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Marketing of Training courses


We need to improve the way we market our training courses and I was wondering if anyone knows of any courses or sources of information we can tap into.

Our courses are delivered to internal staff only.
Allison Preece

4 Responses

  1. Top 10 Strategies to Market Training to Your Workforce
    Dear Alison

    Back in early September of this year we published an excellent article by Gordon L. Johnson entitled: Top 10 Strategies to Market Training to Your Workforce. You can read this article in full at:

    Gordon is a US based marketing consultant for the training industry and may well be able to provide you with further assistance.

    You can email Gordon via: [email protected] or you could visit his website at:


  2. The best training is relevant, practical and fun
    Alison, a great question and I think the best way of marketing courses to staff is to make them come to life. So make the training relevant so staff can see how they will use it back at work. Also make it practical so staff are using what they learn in context during training. People respond best when they feel positive, so make training fun.
    Any marketing material or pre-work should highlight the benefits to those attending, so any way of bringing the subject to life will help. Try using pictures, colour and titles that talk about the end result. So rather than calling a course Customer Service Skills, try Key steps to great customer service.

    I have a report called Bringing Learning to Life. Please email me if you would like a free copy. My address is [email protected]

  3. Marketing of Training
    There are very few providers that offer open and bespoke programmes on this. Frost & Sullivan used to (and are still good for general commercial marketing options) which I think leaves only the National School of Government (at which point I must declare an interest so I ought not say more than that).
    My tips for marketing are:
    1. Think beyond needs analaysis and consider marketing research – find out wants and expectations as well as needs; look at the differences in different ‘segments’ of the organisation.
    2. Work to a high quality, high value standard for your products and services – good training speaks for itself; make sure the advisory services and admin are top notch; don’t let finance issues drive you down a low cost high volume path if it is not the right one.
    3. Focus on getting the right learning to the right people at the right time in the right way.
    4. Get your publicity and communication mix right – from posters to email, from open days to articles in the office mag.
    5. Develop good copy writing skills – make sure your message meets the objective.
    6. Create a brand – not just a logo or look, embed a positive perception about training, your people and your products.
    7. Think as if you were a business – you probably don’t charge, but if you did would people buy? Get on top of cancellations and ‘no shows’.
    8. Lead with some flagship ideas or products – not everything can be leading edge but make sure you do at least one thing that really impresses.
    9. Manage problems and complaints quickly and effectively
    10. Make sure that the training really makes a difference – good promotion and publicity gets you off to a good start but enduring reputation is built on substance not gloss.
    Best of luck

  4. Two-stage evolution
    Hi Allison,
    There are two significant issues here. Firstly, you’re presently like a retailer with a product to sell, looking for people to buy it. This forces you into attempting to persuade – via marketing and selling techniques. Yet, if you attempt to persuade me to buy, I automatically resist, unless I see it as meeting a pressing need; until then I see you as an irrelevance.
    So making your team increasingly relevant (and therefore desirable) should be top priority. Question “buyers” to ascertain not what they perceive to be a solution, but what they see as obstacles to progress. This forces you down the route of customisation. (In over 20+ years we’ve yet to meet two clients whose needs and situation are identical.) Then ask “If I were to come up with some potential solutions, would you like to see them?” 99% of “buyers” will answer “Yes!” With your team, devise a solution that can mitigate the “buyer’s” dilemma. Then present it as a working paper to which the “buyer” must amend, modify, add to or delete. The more they do so, the more likely they are to “buy”!
    The second issue is rather longer term, requiring you to consider your team’s very raison d’etre. People don’t want training; they want “roadblocks” removed. Ask yourself how often has your input truly resolved the “buyer’s” problem? In our experience, factors other than skills deficits (e.g. working environment, job role clarity and communications) are just as critical to “clients” achieving the outcomes they require. For your team to be truly valued, move progressively away from persuading people to “buy” pre-determined solutions, and instead help people to achieve their goals.
    Therefore, your team must reposition itself as “performance improvers”, by developing the skills to identify all performance barriers and devising appropriate solutions. Aim to evolve into performance analysts and away from pedlars of pre-determined programmes.


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