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Megan Headshot
written by Megan Leech
Dec 08, 2023

Creating Learning Campaigns That Work

Learning Campaigns

The phrase “learning campaign” is bounced around a lot in our industry, isn’t it? But what is a learning campaign? And how can L&D teams adopt this marketing-based approach to learning engagement? This blog will answer exactly that, but first things first…


Simply put, learning campaigns are organised, strategic efforts to promote learning and boost engagement. They last a number of months and focus on one key topic, theme or objective at a time. They keep you on the straight and narrow – focusing on exactly what you need to achieve at that moment in time.

And I know you’re probably thinking “I’m trying to achieve better engagement (obvs!)”. But that isn’t quite enough. Your learning campaign will help you achieve one specific, measurable, and perhaps smaller, goal that will nudge you towards the ultimate aim of boosting engagement.

Zooming in and focusing on one, smaller goal might seem like a lot of work, but trust us, it’s worth it. We’ve seen crazy leaps in engagement with our learning campaigns – in fact, one of our most recent projects has seen 30,000 employees engaging with a new learning intervention in just one month! And not to blow our own trumpet further… but we won awards with the campaign we created for Dechra Academy 🤩 So in this blog we’re going to share our award-winning formula to creating learning campaigns with you, you lucky duck!


What are you actually trying to achieve? Is this an awareness campaign? Are you looking to change behaviours? Or are you instigating long-term performance change? Whatever your objective, define it clearly - and make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). The ‘A’ is very important for L&D teams – make your objective achievable! We all want to achieve a lot, but we need to stay within our means,otherwise you’ll actually just make more work for yourself. And ain’t nobody got the time for that…

And then you need to benchmark. Where are you now? What data do you have to prove that? Dig out your completion rates, active user rates, and any other tangible data you might have – and take a snapshot. This will enable you to demonstrate your impact to the wider business, and we all know stakeholders love data!


To create a successful learning campaign you must know exactly who you’re targeting, otherwise how will you ensure your message resonates? Sit back and take the time to understand your audience, if you have learner personas – choose one of them! But if you do not have your personas defined, ask yourself these 3 questions about your audience:

  • What are their emotional drivers?

  • What are their needs and wants?

  • What is going to resonate with them?

You may not have the tech available to report on the granularity of their behaviour BUT you do have A LOT of information about your people and you must use this to your advantage. Heck, you could even talk to them directly. (Crazy idea, right?!)

Audience identification is a very important step in the campaign planning process. Campaigns need to be targeted, what resonates with one persona might not resonate with the next, so truth be told, campaigns that target everyone often don’t cut the mustard. 


Think of a famous advertising campaign that you love. What unites every element of the campaign? Typically it’s a hook. It’s Coca-Cola’s “Share a coke with…”, McDonald’s raising eyebrows, or Old Spice’s “The man your man could smell like”. It’s time to come up with a hook like this for your campaign too. The hook we used in our campaign with Dechra Academy was “Better veterinary care starts with you. Start with Dechra Academy”.

Once you have your hook, you need to work out how you’ll convey this to your audience. So now is the time to identify the channels you have available to you. No, that doesn’t mean you’re going to use every channel in every campaign. Instead, go through your options and choose the ones that will help you reach your campaign goal. But at this stage, it’s really important to remember to look beyond the LMS. Because if they don’t know the LMS exists, they’ll never see your communications. Duh!

Use your personas and your decision making journeys to pinpoint what channels will be most effective in reaching your audience and achieving your goals. For example, you might realise that they hang out on your intranet in the ‘awareness’ stage – so advertise your campaign there!


Ultimately there is no point coming up with an incredible campaign if you can’t execute it. So ask yourself these 4 questions.

  • What are your pressing deadlines?

  • What skills do you already have in-house that you can leverage?

  • Do you have a budget available for things like graphic design, print, events?

  • How long does your campaign need to last? (And we promise you, it’s longer than a few weeks – minimum 3 months, please!)

Understanding what you already have and what you need is going to make your life a lot easier and your campaign more realistic. So work this out before diving head-first into development.


This stage is all about blocking out our campaign. We know our goal, our audience, the hook and the channels we’re going to use. So let's get planning!

All you’re going to do here is to plan when and where you’re going to interact with your audience over a set amount of time. My top tip is to plan as much as you can in advance so you can see a clear structure of your campaign over time. Then, add in the time for development of your assets (and approvals of them!)

Now you have a holistic view of your entire campaign, and you’re ready to go!

Looking for a template? Don’t reinvent the wheel! There’s loads of marketing campaign templates on Google that’ll help you.


The reality is there is no way of telling if a campaign will be effective before launch. Annoying right? But unfortunately that's the reality as marketers. So the only thing to do is roll out our campaign and then test, test, and test some more!

If your tests are showing something needs to be tweaked – do it! Iteration is a huge part of successful marketing campaigns and will make your campaign as effective as possible. Your first campaign won’t be perfect, but the more and more campaigns you run, the more you’ll learn about what works for your audience. So test, iterate and learn!


With all of this in mind, you’re probably raring to go and wanting to create your first campaign. But before you get started, here are our top tips:

  1. Pre-launch marketing is critical. Don’t start your comms on the day you want your audience to take action!

  2. Campaigns should span months, not days.

  3. Consistency is key.

  4. Craft a compelling hook

  5. Benchmark today - so you can see how far you’ve come!

  6. Don’t be afraid to fail.

So, now you know how to create an effective and maybe even award-winning campaign, what's stopping you? Get planning and creating. Let us know how you get on!


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Megan Headshot
written by Megan Leech

from the blog

from the blog