About E-learning

4Ps of Marketing

The picture below shows people lining up to buy the next iPhone at 5am. Do your learners line up to access your next course in a similar way? Probably not. And it isn't because your course is bad or not useful enough. You are simply not marketing it right.

Nowadays it seems like our entire world is run by marketers. Our purchasing decisions, lifestyle choices and even political preferences are influenced by marketing people through ads, social networks, celebrity spokespersons and dozens of other subtle ways.

So let's look into their playbook and steal their most basic, most important concept - The 4P Marketing Mix.

The four Ps refer to the four aspects of a properly marketed offering:

  • Product (the actual product or service, their perceived value etc)
  • Place (the ways how customers can access said product)
  • Promotion (kinda self-explanatory)
  • Price (very obvious, too)

CASE: Dollar Shave Club revolutionized shaving razor market by offering a subscription to home-delivered razors. They innovated in the “Place” department and finely tuned Promotion and Price to match. As a result, a company that was offering quite standard shaving blades was sold to Unilever for reported $1 billion.

Keeping all four parts of the mix aligned and balanced is crucial to a product success. So let's apply this model to your e-learning offering.


Many people tend to think that your learning product is “a course” or “a training”. Some say that “knowledge” is what we offer. I argue that our product is “making life easier” for learners. Our courses make their jobs easier by making people more efficient, giving them necessary tools and skills. Or do they? Unless you check your courses against this simple criteria, your learning will not fly.


A marketer is constantly looking for new ways to bring their product closer to the consumer. Where and how can your learners access the training? I know, I know, you have an LMS. But let's think outside the box! How about embedding training right within their work software? Delivering with the cash register, which is essentially a PC anyway? Through corporate chat? On a smart watch? The ways are infinite.


Let's take a trip down to your favourite book store. Take any book. What do you see? Name and title? Sure, but you also see testimonials, awards, 5-star ratings and lots of exclamation points about how this book is great, amazing, useful, thrilling etc etc. This is a stark contrast to a typically bland presentation of e-learning courses. I invite you to think about how you can excite a learner before they even open the course. At least come up with a catch title.


'What? Our courses are free of charge. Even more so, they are mandatory!' I hear that a lot. However, our learners still pay for access to learning in many different ways. They invest time, effort, attention and emotion, and for many these mean more than money. A marketer is always looking for ways to manipulate the price: splitting it into smaller pieces, providing value comparisons, offering freebies etc. I invite you to consider ways how you can decrease the burden of learning in terms of time and effort for your audience.

Alright, this is it. Simple? Complex? Let us know what you think and subscribe to our newsletter to access more articles and live online events.
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