Friday, September 17, 2010

The Ideal Marriage...Like Two Peas in A Pod...Marketing Communications and Instructional Design

Wow! This morning a lot is own my mind as I think about marriage, on multiple levels. At one level, there is the marriage to my lovely wife and entering into a new phase with her as "empty nesters", after we helped our youngest child move into her college dorm room this week. On the other level, there is the ideal marriage of two things continually on my mind as I strive to develop my consulting practice...Marketing Communications and Instructional Design.

Then the thought came to me .. they are like ...two peas in the same pod....Then BINGO! I searched Google Images and found this great image of a wedding favor..a wedding candle of two peas in a pod ...that I could do a little PhotoShop magic on...adding my two powerful concepts.

Many of the people that I work with don't even have "Marketing Communications" or "Instructional Design" in their vocabularies, yet an understanding of them both...practically applied to developing all aspects of their business is what they seem to need most. A case in point... like how can a website "make the mark" and be on target with customers if the the self-proclaimed "web developer" himself or herself is completely in the dark about practically applying these two inter-dependent approaches? It is therefore no wonder that so much time, effort, and money is wasted, while opportunity is missed.

Market Communications understanding can change all that, illuminating the path, every step of the way.  It can strategically inform and shape every thing you do:  1) From setting up virtual file services and working with virtual applications and collaborative documents using Google, 2) to developing your product/service offering, 3) to developing your website, 4) to informing your blog, 5) to even strategically informing your Facebooking and Twittering approach. 6) It can even inform how you develop and program your own television channel on your website.. like I am doing. It can be part of a strategic plan.

Marketing communications strategic planning can also 7)  inform how you reach people in the physical world marketplace via your phone calling, your appointment-setting, your business networking, your organizational membership affiliation, and even your volunteerism. Good marketing communications involves taking steps to learn about what people want and need, developing and positioning your product/service offering so that they can get that they get their needs met from you because you helped them so well. That's also where good instructional design comes in.

Instructional Design understanding is closely related to marketing communications understanding because learning needs to be designed into each marketing communications step. What we need to understand, particularly in today's highly competitive, and now very technology-driven marketplace is that today's customer is also today's learner...profoundly challenged by explosive technology change...and information bombardment. Not only does today's business owner need to continually learn, but so does his or her entire staff... even before he or she can take fullest advantage of what you provide. 

A well-crafted instructional design approach is like a good marketing communications plan in that it: 1) Analyses what the client's learning need is. It then 2) Designs what the learning approach should look like. In a 21st century world, the learning can happen in the physical world as well as in  reading this blog, or even via a web television channel, or webinar series that informs and empowers. 

Even the creation of a virtual learning and conference center that uses now affordable web conferencing is possible to create...even on your website. 3) Development, the third step...informed by the analysis and the design then results in the development of the learning product/solution ...which in most cases can be through marketing communications venues themselves  - e.g. via your website, via your virtual print collateral, via your social media approach, even via your web television channel . Then comes the fun parts, 4) Implementation that with a road map can be rapidly done. Finally there is the 5) Evaluation ...piece to this... like how your product/serving offering "makes the mark" and actually generates new educating the customer.. as part of the solution. 

Marketing Communications and Instructional Design...can do that and really are "two peas in a pod", and the marriage of the two in one consulting approach is what I strive to provide. Wow! Is it great how the universe responded with just what I needed to express that. 

Now let me work in the other wife is calling me to take her shopping. Call me and let's connect if you'd like to learn more how to be more strategic and more on target with everything you do....illuminated by an integrated marketing communications and instructional design approach.   425-780-6872.

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