Last week, John Leh and Barry Kelly paired up to present a webinar, “Paving the Way to a Profitable Learning Business: 5 Successful Strategies.” Leh is the CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, a learning technology research and consulting organization, and Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of Thought Industries.
In part one of this webinar recap, we address monetization and business models. In part two of our webinar recap, we’ll cover their presentation on content creation, distribution and technology.
Content creation: Leveraging expertise
In a poll, most webinar attendees flagged “lack of staff” as their biggest hurdle in creating content (36%). The runner up was cost (23%). “It’s not just about the revenue coming in from the sale of content, it’s about the expenses going out,” said Leh. “Money and people time are -- in this poll, and in real life -- the things that impact content creation.”
According to Leh and Kelly, there are a number of things to consider when creating learning experiences:
- Instructional design: Who is creating the courseware and training?
- Authoring process and tools: What tools are being used to create your courseware and learning content?
- Content scalability: Can you create, update and distribute content at the velocity you need?
- Content differentiation: Are you creating exceptional learning experiences? Enticing people to come back?
Distribution: Scaling delivery
You created your content and established a go-to-market strategy, and now you need to deliver it. How do you want learner to access your content? Below are options and different aspects of each:
- Be a learning destination: Deliver courses right on your destination learning site. Monetize course offerings and integrate commerce to sell merchandise. “This is a model that every organization has in some shape or form,” explained Kelly, “An online site where they are presenting the courseware and information they have.”
- Create a multi-tenant platform: Launch a multi-tenant platform with custom landing pages and controlled access for different course offerings or clients. In this instance, you can manage a large client base on one portal using license management. Another use case is departmental distribution within your organization.
- Build custom portals for clients: Create dedicated stand-alone domain for clients. Brand customized learning portals.
- Interoperable delivery: Deliver courseware files to organizations in SCORM/xAPI formats.
Technology: Choosing the right platform
Helping people choose the right technology is Talented Learning’s specialty. According to Leh, there are 700+ platforms in the global learning market today that span dozens of different use cases. During the webinar, Leh and Kelly give an overview of different kinds of buyers:
- Launching or moving online: These organizations are looking to scale in-person or event-based learning operations to capture online market. According to Kelly, lots of commercial training companies are moving online. These buyers are in the process of capturing the online audience, without losing the value of their instructors or quality of in-person courses.
- Migrating from homegrown technology: Homegrown technology is costly to support and doesn’t always provide growth options. Plus, it’s tough work to build learning platform. Many organizations who have painted themselves in the corner with homegrown stuff are looking to buy new stuff.
- Moving away from restrictive technology: If the buyer’s existing LMS is short on features and lacking monetization options, they might be shopping for something new.
In addition to considering the tech and functionality, Leh suggests that buyers look for an option that provides the amount of support they are going to need. For example, if the organization is going to need to migrate a lot of content or video, they will want support for that.