Across the customer bases of our clients, we have seen a high correlation between learning and buying. When somebody wants to polish skills, reach new levels of professional advancement or complete a new credential, he or she also is more inclined to attain the materials required to achieve that goal. That tendency makes for excellent opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.
If your organization already has ample content on hand -- from whitepapers, webinars, the customer support knowledgebase, new product specifications and documentation and similar materials -- it could be time to consider converting those resources into a revenue stream. Whether your business focus or segment is B2B professional training, extended enterprise learning or direct to consumer, the online learning you deliver can be a powerful way to engage and expand your customer base while building a high-margin business with assets and expertise you already have.
There are currently over 650 LMS providers in the marketplace with more and more being added each year. With such a wide variety of options available it can be difficult for businesses in the market for new learning technology to decide which one fits their needs best. Oftentimes during the research process, this is where third party sites such as LMS.org come into play - in order to provide an outsider's perspective and make an assessment of which companies and use cases make the most sense in terms of picking a vendor.
Buying an online course is a big decision and never, ever an impulse buy at any price. Whether the learner is setting out to improve their understanding of a hobby or craft, or looking to develop their career, each and everyone who purchases an online course turns up with a preprogrammed list of immediate objections – yes objections.
Are your sales teams, distributors, retailers and channel partners maximizing their full revenue potential? When the obvious benefit and value proposition of commonly recognized goods and products is clear, your organization tends to focus more on positioning and branding. Even though the differentiation points and brand aesthetic are cultivated and disseminated by the home office, your teams on the ground need to clearly understand how to deliver the message.
At Thought Industries we are fortunate to work with a lot of successful organizations in the for-profit learning industry. Some are in the consumer learning business, selling online courses and programs in health, fitness, crafts and hobbies, and others are in the professional training and development business, providing industry certifications and career advancement to people all over the globe. Check out another article on key monetization strategies for online learning businesses.
Thanks to the rise of cloud-based technology, modern professional development and training have changed significantly, and for the better. Continuing education made a giant leap forward by moving online but the early efforts left much to be desired.
When new industries and business models begin to emerge, companies have to make do with home-grown software to run their businesses because the technology platforms and applications they need don’t yet exist. Over time, robust commercial systems and platforms come to market, but companies who have written a custom application are sometimes slow to recognize the benefits of a commercial platform over a home-grown system. Eventually, the logjam breaks and the most successful and profitable companies adopt new systems that are specifically built for their industry or use case.
Here at Thought Industries we continue to see a growing variety of business models in action for continuing education and for-profit training organizations. Many of these companies are adopting multiple revenue models which result in varied and unique requirements for learning management systems (LMS). Not only that, but they demand sophisticated supporting systems such as commerce, licensing management, white-labeling, and comprehensive reporting features. What makes this even more complex is that most of these organizations are deploying multiple concurrent models for complementary revenue streams. These monetization approaches apply different demands on their extended business delivery ecosystem and they need powerful technology to manage and most importantly scale.
Barry Kelly, CEO of Thought Industries, recently gave an interview at the Connectiv Executive Summit in Austin, Texas and discussed why it’s important to validate the market before engaging in an online learning strategy. He also outlined some of the challenges organizations face when it comes to building out and scaling an online learning framework, and why the end user experience should be the primary focus of any learning endeavor.