Douglas Karr and Marty Thompson of DK New Media were gracious hosts. One of the main reasons I accepted their invitation is that I think marketing and learning professionals have a lot to learn from each other. We have to stop thinking of learning as a separate thing from work. When you learn with and from your customers, marketing and learning are the same. Perhaps getting rid of the L word is a start. It’s all learning. Learning-oriented marketing, both internal and external, is both getting the message across and understanding the needs of others.
I’ve been watching marketing & training moving closer, just as work & learning get integrated in the networked workplace. I think many training departments in the future may become part of marketing. A great example of this is at Intuit, where training is part of the marketing department and involves the customer directly. At Intuit, customers are paid to develop content, and as one person wrote in a chat comment, “The e-Learning has kept my CPA husband loyal to Intuit versus Peachtree, etc.”
Perhaps marketing and learning can work together and figure out how best to deal with complex issues and problems without a “how-to” guide. Think of the future of learning as a business, not just a supporting department. It also keeps the learning function customer-focused and not merely process-dependent.