Experience with MOOC

My Experience with MOOC

A fascinating and exciting time!


We started out with defining our SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timed) . Mine were:

  • S – complete the course (), improve my knowledge (), gain practical experience about digital and social media marketing (), find a new job (not yet), use social media for my own business (work in progress)
  • M – get course tasks done in time (), be able to apply what I learned to my own business (), generate more turnover (work in progress)
  • A – get a certificate (work in progress), find a new job (work in progress)
  • R – plan for time to do the course in parallel to my current job (), spend max 8 hrs a week on the course (x)
  • T – finish in 6 weeks ()


source: wikipedia

Would you agree? – Some very successful 6 weeks!

However, the course was also a lot about (my personal) Change Management. This being the first course of its kind that I had ever taken, on a topic that I so far neglected in my private life, I was excited and scared at the same time, when starting out.

The first two weeks were a struggle: Having to work with new tools and doing new stuff that you had to figure out first. A lot of inner resistence to overcome!


source: seo-consultant.info

The allocated durations needed for each chapter were far from reality and homework still needed to get submitted in time. This got worse as I had also registered for the Online Branding course which started two weeks later instead of after the first course was finished.

So, this might be something you would want to think about next time – if you sell a package, time the courses so they start after each other and don’t run in parallel and attribute realistic time durations for the chapters.

Though time management is one of my strengths, I still needed to take some vacation days to stay on track. What eased the pressure a bit was that you had two weeks to submit your homework.

What did I take out after the 6 weeks apart from the achievements?

  • Tons of information on digital marketing


source: dailymarketingread.co.jpg

  • Compare different online courses – appreciate concept of the Digital and Social Media Marketing course
  • Overcoming the homework challenges and being forced to apply what you had learned and thus being forced to grow
  • Lots of helpful links, videos, comments, etc.
  • Get a glance at the bigger picture – the community, that was created by doing the courses and spreading the links. Thus a lot more people/companies benefit from the course, not just the students.
  • The many videos matched my learning style and the course more fun and easier, compared to courses where you have to read all the documents.
  • A lot of inspiration and ideas for my private business that I will apply in the coming weeks.
  • Thanks to the feedback of my peers and the tasks, I found out where I have my strengths and what I should focus on more and also learned that twitter – which I really don’t like – might still serve me well for my business, thus there was also a shift in perspective.

What’s the plan for the next weeks

  • Finish the concept for my own business using all the things learned on the course, e. g. defining buyer persona, write and plan blogs, etc.
  • Invest some time in a project plan and risk assessment
  • set up a communication plan for the media channels that I have identified to fit my target group
  • allocate the budget to the plan
  • build my digital brand
  • revamp my website
  • etc.

What next MOOC courses would I like to attend

  • Business Model Generation
  • Business Model You
  • Company Strategy
  • Complex Sales

Would be great if you would offer these over the next year.

Thanks for all the effort that you had put in to make this course a success and for teaching me so much in such little time!

Here are some links that I found quite useful:

2nd edition MOOC ad campaign


For the 2nd edition of the MOOC ad campaign my recommendations would be:

Analyze the previous campaign, learn from the results and optimize

Things you would want to check:

  • Efficiency of channels used
  • Success of the different content – and why some were more successful than others
  • SEO results -> potential for optimization
  • Website analytics
  • Comments to blogs and from course participants
  • Review trainings material and eliminate dead links

Plan 2nd edition incl. optimizations and adjustments

Once you have derived lessons learned from these results you can start planning your second campaign, following along this structure (campaign planning guide):

  1. Campaign goals and tracking: What are you trying to achieve through the campaign and how will you know when you achieve it?
  2. Campaign insight and targeting. Which audiences are you trying to reach and influence to achieve your goals?
  3. Key campaign messages and offers. Which campaign storytelling ideas, content and product-related offers will engage and convert our audience? How are you trying to position our company, products, services?
  4. Reach: Campaign media plan and budget. Which media channels will you use to reach and influence your target audience? What will be the sequence and integration of media activities?
  5. Act: Audience interaction and participation. How will you encourage interest and engagement in your campaigns using the content assets and creative which you host on campaign landing pages on your sites and seek to share via social networks? How do you generate leads that you can the convert to sale?
  6. Convert: Optimise and test. How do you link interaction and engagement with the campaign assets through to purchase intent and sale which may happen online if you have a transactional Ecommerce site or offline through phone, in store or by mail order
  7. Engage: Advocacy and sharing: How do you encourage engagement for existing customers and advocacy to share the word about the campaign?

Here’s another guide in case you prefer pictures:


Some suggestions

From what I have read on the results of the previous efforts, I would recommend a concentration on fewer channels (Facebook and Twitter) and invest on advertising there.

Then I would think of a strategy on how to get more traffic on the website to become “owner” of the audience. Use more investment for this. Do a deeper analysis of the Adwords results to see, if it makes sense to further invest here.

Do some email marketing for new and upcoming courses to bring previous participants back for another course, maybe even offering a discount for the next course recommending MOOC.

There might even be another target group out there, not just undergraduates: The “older” generation that has a lot of work experience but does not have such an easy access to the digital world and who use this course to finally update there knowledge and enhance their market value.

