Custom eLearning Development

The Most Effective Uses of E-Learning Part 4

This post is the Forth and final in a Series titled The Most Effective Uses of E-Learning.  Readers of this blog know that the focus is on e-learning with an emphasis on business and creating business result through e-learning applications.  We develop e-learning applications for businesses not for academics.    These use cases are presented based on the business result they achieved for our clients.  This final installment of the Best uses of E-Learning  series is directed at using e-learning as a supplemental product enhance your business revenues.

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The ability to effectively engage and deliver educational material in a web based format has opened the doors for businesses to enhance their product and product offering through education.  Education sells in a variety of formats, be it books, traditional classroom or online, education is a lucrative business you can tap into through e-learning solutions wrapped around your existing business model.  Some transitions are more obvious than others, I have two examples to share with you.

The first is a fairly obvious leap to online learning but an interesting case study nonetheless.  Back in 2009 I was introduced to a business owner in the sustainable building industry.  The company’s primary business was LEED and sustainability consulting for commercial building projects.  As respected professionals in the industry there was a market for their knowledge and expertise to be transferred to other professionals in the industry.  As LEED Certification for Commercial Building was gaining momentum in 2010 there was a huge need for LEED Accredited Professionals in the industry.  The company spun off an education arm of their business teaching the basics and more technical aspects of LEED and sustainability.  Their business model was traditional classroom style training held in conference rooms and hotels around the country.  Delivering the message and building revenue became limited by the number of days in a year.  Additionally, the expense required to host a training seminar was starting to eat away at profits.  Enter Resolutions.  We partnered with them to transform their classroom training into a best in class online academy for sustainability professionals.  With higher profit margins, less time dedicated to travel and coordination the business owners have used their intellectual capital to create a passive income stream through online education giving them time to focus on the consulting side of their business.

The second example is an interesting case, and a much less obvious application of e-learning as a product.  A few years ago I worked with a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women in transition.  The core business is run out of a facility in Arizona which offers women access to career counselors, financial advisers and mentors to help them through whatever transition they are faced with in their life.  The goal was to expand the business by opening similar facilities and other markets.  After the financial analysis was complete traditional brick and mortar expansion did not make sense.  However, there was still a need and desire to expand their brand and help more women across the country.  We worked with the foundation to create an online university boasting a one of a kind curriculum of courseware featuring numerous industry experts in the areas a finance, career and personal development.   The online university opened the doors to a national audience and to another demographic of women in transition, which provided additional revenues and a solid position outside the Phoenix market.

E-Learning is a powerful tool.  Education is big business and cam be presented in a number of formats.  I challenge you to look at your business model and look for areas where you can provide value through education.  Your intellectual capital could be the ticket to an untapped source of incremental revenue.

Sex Sells, but so does E-Learning

We have all heard the old adage, sex sells.  While that me be true, sex may not have the ability to generate incremental revenue and solidify customer relationships as well as e-learning.  This may come as a bit of a surprise so let me explain.  Every company selling a product or service has educational material available to their customers, but are they realizing the potential of that material to expand their business model and develop stickier customer relationships?

A fundamentally sound e-learning platform developed around your business and your customers can be a huge differentiator in the marketplace and most importantly could be an unrealized revenue source.  Let’s look at a software business as an example.  Company A is selling an enterprise software solution to mid-sized companies.  There is a certain about of ramp up and training time required to implement their solution, as well as ongoing support calls.  Chances are this is being handled by a small staff initially to handle installation, initial training either in person or via online meeting.  Ongoing support is probably handled by a 800 number help desk, support email system or FAQ database.  On the surface the systems are in place, and by most standards this is an acceptable practice in the software industry, but leveraging that internal knowledge base and transforming it into customer focused e-learning platform could open the floodgates to incremental revenue and better customer relationships!  All of the internal knowledge, manuals, trainers, webinars should be transformed into a tactical, engaging and interactive online training curriculum of courses that is on-demand 24/7 for your customers to have all the answers to their questions with real-time tracking, scoring and possibly even product certifications!  This type of online content delivery could drastically reduce ongoing support and internal manpower, while increasing the image and quality of your training product.  It also opens the door to up sell subscription based access to your world-class customer training system, providing a real return on investment.

If you read my post about the blurred lines between training and marketing, you would know that the training system you built to educate your customers may be the best way to market to and engage prospects searching for your company’s solution.  The needs of your prospects and customers only very by degree not kind.

E-learning is a powerful tool for education in both the academic and professional world.  Why not leverage its power in your business.  It could be the differentiator in your product or service, help generate more revenue and create stickier customer relationships.