This article originally appears on the Grovo Blog.
Just because robots aren’t taking our jobs (yet) doesn’t mean technology isn’t drastically changing the way we do business. Nowhere is that more true than in the marketing and advertising industries. SEO, SEM, programmatic, mobile, social—every time the modern marketer blinks, there is a new ad tech du jour. And with new technology comes the need for new competencies. MediaMath noticed this need early on, which is what led them to partner with Grovo to develop the New Marketing Institute (NMI).
Grovo’s Director of Learning & Innovation, Alex Khurgin, was recently joined by Elise James-Decruise, VP of MediaMath’s New Marketing Institute, for a webinar entitled Technology’s Role in Educational Expansion. Alex and Elise discussed the partnership between Grovo and NMI, how NMI created an effective learning strategy with microlearning, and how anyone can use that framework to build their own effective microlearning strategy for their organization.
If you missed it, you’re in luck! Read on for a recap so you, too, can get started building your own effective microlearning program.
What is microlearning anyways?
There are all sorts of definitions for microlearning out there, but if you want to do it right, you need to do a whole lot more than just create little bits of content and put them in front of people. If you commit to transforming your people, then the true definition of microlearning becomes more specific: a method for changing behaviors through short, spaced out learning experiences timed to points of need.
NMI uses microlearning for training, certification, and their Marketing Engineer Program (MEP). In the ever-evolving world of marketing, microlearning is one of the most cost-effective ways to scale training in new technologies and skills that meets the learner where they are in location, language, learning style and level of experience.
The 4 steps to creating an effective microlearning program:
1. Set expectations
It’s surprising how few organizations take the time to spell out exactly what’s expected of their employees. Define concrete behaviors you expect from any given role or as an outcome to training so that everyone knows what they need to do, when they need to do it, how they need to do it, and everyone at different levels and departments is aware of expected behaviors across the board.
NMI identified their success goals as: expanding program reach to 10 countries worldwide, increasing client satisfaction through their client-centered training approach, getting over 10,000 individuals trained through all of their programs, and celebrating big and small wins. They make sure to take a step back as a team to ensure that they are creating memorable experiences within a training environment every step of the way.
2. Surround the moment
In order to motivate people to engage with and apply training, you need to provide them information at the moment they need it. You can do this by paying attention to when there’s a powerful moment of need approaching—like Black Friday for customer service reps—and placing the learning in advance of that. Or, you can create a moment of need by launching learning with fanfare—like posters or email—and building excitement around it.
NMI motivates learners by listening to the needs and wants of their learners to create timely content, developing a curriculum that supports a structured path to certification, and creating an experiential environment that gives participants hands-on opportunities to put lessons into practice.
3. Make learning stick
Once you’ve engaged people, you need to make sure the learning they receive actually changes their behaviors: from the moment of inspiration—that “aha moment”—through transformation. Giving them quick, digestible lessons that can be revisited, prompting practice through realistic challenges with realistic consequences, providing feedback, and following up with review and reinforcement are all ways to ensure that your learning actually sticks and behaviors change.
With 100% job placement for participants in their 13-week MEP program, NMI has surely mastered this step. Some of their secrets to making learning stick include bridging the gap between knowledge and experience, creating a learner-centric environment, and staying ahead of the industry trends.
4. Improve outcomes over time
Finally, it’s important to create a feedback loop in order to improve your program over time. Take a step back and assess and report how much behaviors have changed rather than learning metrics such as lesson completions. If you figure out what is and isn’t working, you can easily tweak the program to improve outcomes over time.
The idea and development of NMI came from MediaMath’s desire to fill education and talent gaps throughout the marketing industry, so they are always looking for ways to stay one step ahead of the learner. NMI encourages feedback during and after training and constantly updates their content to ensure it is as meaningful and relevant as possible.