The MOOC

MOOCs offer one more avenue for companies to reach new customers

What’s a “MOOC”? It’s not the term coined in Martin Scorsese’s film “Mean Streets,” “mook,” meaning “a loser.” Rather, MOOCs are “Massive Open Online Courses,” and they’re offered by universities as ways to both educate students and improve the teaching methodologies used in online learning. They’re usually free or offered for a minimal fee.mooc

When companies offer MOOCs, it is one way to establish the business as a thought leader in a given field. Here’s why:

  • They’re free. There’s no cost barrier to entry to inform prospective customers about your company and your products.
  • They’re open to anyone. Anyone with a computer and internet access can participate. Companies aren’t limited to leads generated from websites or tradeshows.
  • They provide a mechanism for customers to seek you out. B2B clients seeking professional development, low-cost training options or continuing education credits will find companies offering what they need.
  • They’re inexpensive to produce. With little more than your laptop’s webcam and the cost of a person’s staff time, a company can put on a MOOC.
  • They’re taught be seasoned professionals. Who better to teach a MOOC? Instructors at the top business schools may or may not have real-world business experience. Every business person knows that things don’t work quite the way they teach in the classroom. Seasoned veterans at leading companies may offer unique perspectives that academia doesn’t provide.
  • They facilitate real-world customer feedback. Companies often learn about customer needs and wants through surveys or other impersonal means. However, in a MOOC, staff members from the company are interacting with potential customers in a cyber face-to-face fashion. Participants in the MOOC are likely to offer different kinds of feedback than they would in a canned survey.

One reason that the business community may be reluctant to be involved in MOOCs is that they can’t see an immediate return on investment. However, this is true of almost every social media avenue out there. MOOCs offer one more avenue for companies to reach new customers, enhance their brand, and position themselves as the go-to vendor when potential customers seek out new products and services.

If you’d like to discuss how to implement MOOCs in your organization, please call Trade Press Services at 805 496-8850.

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