Winning lifelong learning programs must create great course programming, but to be truly successful, their marketing efforts must be exceptional.
LERN’s Associate Vice President of Marketing, Suzanne Kart, is on the cutting edge of lifelong learning marketing. She is advocating the implementation of integrated marketing strategies supported by a documented and monitored marketing plan with dedicated promotion campaigns.
Integrated marketing is the application of consistent brand messaging across both traditional and non-traditional marketing channels and using different promotional methods to reinforce each other. Ms. Kart has been encouraging lifelong learning programs to make the switch to integrated marketing via presentations, publications, webinars, and consulting.
“Mixing print and digital marketing is now a requirement and lifelong learning marketing professionals must be well-versed in both traditional and non-traditional marketing,” reported Kart on the LERN website.
As a guideline for lifelong learning programs transitioning to integrated marketing, she has recommended the following five action steps:
1) Create a Plan. In order to effectively integrate all the aspects of your marketing, you need to map out your path to success.
2) Create your catalog. The catalog is still the most powerful marketing weapon in your arsenal. It sets the direction for all your marketing - from messaging and targeting to design.
3) Establish a powerful website. Your website needs to be search engine optimized, so that it ranks high in the organic search results. It needs to be easy to navigate, so once your customers find you, they can find what they are looking for and it needs to be mobile optimized because in 2015, more people will visit your site from a mobile device than from a desktop or laptop. If they can’t read it easily from their mobile device, they will abandon your site.
4) Drive traffic to your website. Email, blogging, social media, and search engine optimization will all increase traffic to your website.
5) Convert leads to customers. Once your customers reach your website, it’s time to get them to register. Make sure you make it as easy as possible for someone to sign up and you’ll see your enrollments rise.
“Lifelong learning programs need to spend money to make money; thus, the importance of 10 to 15 percent of your programs’ budget needs to be spent on marketing,” Kart recommended at a gathering of lifelong learning marketing professionals.
She went on to speak about the importance of good data collection so “think marketing” can be done by marketing professionals; thus, creating better targeted marketing.
To support the development, implementation and monitoring of marketing campaigns, Kart was instrumental in the development of LERN’s Promotion Tracking Tool now being used by over 150 LERN members. The Promotion Tracking Tool allows users to build promotion campaigns, track them on a calendar and generate on-time and promotion performance reports.
“We built the Promotion Tracking Tool for LERN’s marketing efforts, but quickly learned that the Tool would be valuable to all LERN members,” re-counted Kart during a demonstration of the Promotion Tracking Tool.
Suzanne Kart is available for both face-to-face and remote training and consulting and continues to dedicate time daily to tracking marketing trends and reporting on how the latest and greatest can be implemented by lifelong learning programs.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.