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Digital transformation of our thought leadership in IT training to connect with a new generation of IT professionals.

Challenge: At the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), where thought leadership in IT training is crowned, we were lacking in presence on the channels favored by a new generation of IT workers. We needed to engage in a way that clicked with them.

Company: Learning Tree International is a global publicly traded company that has been providing IT training and thought leadership for over 40 years.


To solve this challenge, I had to first build capacity in-house — building up market situational understanding within my marketing department. To build team capacity I relied on my many years of experience in nearly all facets of IT and my extensive background in competitive intelligence. 

Then I devised a digital transformation strategy that covered both sides of the equation, the topics of interest and the consumption behavior of prospects.

To understand the topics of interest in the market, I mapped out a content calendar aligned to industry appetite for specific IT topics. This drove the content coverage for all 24 curricula we offered in our training courses (from Agile Certification to XenServer Open Source). Which also served as the development road map for my content marketing team.

The changing knowledge consumption behavior meant integrating a new marketing automation system that was purposely configured for engaging the 21st century IT worker and their training needs. This new system was tightly integrated with our social media footprint, our global paid search investments, multiple analytics platforms and a proprietary email marketing platform that delivered nearly half a million emails a month. 

To satisfy the consumption preferences of these IT workers, I initiated a whole new generation of content. From short two page PDFs that briefly offered solutions to defined IT issues (appropriately named as Solution Briefs), to value add videos that succinctly covered IT topics and gave valuable insights from subject matter experts. In addition, I developed a line of infographic content pieces for every topic area and executive videos introducing/discussing new training trends and market demands.

In this way, we captured the interest of potential clients at the moment of inquiry across various digital channels. We then nurtured and educated them with smart touch management across channels with highly targeted content that was current, and optimized for consumption by a busy IT professional. Thus meeting our goal of being crowned as their trusted source for understanding and training on an array of IT topics.

Specific channels used: 

  •  Google & Bing paid search 
  • Google remarketing & retargeting 
  • Facebook general targeting and look alike 
  •  Twitter paid campaign 
  • Paid media placements with partners 
  •  Advertorials within industry publications 
  • Search engine optimization


The "New" Learning Tree Blog

A sound blogging program with a defined purpose and as part of an engagement journey is an invaluable asset. Anything less can be a dumping ground for neglected and raw thoughts/rants.

I redesigned the look of the Learning Tree blog, got buy-in from a vast cadre of authors, standardized its content to be in lock step with our content calendar and built its engagement program so it was a clear contributor to the lead journey.

Ultimately, I was the editor in chief of an immensely popular blog with thousands of valuable posts which published original content 3-5 times a week, was fully supported on social media, and was integrated into our remarketing program to draw leads into our lead generation program.

Effective Long Form Content

The long white papers is dead in the time of declining attention spans.

I built multiple graphically rich long form content that is designed to impart thought leadership is an appealing format like these. They resulted in being 3x-5x more engaging than the traditional white paper.

My role was in the ideation, development, buy-in and engagement strategy of every one of these pieces.

Please click on the image to the left to view the ebook.

Succinct Thought Leadership

I was the architect of Solution Briefs like this as an effective and quick vehicle for nurturing and attracting new leads.

I named them Solution Briefs, because each one addressed a defined problem with a solution and did it briefly.

My role in each was in the ideation, development, and building the engagement strategy. I personally wrote the first few and than scoped a vendor and managed the external writers.

Please click on the image to view the piece as a PDF.

Thought Leadership Videos

Video is the most engaged medium of content. To address this appetite trend, I built the video marketing program that imparted thought leadership in under 80 seconds. All were aligned to Solution Briefs and worked in tandem as touch points through the prospect journey.

Apart from ideation, strategy and topic development, I wrote the the script for this and similar videos.