Budget allocation:

  • 50 %         ownership of audience
  • 40 %         FB/Twitter
  • 10 %         email marketing

Below you will find a first draft of a risk overview and

risk template

1st Draft of a project plan

Gantt 1




Hope this will help you to prepare your 2nd edition MOOC ad campaign. Happy to receive your comments.

The Benefits of Buyers Persona

Why would you want to create a virtual person to help you boost your business? Well, because they are important for you to find the target audience, as well as the channels they use and the content they are interested in, all of which are relevant for your business.


source: midwestmarketingllc.com

Relevancy is also what is needed to attract and engage the audience. If the content are interesting and the audience can see the benefit, they will also start to share this on the social media network and thus bring more business to you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a buyers persona for your business:

  1. Give the Persona a name and add a picture – it’s much easier to relate to it, once you have a picture to look at
  2. Define the background – job, age, career path, family,
  3. Add demographics – male/female, age, location
  4. Add identifiers – Demeanor, communication preferences
  5. Define the goals – what’s your persona’s primary goal, what’s secondary
  6. List challenges – which ones are important
  7. What solutions can your offer to the challenges
  8. Look for real quotes – on goals, challenges, etc
  9. Common objections – What might turn them away? Why wouldn’t they buy?
  10. Marketing Messages – in which way should you describe the solution to the persona
  11. Elevator pitch – how to sell the persona on the solution

You can download a free template here, to help you create your buyers persona. And here is an example of what it can look like in the end:


Persona’s beginner guide

How can you find out information on your target group?

If you alread have customers, talk to them and get to know them better.

If you don’t have customers yet, check out what the customers of your competitors look like:

  • Who is commenting on their blogs?
  • Check out their websites and find the names
  • Go to Facebook, Xing, LinkedIN, Twitter and find out more about their interests, challenges, etc.

You can also use Quandcast or Quicksprout to learn more about your competitors.

If we look at the business, we have worked with in the last blogs (School for Qi Gong and Chinese Wisdom Traditions) there can be different personas:

Business person:

business woman   business man

Laura                                                           John

Looking for relaxation after a busy working day. Trying to regain energy. Looking for means to balance themselves again. Not much time available. Media: Internet, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook. Keywords: relaxation, stress relieve, balance, Qi Gong, revitalisation


stressed mother 2


stressed from years of looking after the kids, finally finding the time to do something for themselves, shortly before or in the middle of menopause, either single or with a successful husband who is rarely at home, looking for more energy and balance. Media: Internet, maybe Facebook. Keywords: Qi Gong, relaxation, energy renewal, Qi Gong courses

Ill People:

ill person


People who are recovering from some kind of illness and are also looking into alternative medicines. Media: Internet. Keywords: Healing Qi Gong, energy renewal,

All these could be addressed via blogs on different topics, e. g.

  • how to recover your energy in 5 minutes during a tough workday
  • how to regain your energy levels through healing exercises
  • how to heal yourself by looking within, etc.

You can also link to other sites e. g. Traditional Chinese Medicine sites that provide further information or to course sites that offer weekend courses or workshop weeks, videos on certain exercises.

The blog links you could then spread through social media and for the business people timed twitter tweets, e. g. in the evening or around lunch time with little examples/exercises.

Here are some more links on the topic. Have a look and start creating your own persona:


Digital Marketing Channels

Does this more or less describe how you feel?


Source: www.seo-consult.info

And then you have someone breething down your neck like this?


Source: www.askingsmarterquestions.com

Don’t worry. It is all about slowing down and focusing your energies.


©corinna flaig

That means focus your resources in areas that really count for your business, instead of trying to be everywhere and exhaust them as well as yourself.

Let’s start with the layout of the land:

What do we have that needs to be combined efficiently?


  • Our offering – what do we have to offer
  • The target market – Prospects/customers, competitors, environment, interest groups
  • The (digital) objectives – what we want to achieve
  • The channels – which ones are frequented by the audience

These we deal with at a later stage:

  • The engagement map – the marketing strategy – how do we want to evolve and engage
  • The content strategy (trigger to loyalty loop) – how do we ensure long-term, continuous engagement

To make this easier to understand, we will use an example: Center for #Qi Gong and #Ancient Chinese Wisdom Traditions.

For those of you who don’t know what #Qi Gong is:

It is a very old Chinese form of

  • exercise, that focuses slow movements, breathing, looking inside and making the energy flow freely through your body, thus starting a transformation within yourself
  • medicine, as in the treatment of people and self-healing.

The objective is to either become healthy or maintain your health and achieve longevity through inner cultivation. There are different forms of #Qi Gong and the oldest is based on #Daoism.

What would the offering be?

  • Group and private lessons, teaching Qi Gong exercises
  • Hold workshops in companies on Qi Gong and mindfulness
  • Offer seminars for companies to increase mindfulness among employees and enforce empathy in the daily work
  • Coaching in inner cultivation and life management
  • Lectures on #Daoism and #Qi Gong and the implicit learnings
  • Treatment of people and help them to get back to health

The target market: Who would this be interesting for?

