What kind of sales pitch can you come up with, to sell your educational product to a 20-something? Have you ever imagined yourself in the shoes of those teenagers and 20-somethings?
Let us get right there in their shoes! 😀
Voila! Here I am! What do I see??? 😀
Well! I see myself growing up amid a non-stop avalanche of selling techniques. Its not just the morning newspaper, not just my favorite radio or television channel, not just the unwanted product placed in my most favorite scene from my most favorite movie, not even every webpage or most emails through my PC, neither the miniature ad banners and links across my very own private social media accounts, nor the many unsolicited smses and calls on my mobiles, but even mom tries to sell her vegetables down my throat and even dad tries to sell his decisions down my brains!!! What happens to me when I am continually growing up in this kind of a barrage of unwanted incoming distractions, right from the time I was born?
Simple! I evolve through the rain of selling techniques hitting me left, right and center!
Unfortunately for Educationists, me and other millennials – typically referring to all of us folks born after 1980 – we have inherently developed a highly sturdy and slippery outer shield that is extremely adept at causing all forms of selling techniques streaming towards us, to be smoothly slid away along a tangent that doesn’t manage to touch us. We have got so good skimming through selling, that in our conscious moments we automatically slip into an involuntary state of skipping ads, blocking them, or simply ignoring the constant and uninvited come-ons.
This has become a cause of great concern for educationists, looking to build a relationship of years of trust and brand loyalty with their younger audiences that are likely to be in a constant state of requirement for educational development, for an upcoming decade or more down the line. Many of these intended audiences will soon enter their prime age of earning peak income levels, and will either continue to upgrade their skills through their career path or will set younger family members along the same path.
As a result, the learning and education industry is continually witnessing a shift in focus towards tailoring learning and educational products to target the millennials. Educationists are hoping for the millennials to pay attention and to shell their money on these educational products and outcomes.
Not only do the millennials not trust traditional education anymore, they have become so blind to the traditional form of education, they are not even aware that traditional education is waiting for their attention, right under their nose.
Educationists are desperately trying to innovate ways to connect with this new generation. And a lot of learning and educational products continue to fumble around with their outputs.
What can we do to capture the undivided attention, imagination, and interest of this generation? Will something drastically non-traditional and disruptively experimental like “retro design touches” capture their attention and imagination? How can we design education so that we can meet the need of every member of this generation who is looking to uniquely express themselves?
What Can We Do?
Can we use vibrant colors? Can we promote our educational products through social media? Can we feature young characters using their own form of what they think of as cool, slang language across these educational products? Imagine a 15-year old learner, playing an e-learning course CD, and the course mascot as a mirror image of a funky fellow 15-year old avatar, beginning to engage the learner, through a dialog with a group of fellow teenage e-learning course characters, with words like, “Hey Guys! What’s kickin?”
The whole idea is to hook the psyche of these 15-year olds now, and have them form a connection and a deep comfort level and ability to identify with a certain educational brand, so that they develop a sense of deep trust with this brand, over the years, and receive friendly, entertaining, interesting, and empowering educational inputs, causing them to stay connected as they progress into the stage of becoming well-earning adults, investing in bigger and more expensive educational products to meet their higher career goals.
Where Can We Start?
So where does that leave us with selling educational products or making our educational products saleable? It leaves us back to square 1 = user experience. To sell it to the end-user, our starting point has to be the end-user. To successfully complete the circle, we have to first of all be on that circular path. We want to ask our very end-users.. our 15 year-olds, everything they want in their educational products to have them hooked onto it, and then we have to make it all happen in our educational product. And just one round or one geography or one demography is not enough. We want to collect information from far and wide, using efficient and effective channels like social media, and we have to go through a few of these gruelling rounds, before we land on something near-perfect, because guess what, technology will keep moving with time, and with it, it will keep moving these millennials too, so we are never going to be fully perfect, but at least we can strive for the near-perfect educational scenario.