Picturesque Rollouts: Marketing Online Learning Contents and Learning Sequences

Picturesque Rollouts: Marketing Online Learning Contents and Learning Sequences

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3946-0.ch008
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The rollout of a new learning sequence, whether for formal or nonformal or informal learning, requires that members of the general public find the (promise of the) learning appealing and useful. The public messaging has to capture attention, represent the actual learning contents, be memorable, and motivate targeted individuals and learning groups to action. This chapter focuses on visual-based marketing for learning content rollouts and targeted outreach. Given the tight budgets for instructional designs, this marketing rollout will be based on “guerrilla (shoestring) marketing” techniques (for marketing, for advertising, and for branding).
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This will explore the following questions:

  • When sharing messaging about the new learning to the broad public and targeted publics and private groups, what are ways to differentiate the learning contents from competitor works (using visuals, still and moving)? What are the best ways to communicate the competitive advantages in using these resources as compared to others?

    • o

      What are the optimal ways to tailor the messaging to the respective audiences—strategically and tactically?

    • o

      What spokespeople should be used, if desired?

    • o

      What are the technologies that are optimal for disseminating particular messages?

    • o

      What are the most effective sequences for the rollout? In terms of continuing messaging, what should these be, and how should these be conveyed? What modalities should be used?

    • o

      How can frugality be considered in every aspect, for the “guerrilla” and “shoestring” marketing?

Figure 1.

A Word Cloud of Chapter 8­


Once the designed learning has been developed, tested, and revised, it may be ready for rollout—whether to a limited audience(s) or a broadly public one(s) (or both, or some combination). Chapter 8 focuses on publicity rollouts and outreaches to targeted publics. (Figure 2)

Figure 2.

Topic Sequence in Visual Approaches to Instructional Design, Development, and Deployment


“Marketing” generally involves research about how to reach particular populations with messages about an organization, a brand, products, and services. “Advertising” focuses on strategically communicating about a product or service to target audiences, in order to encourage their use. A simple way to think of the two is that advertising is a part of marketing. Where advertising is “practice,” marketing is “applied research and practice.” “Branding” may also be part of marketing: here, a distinctive logo and / or tagline may be used to differentiate an organization from others in the same “vertical” or sector. Ideally, a brand should represent quality in the world, as well as other dimensions.

In the open-shared learning space, because of tight (and sometimes non-existent) budgets, most approaches will involve so-called “guerrilla marketing,” or creative approaches for low-cost marketing. (This approach is also called “shoestring marketing” in this chapter.) Common strategies in “guerrilla marketing” involve efforts to create viral social media campaigns (to let electronic word-of-mouth publicize the products and services), using freeware, creating strategic alliances with others, and other efforts. On rare occasions, paid channels may be harnessed to publicize particular contents. One author explains:

Guerrilla advertising differs from traditional advertising in that it is creative and allows for maximum turnover while spending the least amount of money since it is able to benefit from innovative strategies and promotional tactics. Guerrilla marketing employs various techniques which keep costs at a minimum, and it is utilized for companies that have a say about their products…Guerrilla marketing is utilized not only by institutional firms but also by local and small businesses, and these low-cost advertising tactics allow them to compete with larger firms. Guerrilla forms of marketing offer businesses various opportunities to boost sales figures through the use of unusual strategies. (Bigat, 2012, p. 1022)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Platform: A technological system that works with interrelated parts.

Press Release: A formal factual statement released to traditional mass media and other media outlets to share information (in order to spark further media-based research and media coverage).

Marketing: The conduct of market research and advertising to publicize a business as well as goods and services.

Publicity: Widespread public attention.

Content Sharing: The release of (digital) contents for use by a broad public.

Rollout: A public unveiling of a new product or service.

Advertising: Targeted messaging to sell a product or service to a target market (or audience).

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