Marketing training starts with building a solid partnership with your clients while you are developing the product or service in order to get their feedback throughout the creation process. Close to roll out or shortly after, it is essential to recognize and thank these partners through a certificate of appreciation and notification to their bosses for the contribution. This can be done via a simple ceremony where they are awarded their certificates and pictures are taken and posted on the platform. This simple act of recognition tells the organization that you value partnerships and allows you easy access when you need this type of help/support in the future.
In addition to building partnerships with the users, partnerships must be formed with upper management to ensure the smooth implementation of your efforts. This can be achieved by holding pilots or overviews of the training where you can field questions and accept suggestions from them for the most effective way, barrier free way to implement.
The third aspect of marketing in this initial stage is to select the right trainers. Most of us have thin departments so rely heavily on subject matter experts. If you use subject matter experts, meet with a learning focus group to develop some criteria of what a “good trainer” looks like. This will help tremendously in your selection process.
Once selected, then provide them with the knowledge and skill of the content they will be training (if needed) as well as a solid background in adult learning concepts and facilitation techniques. These knowledge and skill sets will enable them to be “voice” of your training throughout the organization. Through effective training techniques and knowledge of the content, they will be able to elicit testimonials from the participants during the training. You can also obtain comments from participants through evaluation forms. Properly constructed forms will allow you to receive feedback both on the training received and the level of comfort on the part of the learners to go forward and use their newly acquired skills and knowledge. A well-constructed evaluation form also provides you with information on those areas that need improvement as well as additional testimonials that you can begin to publish throughout the organization to further generate the “buzz.”
These testimonials should also be gathered OUTSIDE the training. Interview those recently trained, invite feedback through a post or blog on your intranet or just elicit comments from participants you see while moving throughout the organization. When eliciting this feedback, ask the participants if you may publish what they have stated, their names, and perhaps photos. When publishing these testimonials, include pictures, names and specific positive comments about what the training has done for them. This now takes the “buzz” to another level because you are clearly stating a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for more prospective learners.
Whenever you get recommendations from learners/users on how the training is improving the way they work day–to-day remember to also recognize and thank these participants. You don’t have to hold a ceremony in this instance – just recognize and thank them and publish your results to the organization.
Marketing is all about reaching out to as many facets as you can – so remember to incorporate the talk of your training in every aspect of your day. Mention it in meetings, show managers how using this will improve their productivity, get a spot on department meeting agendas and sell the benefits of your training to generate excitement. And don’t underestimate the power of interacting one-on-one over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria. These small interactions produce great results in the end.
Maria Chilcote, Managing Partner, The Training Clinic