Anatomy of a Learning Campaign: The 5 Elements You Need


Imagine you’ve just started a new job. You have solid work experience, but there are things you need to learn about your new company and its products or services before you can excel in your new position. Fortunately, you’re not expected to just pick things up as you go along. Your employer has invested in a training program to onboard new employees and position them for success.

You’ve probably been in this boat before, so I’m going to give you two scenarios to consider.

Scenario 1: New employee training is standardized and touches on each department. It’s held at the company headquarters every month, and new employees spend a week sitting in training classes with an instructor and other new employees, most of whom don’t perform the same job you’ve been hired to do. You return home exhausted and on information overload.

Scenario 2: New employee training is self-paced and conducted electronically. You can use whatever device you want to access it, and it’s available 24/7. Some of the learning modules are standardized, but there is also a lot of content tailored specifically to your role. Some modules have due dates for completion, but others can be done at whatever pace works best for you. You occasionally get email reminders about available courses and readily-available reference material, just in case you forget or need to review something.

Which scenario sounds better to you as a new employee? How about as someone overseeing a corporate training budget - which scenario sounds like a better investment?

If you’ve been following our blog lately, you know that one-off training doesn’t cut it anymore. Retention rates for training that’s only delivered once is incredibly low, in the 10-30% range. It takes more in order to make training stick, and frankly, employees have come to expect it.

Here at Expand, we have a strong belief in the power of Learning Campaigns. What is a Learning Campaign, you ask? Let me explain.

If you’ve worked in marketing or sales, you know it can take anywhere from seven to 13 touches (a touch being an email, phone call, etc.) to get into a prospect’s conscious mind and trigger a response. Hence the creation of marketing campaigns designed to build awareness, interest and credibility with audiences over a series of interactions. There is a parallel between marketing campaigns and what we’ve come to call Learning Campaigns. The fundamental idea is the same - information doesn’t stick until it’s been presented a number of times, and often in a variety of ways.

Just like a marketing campaign, a Learning Campaign requires careful planning and each component needs to be well thought-out. What’s our goal? Who are we trying to reach? What do we want them to learn, and then do? How hard are they to reach? How can we tell that the learning is actually working?

To answer these questions, here are five key elements of a successful Learning Campaign:

  • An Objective. What is it you want your learners to do? What behavioral change do you want to see? It’s vital to have a clearly-defined goal for your training. Otherwise, how will you know it’s working?
  • A segmented and well-understood audience. You have to know who you’re talking to, and tailor your entire learning campaign - from content to device availability to script and tone - based on audience profiles.
  • Content. The learning content within your campaign should come in a variety of formats, both short-form and long-form. Perhaps your campaign kicks off with an interactive self-paced module, but is followed up with short reminders via email that link to performance support materials like job aids, videos and checklists.
  • Knowledge sharing platform. Just like your company website is your hub for marketing activities, a knowledge sharing platform is your hub for training. Here, you can store all of your elearning content, assign it to individuals or groups for completion, send updates and messages via email or text message, as well as track student participation and progress.
  • Tracking and Feedback. Abandonment data, comprehension tests or quizzes and—equally important—student feedback will provide a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of your training program so that you can make swift and impactful adjustments.


If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.


Will Holland