Being a learner and being a consumer often go hand in hand – and not just because we purchase things like books, or training seminars, or college educations. More and more businesses have have moved towards formally integrating education into their pre-sale and post-sale efforts as a way of attracting and engaging potential customers and then supporting them after the sale. The sophistication and effectiveness of such efforts is all over the map, but the best sites really can be quite useful.
The following list is a sampling from across a range of different business areas. Most of these are fairly large, well-known businesses, but I’ve purposely thrown in some pretty small unknowns. The tools for creating and delivering learning content on the Web are now cheap enough and easy enough to use that customer learning is a strategy available to pretty much any business. For businesses, the key to success is truly to offer value and back off the hard sales pitch. And for the customer learner – naturally, you’ll need to keep your wits about you and put your critical thinking skills in high gear. When it’s all said and done, these people are still trying to sell you something.
(Note: Other than text in italics, all of the language below is from the companies’ Web sites.)
AdWords Learning Center
If you’re an AdWords advertiser, Google Advertising Professional, or just interested in learning more about AdWords, you can use our free training to sharpen your AdWords knowledge. We offer both multimedia and text lessons to match your preferred learning style. While lessons are organized to build upon previous ones, you can skip between topics and take them in any way you like. After each lesson, test your knowledge by taking a quiz. Because so much is covered, you probably can’t complete training in one sitting (without the help of caffeine), so return often. Content is updated regularly to keep you current.
AT&T Onward Small Biz
Learn more. Meet goals. Move onward with resources from AT&T. Move your business onward with resources dedicated to your success.
OPEN Forum by American Express OPEN
A wealth of resources for business owners — videos, articles, blogs, and expert advice to boost your business, sponsored by American Express OPEN.
System Seminar TV
Internet Marketing Education (Videos):The world’s greatest Internet marketing seminar presents the world’s greatest TV channel for entrepreneurs.
Stephen R. Covey – The Community
The Stephen Covey community is an Internet-based community where individuals from around the world are coming together to achieve personal greatness through four areas: learning, goal setting and tracking, making friends and global support networks, and online journal writing.
Capitol One Financial Education
From Capitol One, helpful tools and resources to help you take control of your finances.
American Family Insurance
Our Learning Center has a variety of information to help as you research and plan to purchase insurance. Plus, you can find home and driver safety tips, Teen Safe Driver Program, loss control information, and FAQs on a variety of topics.
Amerisave Learning Center
Alas, looks like this one will end on March 31, 2009 – just when folks could use some good mortgage education! Free, expert-lead courses to help you navigate the home-buying process with confidence.
Apple Learning Interchange
Educator created lessons and activities rich with movies, images and podcasts. Special collections from guest content providers.
Podcasts | The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review Podcast series is designed to make you smarter, faster. We’ll pump up your vocabulary with the help of some unforgettable tunes. If you’re considering law school, we’ll help you develop important reasoning skills you’ll need on the LSAT. And for parents of students thinking about college, we’ll give you tips and advice on how to plan for and help with your child’s education.
Online Learning Games from Fisher-Price For Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers
Online Preschool Games – Our online games and learning activities are a great way to spend quality time with your child. Invite your child to sit on your lap, or pull your chair up next to your child’s and enjoy online games and learning activities together. Online Learning Games from Fisher-Price ñ For Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers
RadioShack Learning Center
Technology changes fast. Stay on top of everything that’s new by enrolling in these FREE online courses led by instructors who have years of experience in the field. Learn about the latest technology and learn how to do more with the electronics you’ve got.
HP Online Courses
Free classes on topics related to Hewlett Packard products.
Canon Digital Learning Center
Free classes on topics related to Canon products.
Sony Backstage 101 Community
Your destination for online learning, discussion, and collaboration on the technology of everyday life.
Health & Fitness
Allergy Relief Learning Center
At achoo! ALLERGY & AIR Products, Inc., customer education is a top priority. Here in our Allergy Relief Learning Center, you will learn how to avoid allergens with environmental control. If you decrease your exposure to allergens, then you will breathe easier, sleep more soundly, and feel better. It’s that simple.
Community learning and support site for the Atkins diet.
Learning-oriented site of the integrative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil.
Denise Milani Gym Workout – Abs Workouts Videos
Get Started Immediately by signing up for our free 7 Day Weight Loss and Six Pack Abs Building training course. This course is 100% percent free. If you want to look good this Year than you need to get in on this free course.
Arts & Crafts
Stitch Diva – Knitting and Crochet Tutorials
Fresh and Modern – Crochet and Knit Patterns for download. Including Ponchos. Easy Instructions, Hip to Wear.
Utrecht Learning Center
Explore the Utrecht Learning Center, a place where both novice and professional artists can find expert tips and instructions for using artist paints, artist brushes, artist canvas, watercolor supplies, art supply buying guides and more. Discover featured artists and their work, learn about the upcoming art contests, the newest artist materials and events we will be hosting or attending.
Home Depot Online Workshops
Attend a workshop – from your home.
Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Learning Center
Our goal is to help educate you, our customer, so that you are able to make the most informed decision possible. These free resources contain some excellent information on various topics realted to home comfort systems.
iLearn courses are free, practical, led by expert instructors, and available around the clock to work with your schedule. Click on a course below to find out more.
Online Learning Center – AOL Research & Learn
Use the online learning center at AOL Research & Learn for your research projects and use resources you can’t find anywhere else.
Mission to Learn
P.S. If you enjoy what you read here on Mission to Learn, I encourage you to subscribe to the RSS feed or use the e-mail subscription form at the top right side of this page.