Friday, November 12, 2010

Lessons in Marketing an LMS

The upgrade of our LMS provided a fantastic opportunity to finally "market" this bugger.

Before the upgrade, or any marketing, we had 2500 active users. This was all word of mouth.

Sally, Sid and I came up with a plan.

Before the upgrade - we did the obligatory warnings and added
- an introductory movie (thank you employers for letting me share this piece of epicness)
- quick references that we included with the warning emails
- a customized "the system is out" page that included the above movie and the quick reference

Directly after the upgrade we did
- In-person workshops. I wound up training 15 people.
- a big, apparently popular, presentation on SkillPort in our Service Excellence conference. I say apparently because my session wound up being only 1/2 full

I have some monthly online sessions scheduled for the next 3 months. The first one is next week. I currently have 0 people.

Funny how the seemingly high demand vanishes when you actually give them the opportunity to DO something.

Here are the conclusions I have come to as a result

1) I am a lousy marketer

2) Maybe the quick references and movies were so good that people felt no need to avail themselves of the instructor-led, in-person training

3) Maybe the system itself is so well designed folks don't need training (personally - I am digging the SkillPort 7.0 re-design)

Any ideas on how to better market this thing are welcome.

1 comment:

Alistair Reynolds said...

Just seen a presentation about a new PLE that is going to be offered free to schools. It looked really great, easy to use, integrates with a number of other Web2.0 tools, including Google Apps and allows the student and teacher to develop their own, personal structures for learning. They also demonstrated it's integration with a Mandarin learning application. The site was

One of the reasons I was interested was that it takes data from my school MIS and allows me to use accounts using my school domain yet still allows me to collaborate with others within the system from other schools.

The guy doing the marketing for this really knew his stuff and managed to relate the MOOPLE.NET tools to his audience, mostly cynical teachers. It seemed to me that he was able to answer lots of the questions asked with tools that were integrated into the platform so we all seeme to go away with ideas for how we could use the platform within our classes. He told us that in the first weeks of announcing it within our school district that over 80 schools had signed up and that there were now well over 3000 teachers using the system.

So I guess the key message is making it relevant to the users.