Scaling Revenue in a B2B For-Profit Learning Business

Posted by Barry Kelly on Aug 2, 2016 11:00:00 AM

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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.

Depending on the combination of business models in play, most will quickly recognize that their existing LMS or custom-built content delivery platform is not going to meet the demands and complexities to scale and support their revenue targets. We talk to many companies who reach the limits of their platform’s ability to support their needs, regardless of whether the system is commercially available or home-grown.

Many organizations find they are caught between the limitations of existing technology and the desire to generate new revenue streams. In addition, learners and users have come to expect a high-quality digital experience, one which many platforms have not kept up with. The fact is, not only does an inflexible platform limit growth and the ability to support new business models, it may also cause rapid erosion of the existing customer base.

We know it’s not always an easy decision to replace technology, and many organizations are reluctant to abandon their existing platforms due to the potential risk of transitioning and migrating to a new platform. We’ve worked with many organizations on complex migrations. Our proprietary methodology includes technology and processes for moving content, users, commerce, and other components to create a smooth and rapid transition in a short time for learners and clients.

Here is a list of some of the business models we see at work in B2B learning.  In some cases, all of these monetization options are at work together.

Bulk Seat Licenses

Sell seat licenses to clients who then provide their users with access to online courses directly on your domain. This is ideal for organizations who want to direct their users to their own domain while taking online courses with the general population. 

Dedicated Branded Online Classrooms

Sell seat licenses to client organizations that want a more branded experience by providing  dedicated, branded landing pages and classrooms exclusively for their users. Add value with management reports and usability enhancements such as department groups.

Custom Microsites

Sell fully branded learning centers / microsites to client organizations that require a lot of courseware and ultimate flexibility in authoring, branding and reporting.

Direct to Customer

Sell directly to consumers by allowing them to purchase courseware from your site using either single course pricing or recurring subscription options. Value add features might include bundling, coupon management, discounting and gifting.

Deliver Interoperable Courses

Sell fully authored SCORM or other interoperable files to client organizations who want to load your courseware into their internal LMS. All courseware can be authored in the Thought Industries platform and exported out.

With the right platform, it's easy to offer any or all of these learning solution options to clients.

Barry Kelly
Barry Kelly is CEO and Co-founder of Thought Industries. He is a consumer learning champion, marketer and digital learning innovator. His career has been focused on helping brands and content organizations leverage the power of e-learning to promote and grow their businesses.

Topics: Business Models, For Profit Training, Scaling Revenues, Complex Learning

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