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Learning Technologies 2024: BiteSize learning for LTUK exhibitors

Episode two: Understanding the Learning Technologies show buyer

Poll of polls: What Learning Technologies visitors are looking for (data consolidated from last 3 LTUK events)

Innovators in the Learning Tech business have been predicting the death of the LMS for as long as most of us can remember, yet the LMS is, and always has been, the main attraction for the average buyer at the Learning Technologies show in London’s ExCel Centre.

Do Learning Tech innovators just get it wrong all the time? We don’t think so. The LMSs of the early 2000s are nothing like the advanced experience-centric, AI-driven learning platforms available today. But the LMS category sticks with the customer, so why make things harder by avoiding the term just to look “innovative”, shiny and new? Buyers might not admit it, but when it comes to corporate purchases “tried and tested” offers a safe bet.

Tech innovators in the learning business may think they gain competitive advantage by distancing their offer from the familiar old LMS category, but they don’t. The apparent rise of the LXP (Learning Experience Platform) may well be the best example of this. Over the past few years the term LXP (Learning Experience Platform) has probably been the industry’s most successful attempt at reinventing the LMS buyers understand, into something they don’t. Just look at this Google trends graph. Over the past five years, in spite of all the efforts of all the innovators in Learning Tech, businesses promoting their LXP offer have simply made things harder for themselves. Practically no customers ever look for one.

Blue: searches for LMS/Learning Management Systems over past 5 years. Red: Searches for LXP/Learning Experience Platforms over past 5 years

Blue: searches for LMS/Learning Management Systems over past 5 years. Red: Searches for LXP/Learning Experience Platforms over past 5 years

If the innovators behind the smart, flat screen, internet-ready, ultra UHD 4K screens we all have on our living room walls today had their way, they’d likely want to distance their tech from that clunky old black box we all gathered round last century when Eastenders came on. But they don’t have their way. We still call them TVs, because customers know what TVs are. This doesn’t always happen in Learning Tech. Marketing and product positioning in Learning Tech speaks to the creator (the innovative tech business) more than the buyer too often.

Understanding the customer (KYC) at Learning Technologies is paramount. Whether we like it or not, if these customers are in the market to buy, they’re most likely to buy an LMS. So sell them one. Sell them one that differentiates itself from all the rest because it’s: more intuitive, experiential; powered by AI, or whatever, but give them what they want.

Get more help

Read BiteSize learning for LTUK exhibitors episode one: How to become a “must see” company for #LTUK24 visitors

Download: Ultimate marketers’ survival guide – Learning tech special edition

Read: 5 ground rules for success @L&D expos

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Estelle Milosavljevic, Crossknowledge