Build Or Buy eLearning Content To Support Your Product Launch

Build Or Buy e-Learning Content To Support Your Product Launch
Summary: Developing e-learning content to support a product launch might not seem as immediately important as much as say, marketing or PR, but it’s crucial to get everybody in your organisation not only understanding it, but living and breathing the messages behind it. Once your product is released, it’s too late to start developing e-learning content - by this point, your people need to know it inside and out, and have the necessary tools at their disposal to help it succeed.

eLearning Content To Support Your Product Launch

Launching a new product pulls on multi-disciplinary resource from across a company, with everybody chipping in toward a common and very exciting goal. While gearing up for a product launch, it’s very difficult to take a step back and understand how well your workforce knows the product, where more emphasis needs to be placed and which roles are going to be affected the most post-launch.

Developing e-learning content to support a product might not seem as immediately important as much as say, marketing or PR, but it’s crucial to get everybody in your organization not only understanding it, but living and breathing the messages behind it. Once your product is released, it’s too late to start developing e-learning content - by this point, your people should know it and be referring to e-learning on the job as performance support.

Build or buy e-Learning Content?

When strategizing and commissioning any e-learning content, there are two very different routes that you can take. The first is to build your e-learning content in-house, using an authoring tool alongside an intranet or VLE or something else to support the delivery. The second is to take your project to tender and recruit the specialist support of e-learning vendors.

Authoring tools today come at a low cost and allow you to develop content for multi-device output with little or no developer assistance. If you have someone on hand who can build your e-learning content, there’s no reason why you can’t develop short or simple courses of straight up e-learning content yourself.

There’s a lot of tools out there, all of which have their pros and cons, so it’s really about spending some time getting to know what’s out there and what is best for your organization. The best tools allow designers to customize the look and feel of an entire course, collaborate on courses with staff in other locations and allow you to create interactive e-learning content without writing pages of code.

To be sure your e-learning content is future-proof, choose an authoring tool which allows you to output adaptive, responsive HTML5 content. Not only can your learners access e-learning content on any device today, but you can be sure that when a new iPhone, Galaxy or Xperia is released, learners can access learning on their new device and screen size without any issues.

The Benefits of Developing Your Own Launch Content

Speed of delivery

E-learning content authoring tools are built to assist the creation and implementation of interactive e-learning experiences. It’s nice to think that learning strategy will keep you creating content ahead of your teams, but in reality there will be bumps in the road that you cannot foresee, especially with product launches looming. With an authoring tool to hand, you can build content in no time before deploying it to learners, perfect in today's fast and fluid workplace.

Cut cost, retain quality

Authoring e-learning content comes at a fraction of the price of a vendor, making it the perfect option when budgets are tight. Monthly subscriptions come at as little as $89 a month, leaving you to create all of the e-learning you could ever need. Creating your own e-learning content reduces the cost of printing e-learning collateral, which can be a significant overhead when you have to train a whole workforce in one hit. Furthermore, if an aspect of your product changes and learning collateral has already been sent to print or distributed to staff, there’s no real way of changing it to get the right information out. E-learning content can be updated remotely at any time of the day, as many times as you might need to.

Changes won’t cost you

When a product is nearing completion, changes can occur up until the last minute that you just cannot foresee. It doesn't matter if it’s a change in ingredient, process or material, if you create and control your e-learning content, you can be confident that you don’t have a schedule an update with a vendor. You want to be able to update, add to or improve your e-learning content to make sure your staff are taking the right knowledge on board.

Product launch considerations

A blended approach

E-learning alone won’t always do the trick, although it is great at supporting the learning curve. For the majority of staff who aren't hugely affected by your new product or service, a generic course might suit them, providing them with everything they need plus something to refer to at a later date. The people who are tasked with selling this product into clients or troubleshooting customers problems day in day out will probably need more than a course of learning or two. A learning blend, which incorporates various interventions such as video, games or workshops alongside e-learning content, is one of the most effective ways to invigorate change and really hit the message home.

Performance Support

If e-learning content is built using an authoring tool which outputs adaptive, responsive courses, you can promote its use as a learning refresher for staff to refer to whenever they should so need it. Whether staff are sat at their desks or visiting a client, you can be safe in the knowledge that they have everything they need, wherever they are.

Whether you are building a single aspect or all of your e-learning content, it’s important to take it course by course, evaluating what your staff need and whether you have the capability in-house to do it justice. It’s important to be realistic - you don’t want to get a quarter of the way through an entire induction process and realize you have bitten off more than you can chew.