Could thinking like a marketer help embed an on-demand learning culture?

Aimee Bateman

CEO/Founder, Careercake

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At Careercake, we work with teams to help deliver on-demand learning as part of their people development transformation projects. This type of learning requires a very different approach and poses challenges when teams look to roll it out.

We believe that using techniques used by marketers you can help to increase adoption of digital learning.

Here’s how...


Educate: on-demand learning is going to shake up your learning culture, but that’s a good thing.

When referring to on-demand learning we’re talking about learning at the point of pain; a paradigm shift in the industry that’s fuelled by the changing workforce.

Take young professionals: they’re digital natives, they’ve grown up with the internet and as the ‘always on’ generation they expect answers immediately. They’re the ‘Just Google It’ generation. They want answers now, and won’t wait until Tony in L&D can get them on a course.

On-demand learning requires you to give people the agency to search for a problem when it arises, thus engaging them in a way they want to be engaged.

For more about engaging multi-generations in your workplace, download our guide.

You’re going to face challenges from stakeholders, it’s time to use other marketing techniques in your arsenal.


What if they don’t use it?

Changing someone’s habits is challenging. (Dry January, anyone?) According to Lally, it takes around 66 days before a new behaviour becomes automatic - a figure that differs by many factors including context and the person.

Use this psychology to show stakeholders that results won’t be immediate; new habits need to be formed. The concept of being able to learn at the point of pain, not wait a few weeks until a course has been booked, will require the learner to also change their routine.


How will it help us to reach objectives if they access it when they want?

Here’s where personalisation kicks in. You’ll need to showcase just how personalised learning experiences - aligned to the different stages of the employee journey - will engage teams to reach objectives.

The first rule: topics need to be aligned to the growth programme, but also the way the person learns. This isn’t a case of just chucking videos on your LMS. It’s about delivering the right message, at the right time.


What if we engage them, and they leave?

It’s always a risk, but the person asking this is not thinking of the results the business will reap whilst the employee is highly engaged via this type of learning.

Position it as a 1+1=3 situation (marketers refer to this as partnership marketing). The business owns their job, they own their career. If the employee feels engaged, and learning is available to them in the way they like to learn, their impact whilst at the business is going to be even higher.


These are just a few ideas to help build your case for different learning approaches in your multi-generational workforce. Understand more about how each generation learns with our latest guide.


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