What do teaching and marketing have in common?

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The short answer is: a lot!

The long answer is that they have more in common that most would think. However while teaching is viewed as a mostly altruistic act, marketing has a bad name for being pushy and forcing products on people. The reality is that both teaching and marketing want to achieve the same result. A teacher wants the student to accept (learn) an idea or piece of fact while marketers want the customer to accept (buy) a product or service. Marketing is most often associated with spending money while teaching is considered an act to help the student acquire knowledge.

Teachers rarely (consciously) use marketing tactics to accommodate learning while many marketers have realized the power of providing information while also accommodate the selling of products. Infomercials are perfect examples of that.:

An infomercial is a form of television commercial that resembles regular TV programming[1] yet is intended to promote or sell a product, service or idea……Most often used as a form of direct response television (DRTV),……[4][5] Infomercials are also known as paid programming (or teleshopping[6] in Europe).….

While the term “infomercial” was originally applied only to television advertising, it is now sometimes used to refer to any presentation (often on video) which presents a significant amount of information in an actual, or perceived, attempt to promote a point of view. …” /From Wikipedia/

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Teachers could also benefit from thinking more along the lines of marketing if they want to successfully convey knowledge. Some practises that could help are:

  • Relating to the usability of the knowledge/How this knowledge can be used later on.
  • Nice packaging (relatable text, nice graphics, gamification, etc.)
  • Give points and rewards.
  • Make it accessible for a wider audience.
  • Use thought leaders and role models.

These are just a few tips on how to think more as a marketer to achieve higher results.