oh, and you can schedule a demo with Lydia to take an insight look:

http://www.efrontlearning.net/efrontpro

Until next week, keep warm, stay tuned and feel free to watch our video!

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