Recently we’ve been working with a partner to help them plan the marketing strategy for their new suite of online courses. They’ve got a great brand and reputation, years of experience in business development, a new fantastic product and had some strong ideas on how they wanted to approach things.
By using the RACE framework as a backdrop, this gave us a systematic process to review the planned activity and give it a real structure moving forwards. It also helped identify some potential blind spots, and highlighted current areas of real strength that could be capitalised on.
RACE is a mnemonic for Reach, Act, Convert and Engage. It was devised by the teams at Smart Insights for marketers to plan and manage their activities in a more structured way.
The Smart Insights site has a heap of detail behind the framework and how it can be used, so rather than paraphrase, we’ve simply applied it to the context of marketing online courses here.
Reach involves building brand awareness externally, in areas outside of your control (but not influence). So, for example, paid advertising, or guest blog posts on industry sites to raise your profile, and drive traffic to your site. If you’re considering launching your own online courses, some questions to ask may be:
To quote Smart Insights, the Act stage is all about “encouraging interactions on websites and in social media to generate leads”.
For many of our partners, who are often beginning to complement their instructor-led training with an online or blended offering, this is a big deal. And that’s particularly the case for those aiming to sell to a B2C audience now, as well as their traditional B2B markets.
Generating leads is what feeds the sales machine, and making your site ‘sweat’ is key to future success.
Some questions to think about:
Now you’ve got eyeballs on your brand and products, and are actively engaging your audience, it’s time to clinch the sale.
An often overlooked and undervalued area. In our experience, those that focus on one-hit sales often miss out on a wealth of opportunities, particularly when you have a great product.
This is all about using marketing activities to encourage repeat purchases, empowering your customers to share their stories and success with you (what has your course help them overcome/achieve? – make sure it’s easy for them to tell their world), and confirming your credibility in what you do.
We hope this has given you some food for thought. If you use a different framework to help you plan your marketing activities please get in touch, we’d love to hear more!