2024 Trends to Watch for eLearning Marketing

Published on: | Updated on: | Caroline Lane

Few industries can match the rapid rise of eLearning in the last few years.

Coursera alone has seen its enrollment numbers double every three years since 20161, and experts forecast that the U.S. eLearning industry will grow by $21.64 billion by the end of next year.

But as B2B marketers, we know that booming business always presents new challenges. From growing competition to increasing buyer expectations, eLearning brands must jump several hurdles if they want to win their share of the sector’s growth.

Fortunately, ProperExpression is an expert in eLearning marketing. We’ve driven $7 million in new revenue for our partners in the industry. So in this article, I’m going to explore five of the most pressing challenges B2B eLearning marketers face — and how to solve them.

5 Vital Challenges for eLearning Marketers in 2024

1. eLearning Market Size

The problem

eLearning is no longer an emerging category — it is an established, high-value industry. This has two implications for marketers: 

  1. New competitors are emerging more frequently, as investors try to get in on the action.
  2. Benefits that were once exciting for prospective buyers, such as improving retention or flexible learning, are now highly familiar.

The combination of these factors makes buyers’ attention harder to capture and hold. Buyers need a reason to care about your products. But how can brands differentiate themselves in a sea of solutions offering very similar outcomes?

The solution

B2B eLearning brands must learn from B2C brands. Creativity should inform every aspect of your marketing, from the design of your product interface to the strategic messaging in your ads. While B2B buyers are typically considered purely rational, a recent Gartner report suggested most buyers now expect a more ‘B2C-like’ experience.2

Prepare for 2024 by:

  • Researching both established category leaders and challenger brands to understand how your offering compares
  • Creating a new or updated message house to ensure your value proposition solves your ideal audience’s pain points - and is differentiated from competitors
  • Filling gaps in your omnichannel approach to ensure you reach every buyer

2. Technology Experience Gaps

The problem

Augmented Reality (AR), Social Learning and Microassesments; there are many exciting new trends in eLearning. But many buyers haven’t experienced these things, and don’t always have the time or resources to experiment. 

This “tech experience gap” makes selling to many buyers difficult. Educators and administrators are often charged with selecting vendors but may not have any special interest in technology, and, therefore, require greater effort to persuade.

The solution

Demos are an essential tool in any B2B eLearning marketer’s toolkit. But attending a demo before you really understand the core functions of the product can be a recipe for a negative experience, and actively harm the prospect of landing a deal.

It’s typically not a good idea to push too hard for demos when dealing with innovative tech or new eLearning models. Instead, nurture buyers’ interest through educational content, so that they understand the full benefits of the solution and are capable of navigating a demo.

Prepare for 2024 by:

  • Creating educational content that helps explain your solutions in more detail. Visual and video content are particularly effective here, as they help prospects absorb concepts better than copy alone.
  • Developing automated nurture campaigns that lead to demos
  • Building a team that can provide useful supporting data and audience insights to help buyers during demos

3. Corporate eLearning Market Seasonality

The problem

eLearning buyers often operate on a specific calendar. Whether it's their school’s enrollment period or the organization’s budget seasons, the period during which buyers can actually make a purchase tends to be limited.

As a result, marketers must time their campaigns perfectly. While marketing should be a year-round activity, buyers’ interest will inevitably wane during periods when they can’t make purchases. That’s why you need to think strategically about the psychology of the buyer cycle. 

The solution

Seasonality is not just a challenge — it’s also an opportunity. Marketers can tailor their messaging to specific deadlines, building urgency and capturing attention more easily. They can also segment their strategy, building brand loyalty during ‘down’ periods and leveraging it when buyers are on the lookout for new software.

Prepare for 2024 by:

  • Creating a map of your prospects’ seasonal needs
  • Rebuilding your funnel around buyers’ calendars
  • Reallocating resources to buying seasons

4. eLearning Digital Marketing Retention

The problem

The last few years have seen a staggering rise in subscription-based pricing models. The “subscription economy” is expected to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2025, and many eLearning solutions are opting for such models.3

While subscriptions lower the barrier to entry and empower users, they present marketers with a clear set of challenges: 

  • How do you drive value for a business that relies more on retention than generating new leads?
  • How do you market a service the user is already using?
  • And how can marketing support eLearning brands to make their products/services more sticky?

The solution

B2B eLearning marketers need to form closer partnerships with both sales and customer services teams. The goal should be to develop a seamless pipeline that turns prospects into leads, leads into customers, and customers into loyal brand advocates.

This is exactly what Revenue Operation (RevOps) is all about. RevOps rebuilds your strategy to align departments around the activities that will actually increase revenue and profit. eLearning brands will benefit from allowing marketers to support their onboarding and ongoing support, to ensure content is as impactful and engaging as possible.

Prepare for 2024 by:

  • Creating a RevOps team to redesign your funnel
  • Reallocating budget to invest in retention schemes 
  • Aligning sales, marketing and customer success around the goal of driving customer loyalty

5. Buyer and User Motivation

The problem

The benefits of eLearning are activated by users, but “self-directed” learning — wherein employees are provided with content and materials to help them develop themselves — generally achieves very low uptake. 

Buyers may, therefore, be unsure whether their employees or students will actually utilize the platform. With limited budgets and important training goals to hit, the professional implications of purchasing a solution that doesn’t have an impact will make many buyers wary.

The solution

eLearning marketers need to make the case not just for the effectiveness of the platform, but its usability. This is a crucial part of generating eLearning ROI, but many brands overlook it because they don’t want to accept that users might not actually be inherently motivated to learn.

User Experience in eLearning digital marketing

Make the effort to create content that foregrounds User Experience (UX) and motivation strategies, helping buyers understand how they can measure and drive more engagement. Position your brand as a strategic partner to help buyers achieve their goals, not simply a vendor. But most importantly, actually acknowledge the challenge — because most of your competitors won’t!

Prepare for 2024:

  • Developing messaging that addresses user motivation
  • Locating features in your solution that help measure and track engagement
  • Supporting sales and customer service to address user motivation problems head-on


Take your eLearning brand to the next level in 2024

These challenges will make next year tough for eLearning brands, but there is good news. While your competitors struggle to make sense of the ever-changing marketing landscape, simply being aware of them now puts you ahead of the curve.

That’s exactly what ProperExpression does. We partner with eLearning brands not only to drive more revenue, but help build long-term growth strategies. Our partnerships have driven $7 million in new revenue for eLearning brands - and helped them become leaders in their specific niche.

Ready to discover how ProperExpresson can expertly drive more conversions for your eLearning organization? 

1. https://www.weforum.org/

2. https://www.gartner.com/

3. http://www.ubs.com/