Microlearning: Yet another Buzzword or Key Driver of Customer Enablement?
In the last years “micro” became popular in the software industry: “micro-services”, “micro-interactions”, “micro-segmentation”, etc. With the microlearning concept becoming increasingly popular, the education industry is not lagging behind. Many of the decision makers in the industry are wondering: “Is microlearning yet another buzzword or key driver of customer enablement?”. After running a microlearning platform for a little over 2 years, I have been faced with this question on a regular basis.
In this blog post I will present several reasons to support the claim that microlearning is a key driver of customer enablement. Just to make it very clear: I simply believe the power of microlearning to be the key building block of enablement strategy.
Let’s get started…
Freely available microlearning videos help you expand your learner base
SAP CX Microlearning platform started off with 225 educational videos made to address various audience types: from executives to business users and consultants. Within the year of publishing the initial 225 videos, SAP CX had increased its learner base 6-fold.
The amount of content on the platform continuously grew with an average speed of 1 video per day. Constant video publication was not enough so the team used different strategies to organically grow the platform. This approach resulted in the continual increase of the learner base: in 2018, the number of total active learners doubled, and in 2019 the number tripled. Despite the pandemic, the successful trend continued as well in 2020 – reaching 52,4% of the total estimated SAP CX audience size.
You might easily conclude that the more videos, the better. Well, be careful. Publishing relevant, high quality microlearning videos continuously is certainly key to keeping your learners engaged and “addicted” to your content. However, it is equally as important to keep your platform tidy: maintaining the quality of the videos, descriptions, metadata and finally removing low quality or inaccurate microlearning videos from the platform.
Microlearning videos perfectly complement other enablement offerings
The ability of microlearning videos to complement other forms of enablement is an important step in delivering learning “everywhere”: just at the right time and place when learners need enablement. For example, you can embed microlearning videos to the documentation (example). You can add hotspots to point to relevant trainings or certifications (example). Or simply link from the microlearning video description to further relevant materials. Likewise, you can link various enablement offerings to the microlearning videos.
This way you not only increase the consumption of your microlearnings, but also other enablement offerings.
Fun fact: by implementing the “learning everywhere” approach for SAP CX, learners consumed 64K hours of microlearning video content in 2 years. That’s equal to 2291 days or 6 years of human life.
Free microlearning videos do not put paid enablement offerings at risk
And I repeat: freely available microlearning videos do not put paid enablement offerings at risk! The number of learners taking paid courses and certifications kept continually increasing with the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of of 28%.
Instead of looking at free microlearning as competition to your paid enablement offerings, you should use it to your advantage and make it a gateway to paid offerings. Microlearning is a great way to guide learners to discover further training and certification materials, build a relationship with them before the training course and keep them engaged after the training course.
Microlearning has significant impact on business metrics
Typical KPIs when measuring the success of freely available microlearning videos are the total number of active learners, number of plays, hours of content watched, video completion rate, etc. As there is no direct revenue brought to the company, microlearning has to show its impact on other business metrics. The most obvious metric is conversion rate and contribution of microlearning to the revenue of paid training offerings. However, I believe measuring the impact of microlearning and training in general on metrics like software adoption, customer success sentiment, software renewal and upsell rates, and time to go live is more valuable.
Within SAP CX, microlearning had a positive effect on the customer success sentiment, as well as positive influence on the upsell of new software licenses. If you are interested to learn about the impact of training on different customer success metrics, read this blog post.
Microlearning supports agility
To me, the key advantages of publishing microlearning videos regularly, daily or weekly, compared to providing comprehensive training several times per year is the ability to get feedback from learners almost immediately. No matter if you use quantitative metrics like VCR, number of plays or you speak with learners directly you can easily understand if you are producing content that brings value to the learners. As you produce short microlearning videos you can adjust your curriculum and backlog, and prioritize videos that increase value to your learners.
In addition, microlearning can become building blocks of more complex enablement offerings. For example, you can combine several microlearning videos into playlists to present knowledge on certain topics. Or you can combine them into an eLearning depending on the way you produce videos you can use.
So, did I convince you that microlearning is a key driver of customer enablement? Please let me know in the comments.
Microlearning Quick Fact