What learning and development can learn from marketing teams

What learning and development can learn from marketing teams

We are often in what feels like a privileged position, working with heads of departments in firms of all sizes, as you can never underestimate the value of collaboration with heads of teams working together. Working closely with Heads of People / Learning and Development (L&D) who have seen initiatives fail in the past, a term that has more recently become part of the learning vocabulary is that of running a “learning campaign”. The term campaign won’t be a new one to many marketeers, however it’s a more recent addition to L&D teams.

What is a learning campaign?

Learning campaigns are a decision to approach learning transfer by using a marketing approach, to drive impact with the learners. As with any good marketing campaign, any initiative should be part of a longer term plan, not just a one off training session. The learning is spread over time and delivered in bite sized chunks that gives time to apply the learning and increases the likelihood of the learner retaining the information.

And just like marketing campaigns use different marketing activities, learning campaigns are delivered across a variety of channels both on and off line, e.g. workshops, posters, screensavers, email, video, e-learning, blogs, forums, town hall meetings etc …

So those in marketing have much to teach your L&D colleagues and can be a key influencer in L&D, it’s not just about marketing training programmes but using marketing concepts on the actual content delivery itself.

Why run a learning campaign?

Learning campaigns benefit both the learner and also the learning provider (whether internal or external to the firm), because they deliver:

  • Increased retention of knowledge and learning, as less is delivered at one time and the learning can be applied between activities
  • Flexibility in terms of when the learning is delivered
  • Flexibility for the provider in terms of the creation of materials and resources, as it can be broken down and leaves room to update materials over time
  • Repetition across different media, at different times, to embed messages

How to run a campaign

Running a learning campaign is very different to the design of a simple intervention. Though content can be isolated by completing a needs analysis in terms of the learners, that is where the similarity ends as you must then:

  1. Identify the campaign’s objectives
  2. Identify the available points of contact with the learner, e.g. classroom, desk, walls, coffee shop, e-learning, posters, internal meetings, emails, videos, blogs …
  3. Design and adapt the content for each learning channel
  4. Follow up – include regular follow up activities to help retain the learning
  5. Evaluate the learning campaign – the return from the campaign needs to be evaluated, including feedback from learners, application of learning and change in performance (at an individual and firm level)


It’s great to see the changes happening in learning and development and this is just one example we’ve seen of the collaborative approach being used in professional services and across other sectors.

People are the reason 70% of change initiatives fail, at theGrogroup we help organisations to make change stick, call us today on 01892 610060 to see how we can help.