Online training has been on the market for years and continues to evolve. It started from traditional distance training and has become an option that is increasingly in demand due to the flexibility it provides.
In my view, there are two main areas in the online training market:
Traditional online training.
In the first option we have universities and business schools that teach their programs totally or partially through the Internet. Let’s say it is a channel evolution, the rest of the factors remain more or less the same.
They have made some changes to adapt to this new channel, but their philosophy, value proposition, format of classes, programs, audience profile, etc. they are essentially the same.
What is an info product?
On the other hand, we have online training given by professionals. In which people from very different areas offer their content in short and very practical courses.
These are courses that, for the most part, are taught online (recorded videos, online classes, etc.), but which can also include part of the content in person.
We could say that the great difference with the more traditional training (regardless of the channel), is that the infoproducts focus their content on practical application and learning in the shortest possible time. Their value proposition focuses on the change they can achieve in the student in the short term.
I have designed a digital Luxembourg Phone Number List
course myself, but in my case , the approach is closer to that of business schools than that of info producers.
I believe that the process to learn true marketing and to learn to define a strategy requires more solid knowledge and cannot be achieved in the record time that info products usually promise.
So far the descriptive part. Always difficult when it comes to something relatively new and constantly evolving.
Who are the info products aimed at?
My feeling, and I emphasize it because of how difficult it is to define given the wide variety of courses, is that they are aimed at people who want to take their first steps in a certain area.
What varies the most is the motivation to do it. Some do it out of curiosity and others because they seek a change in their life (personal or professional).
My feeling is that they are people who need something and see in these courses a shortcut to get it. A faster and cheaper way than the standard one.
They are people who are not yet ready to take a more traditional course because they are not clear about what they want to do, because the price makes them not even consider it, because it does not even exist, because whoever teaches the course inspires them with greater confidence than a business school … The reasons can be many.
In theory, if the course is well designed and the person who teaches it is a good professional, these objectives can be achieved (at least partially). If this premise is given, success depends more on the student and his delivery.
Why I think infoproducts are destroying marketing
Go ahead, there are great professionals in this area who are doing things very well. When you generalize you put everyone in the same bag and it would not be fair.
But, I think this industry is loading the marketing and is based on principles, which in my opinion, are unethical.
To say something so strong, I have tried to be as delicate as possible. I may be wrong, but that’s what I think.
Notice that I am talking about marketing, and not about the training sector. I think that well made and well sold, infoproducts are a good way to train (at least to start the journey in one area).
What problems do I have with the info products?
1. They lead their audience to think that “success” is certain, when it is unlikely
To try to summarize it, they promise things that only a minimal percentage (much lower than the standard) will achieve.
Either because of the quality of the course, because of the student’s involvement, or because of something as simple as that distance training does not work for everything.
Obviously they never guarantee it 100%, but thanks to the combination of a very studied sales process that breaks down the purchase barriers one by one, testimonials from people who have achieved it (here is the key, they do not say that they represent the successes on the total), and a series of concatenated offers lead the customer towards the purchase.
I recently posted one of these offers on Instagram to talk about this topic.
The offer consists of a certification in machine learning and artificial intelligence for $ 29.
It is a course valued at $ 1,600, with a 98% discount it stays at $ 29. How?
If you got into the course it turns out that it was 4 hours of training, divided into 39 lessons (I understand that with a lot of content ),… “ and all for $ 29! I have to buy it, but now! ”.
You buy it, you don’t do it, you throw the money away… and everyone with a clear conscience. It was the student who has not done it.I do not know the complete mechanics of this course, but seeing its landing I get a clear idea.
The goal is to bring the future student to a state of excitement where everything fits in his head. They are sure that this is the course. They think: “with this course I cannot fail and above for only X €”.
2. The way to sell the info products seems unethical to me
And here I have my second big drawback. Although this is totally legal (so to speak), I think it is unethical .
Why? Because the percentage of success is so low, that even if they are not lying (they have those testimonials to prove it), that low percentage makes the promises not true . They make you think that success is practically assured, when, obviously, it is not.
The difference is between the possible and the probable. In these cases it is possible to achieve it, but very unlikely. And the info products move in that nebula.
In the end everything is: “the course achieves its objectives, here are the testimonies that prove it, if you have not achieved it it is because you have skipped a step or you have not done it well” .
And the reality is that for these courses to work they would require a greater involvement by the trainer, face-to-face training, etc. but this would make it not scalable.
And this brings me to my third downside, and it is the other part of the infoproducts industry, infoproducers.
3. The industry around infoproducers is driven by possible billings.
In every business we make billing forecasts, but in this case the incentive is in the large figures that you could achieve with a relatively low effort, in what others have achieved and you could achieve … in the large figures (again we talk about what possible and probable).
The same mechanisms that are used for students are used for future info producers (there is a whole industry of info producers and agencies that offer their services to future info producers), and they use the same tactics with them as with students.
To this promise they also add a key factor: money. “ If you do this, you could get to get this other. Look what I did, I invoiced xyz €. If you get into this industry you could get it too. ”
They talk about launches of XXX hundreds of thousands of euros or even a million. But I would like to see the figures. A million is what you sold, but how much did you spend to get it? (human team, advertising investment, technology, etc. etc.).
Sure that the real profitability is still very good, but what you have sold is the big number. The striking “get a million euros”, that is the message they convey.
I always wonder, if they bill so much and it is so “easy”, why do they keep selling courses?
I recognize that I started that path. I thought: “ my goal is not to get these millionaire billings (although you always have it as a distant possibility), but getting X € a month is enough for me. That was my goal . ”
But as I said at the beginning, my approach is closer to business school than to the info-product. My promise is more in the medium term and this does not work in this sector. People look for the quick and easy way, and I don’t think that’s the way to learn marketing, and even less to learn strategy.
What happens to many of the future info producers?
That as with the students, only a few achieve it. And in the same way, I think that these few would be the ones who would have achieved it without a course in between. Why? because they are the people with the mentality, training, philosophy, etc. etc. correct and necessary.
The formula for success has many components. From those I just named, to the moment you arrive at the DE Phone Number ( time to market ), the ability to work, luck and much more.
What consequences does the info product marketing have on the brand or reputation?
Whether it is a training center or a professional, when they do this type of marketing (I insist on what I said at the beginning, I am not talking about the great professionals in this sector), it has direct consequences:
It devalues the value of the content and brand.
Distrust increases in info products that are well defined and really help their students. Everything that smells like an info-product begins to be under suspicion of deception.
The generalized way of doing marketing in the info-product sector is a clear example of an obsession with sales that causes problems in the brand and that gives bread for today, but hunger for tomorrow.
I think there are better ways to sell, but to do so requires another approach. And also that serious info producers should fight this damaging trend.