Upcoming events

Using Marketing Principles to Give Your Training a Boost

Thursday, March 28, 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

Throughout my professional life, a hot topic has been how to get people more interested in training. Even when I did marketing for a software company, customer training was a key aspect of our marketing strategy. The more people know about a product, the more they will use it.

All good marketing starts off with the four basic principles: product, price, place, and promotion. While the number of “basic principles of marketing” is up for debate, these four are very solid. The underlying assumption of the four, is that you are centering it around the people you serve (or want to serve).

So, before you even start developing your training content, you need to think deeply about the people it is for (your target audience). What are their demographics, psychographics, and why should they care about your training?


Your training is your product, whether you charge for it or it is part of an employee development program. Keeping your target audience in mind, you need to consider the name, packaging, and different uses of your training.

Make sure there is a well-defined benefit for the learner whether it is promotion opportunities, saving the company money, safety, etc. This will help keep you on task and give the learners a reason to pay attention.

Is your audience open to humor? If so, make sure you sprinkle it appropriately throughout your training to keep them awake. As an added benefit, according to ATD, “When people smile and laugh at work, it increases employee engagement, retention, and likability.”

The packaging of your training should give the learners confidence in the content. A clean and modern design can give your content laser focus and keep the learners’ interest. Have you come across a website that was designed just five years ago? How quickly did you lose confidence in the company that website was representing?


The price of taking your learning content can be money or time, this commitment needs to correlate with the benefit. Don’t make people sit through a 60-minute web-based training that offers them no perceived benefit. This falls into the “check-the-box” training category, and you don’t want to be that person. Instead, be concise and keep tying the learning opportunity to a real benefit.


The concept of place refers to the distribution channels of your training. Where will people take the training or access the learning content? This is a critical time to consider the learners’ education, skill level, and culture.

Is the classroom, mobile, or desktop the preferred method of consumption? Are they tech-savvy millennials who like using voice, visual, or location to search? Or are they already too tied to their phone and you need them to interact IRL (in real life)? Consider how you can enhance the delivery of training to spark their interest and really make a difference.


Having a really great promotion strategy could make the difference between a sub-par completion rate and an excellent one. Promotional tactics determine how you will tell people about your training. Possible venues are email, social media, website, or word-of-mouth promotion.

According to the LinkedIn Learning report, talent development only spends 15% of their time promoting employee engagement with learning and 65% of talent developers use email marketing to promote learning.

The reason why email marketing to promote learning works, is because email marketers spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect subject line, greeting, opening line, and call to action to get the most opens and clicks. Using email marketing best practices to promote your learning can get more people engaged with your content.

To really make an impact, use emotion in your promotional materials. People are bombarded with emails and advertisements and you need to make sure your message resonates with your users.

According to Adam Morgan, Adobe Creative Director “When locking in a memory, emotions are critical. In neuroscience, there’s another expression, ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together.’ In other words, the more activity you have in a certain pathway, the more it becomes plastic…the best way to earn and hold customer attention is with a unique idea that’s emotional.”


As a marketing professional, I am always thinking about the best way to grab the right people’s attention at the right time. Using these principles in training will help you develop training that makes a real impact with greater completion rates. Which of these tactics do you use or plan to use in the future?

Copyright 2020 Utah ATD. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software