Companies that

  • Want to invest in the health of their employees
  • Want to increase quality and teamwork (e. g. in production) by increasing mindfulness in their employees
  • Want to offer a balance for the ever-demanding jobs within the company (companies that care about their employees)

People that suffer from

  • Ilnesses
  • Stress
  • Burn Out
  • Feel overwhelmed with daily life

Or who want to

  • Slow down
  • Enjoy long and healthy life
  • Make themselves feel better through inner cultivation
  • Learn more about ancient traditions

The age range can be from 4 – 80 +

This gives us an indication that we will need

  1. different channels to address this audience
  2. different content to address and engage the audience

Do we want to focus on a certain audience/age range? Yes.

  1. Companies
  2. People aged 35 – 65
  3. People with health problems (starting from 35 years old and problems mainly stress-related)

The objective: How can we make this a profitable business?

  • Make Qi Gong itself more known
  • Build a reputation as an expert
  • Win more clients/students/patients
  • Increase the length of engagement esp. with companies -> regular income
  • Deliver consistently high quality
  • Evolve the topics that are interesting for the audience

The channels: How can we reach the audience best?

As some of the audience cannot be reached via multi media, the marketing mix should combine classic as well as #digital marketing.

As we would like to focus on the #digital marketing part, we will not talk about the classic ones here.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is:

How much time do we have available to feed the channels?

In this case, we only have one person, that has a full-time job and tries to bring up the Qi Gong business to a level at which the regular job can be reduced, as more money is coming in through Qi Gong. That means: max. 1 – 2 hrs a day during the week + weekend = not that much time.

When it comes to #digital marketing, we have a whole array of things we could focus on:


Source: dailymarketingread.co

Now we need to pick the ones the are most promising digital marketing channels, which in this case would most likely be:


  • Can also be researched by the people that are less engaged in multimedia and also by companies, but the website needs to be mobile optimized.
  • Can contain a lot of information which from experience is much appreciated by the audience.
  • Most of it can be static, only some parts will need to be updated, every now and then.
  • SEO – improve ratings -> more people can find us


  • to start engaging with the audience and build a reputation as an expert and learn about, what the audience is really interested in

Publish links to the blog on Facebook and Xing

  • With existing groups (Facebook and Xing are mostly used by the audience in Germany, if they are using social media at all)

I would not use Twitter, as I really don’t like it, so it is not suitable for me. Besides, it would contradict the „slow down“ and „calm“ attributes of Qi Gong, if I and other people get pinged all the time and swamped with messages.

Now, I am looking forward to your feedback and view points to see whether the direction is good or where even better focus can be found 🙂

Digital and Social Media Marketing

Consumer Journey of Online Purchase

The consumer journey to online purchase in digital and social media marketing was one of the most interesting parts of this week’s course. Having worked more in the IT area the last 15 years than in the marketing area, I have lost track of what is happening out there.

It was quite enlightening to learn that there is now a fourth step on the former three step marketing model, called Zero Moment of Truth.

consumer journey


This is when prospective customers realize that they have a problem or a need for something


Zero Moment Of Truth – They start to research for a product or service and this is when they are most open for information – which makes it a highly-relevant, influencial point of time for sellers, even though the sellers themselves are not yet aware that the prospect exists.

Thus it is key that companies anticipate what the potential clients might be researching for and offer them content that is relevant.

A Google study shows that the number or sources used for information gathering increased in just one year from 5.3 to 10.4 sources in 2011. With the expanding digital world the number of sources used will continue to increase, as they are much easier accessible now.


This is the point at which the prospective customer identifies the product or service.


This is when the prospect transforms into a customer by purchasing the product or service and then a consumer by using it and a lobbyist by sharing his/her experience

At this point it is important for companies to actively influence the sharing by offering great service to collect positive feedback and thus keeping clients delighted.

The engagment and delighting of the customer will be the next big challenge. It requires an evolving story and the collaboration with partners to assure a continuous growth of the vision that binds the customer to a brand.


Core Concepts of Digital Marketing

The core concepts of #Digital Marketing that play a role in the #Digital Economy:

#SEOSearch Engine Optimization

Internet strategy that focuses on increasing the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine. There are two types of results: paid and organic.

SEO targets different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

#SMOSocial Media Opitmization

Covers the decision of content and which channels to use and the suitability of content for each channel.

seo building blocks_rimultimedia.com

Online Branding

It is about creating an asset of the brand online, aka #brand equity, which means you have to create commercial value by establishing a relationship based on trust and transparency of service with the target audience, that also includes a problem solving aspect .

In short, it is all about the illusion that you will create or in other words the perception of the product or service, not about the product or service itself.

In addition to this a USP – Unique Selling Point is needed to give you a competitve advantage.

Step-by-Step Approach

  • Identify the audience
  • Document the brand messages and values
  • Decide on the platforms
  • Develop presence on relevant networks
  • Launch campaigns and engage
  • Measure engagement and learn from results
  • Optimize


Branding and marketing come together in comprehensive #storytelling of the vision, that is the guiding path of the strategy. A good example for this is the #Coca-Cola Strategy 2020 on YouTube Video: