How learning management system data can inform your marketing strategy

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As marketers, there is no shortage of options when it comes to targeting audiences. Data-driven marketing is quickly becoming king. The true challenge is learning to use the available data to inform effective choices.

One rich data source that many marketers overlook is learning management systems. Learning management systems (LMSs) have long provided hefty data reports and analytics to help users improve online training effectiveness and return on investment. However, many companies are unaware that this data can also help them refine their marketing strategies and hit sales targets.

Several months back, I spoke with a vendor who was trying every avenue possible to promote its product online. This vendor gave me a brief recap of its marketing techniques and asked for advice. The vendor was publishing articles regularly, staying active on social media, and even investing in pay-per-click advertisements. Almost every ingredient was present, but a lack of crucial feedback to target those efforts led to an incomplete recipe and misguided marketing.

This vendor was not using data from product demos to gauge user experience or identify consumer pain points — it also failed to solicit input from customers to improve its product or personalise its marketing. As such, the vendor was not seeing significant returns on its promotional strategy or broadening its online reach.

Instead of making the most of its capable system, this vendor was missing a crucial element: big data analysis. The analytics from an LMS can paint a clear picture of the effects it has on everyone who uses it, which digital marketers can maximise to reach appropriate audiences.

What marketers can learn from LMS data

Metrics from an LMS can reveal how users interact with the system and whether they are able to achieve their goals.

For example, LMS analytics might show that users are logging in every day, continually improving their performance, and achieving high assessment scores. The resulting report would indicate that the system offers the personalised training resources users need and an intuitive experience that is free of technology bottlenecks. The organisation could glean additional insight by pairing these metrics with business data — such as sales reports — to further monitor performance.

study by Forrester Consulting found that 44 percent of respondents said relevant, speedy responses to customer needs were the most important element of any marketing campaign. The wealth of data from an LMS can help marketers better identify their customers’ needs without even requiring direct interactions.

Consumers appreciate that — 36 percent of respondents from the same survey said that gaining insight into customers through data was the second most important quality in a marketing campaign.

LMS tech allows you to organise user information and take action, pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of your product and marketing. Tech has changed the way marketers interact with data by making it easier to access and organise information that can translate into actionable insights. Instead of sifting through a pile of printed survey data or reaching out to users individually, you can gather feedback seamlessly without any geographic barriers getting in the way.

How to use an LMS to master marketing

The connection between an LMS and marketing might seem unclear, but the two actually pair quite well. Between user surveys, demos, and trial data, an LMS is capable of providing a wealth of valuable information. Here are five ways to use an LMS to inform your marketing efforts:

Identify (and capitalise on) your product perks

Identifying the features and functions that your current clients use most can help you draw in new clients looking for similar benefits. If, for example, your organisation’s LMS metrics reveal that its gamification features, built-in authoring tools, and online asset libraries are major strengths, you can respond accordingly by incorporating these unique selling points into your marketing content.

Conduct user surveys to focus your marketing efforts

User surveys are another source of LMS data that you can capitalise on. Invite users to participate in surveys, questionnaires, or polls to gauge their level of satisfaction and the language they use regarding your products. You can then use that information to determine which keywords to include in your content. If customers note mobile-friendliness and an intuitive user interface as key selling points, you can refine your marketing efforts to emphasise these features.

Evaluate pain points, and identify customer needs

There’s more to data than just strengths — it also contains useful insights about product pain points. User data from an LMS can help you pinpoint when your product’s weaknesses might prevent prospects from buying. It can also uncover customer needs that you had not considered before. Slow completion times in trial data, for instance, could be a telltale sign of poor navigability or UI design, both of which warrant a closer look by your team.

Include other data platforms for a robust picture

While LMS insights are invaluable, they are only one part of a bigger puzzle when it comes to identifying what is and what is not working for your marketing campaign. As an example, social media and site stats can help you determine which promotional techniques are working and which are not worth the investment. You can use this information to inform how you allocate your resources, allowing you to reach your audience more efficiently.

Continue to reevaluate your big data pool

An abundance of data sources means it is not enough to merely identify your key channels, collect the information you need, and move on. You must continually evaluate which sources you use and which metrics you monitor.

At the same time, ensure your data pool still aligns with your marketing objectives. If you have changed your focus to a new target audience based on updated product features or add-ons, for example, the information you currently collect might not be relevant to your revamped marketing strategy. You might instead need to rely on other LMS reports, surveys, and social media statistics to steer your LMS promotion strategies.

Data can help, but only if you know how to use it. One of the best ways to attract qualified leads using the data you have mined is to launch a PPC advertising campaign, which gives you the opportunity to take control of your spending with geo-bidding and to monitor your marketing efforts to improve ROI.

The data provided by an LMS can give you the insights you need to identify your target customers, their pain points, and the product features they crave. It makes perfect sense to use this information for even more insightful, data-driven marketing.

– by Christopher Pappas

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