The BIG M in Marketing From an L&D Perspective

Back in 2010, I wrote a post about “The 4 Ps of Marketing Applied to T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management” – here.

Even way back then I saw too many posts on SM about L&D’s need to embrace Marketing. But it was the one of the little Ms of Marketing – the need to do better Promotions – that most were talking about – because their BIG M – Product – wasn’t attractive or effective enough – and there was a need to pull that wool over the marketplace’s eyes – to SELL SELL SELL.

Still today – when I see posts/etc. on L&D’s need to embrace Marketing – it’s because they got the first P wrong – and maybe the next two – and now they need to focus on how to recover via the 4th P.

Let’s review the 4 Ps of Marketing – something I first learned about while consulting with AT&T Network Systems from the work of Philip Kotler. Per Wikipedia the 4 Ps is originally credited to a Professor of Marketing at Harvard University, Prof. James Culliton.


In L&D we need to determine what the Performance-Based requirements are and then architect and build/buy Content that will help people perform back on the job.


We need to place our content in the workflow when the Performance Context (process/workstream/workflow) allows for a Referenced Performance Response.

And we need to place our content before the workflow when the Performance Context (process/workstream/workflow) demands a Memorized Performance Response.

This overlaps of course, with Product.


Price is more than money. It includes the time investment required. That would be a function of the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole 9-yards of Learning – the Pre-Event, the Main-Event, and the Post-Event necessary to make it happen – learn how to apply and perform with competence and confidence.


This is about making the right people aware of your product (or service) offering, what it will address, and how and how long – so that people – learners and/or their management – can make an informed decision whether to partake of your offerings – or not.

Of course, your reputation proceeds you – so you have some damage control issues in that Promotional Path to try to undo real or imagined issues with your past offerings.


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