All of us have probably experienced the following at least once in our life. While reading a newspaper an advertisement for a new product catches your eye. You go to the store and ask a store associate to see the new product. While we would hope that the employee knows exactly what we’re asking for and knows everything thing about it, unfortunately that’s not always the case. From time to time we’re met with questions like “What ad?” or “It’s over here but it just came in so we don’t know really anything about it.” The likelihood of you purchasing that product, that day, from that retailer, becomes quite low. The result is another lost sale due to the conflict between training and marketing.
Most successful companies keep their training programs separate from their marketing initiatives, so that one doesn’t overly influence the other. Very successful companies let their training division strive on its own, encouraging communication with subject-matter experts in other departments when needed. These companies know there is a distinct difference between marketing and training. The argument is often made that training should market to employees, and marketing should train customers. There’s a bit of logic to that thought, and at face value the rationale is very sound. But in the realm of the customer experience, training and marketing are two vastly separate entities. The difference is like sugar and salt. They sort of look the same, and they both share space on the A-list of seasonings that reside on the table. But they both serve very different purposes. Just as you probably wouldn’t want to pour salt in your coffee or sprinkle sugar on your eggs, training and marketing need to make it to the right audiences, or else it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.