Educating advertisers on your platform is the only way to influence performance: A perspective from Snap

How a social media company used learning to fuel growth: the story of Snap Focus

3 min read
January 10, 2022
Marcus Chairez
Marcus, Program Director at Beyond, leads our long standing partnership with The California Department of Public Health.

Snap is home to some of the most creative minds in 
the world; its power extends beyond its fun filters. But media buyers held back from social media advertising: they didn’t understand the opportunities, nor how to 
 run effective campaigns. So we built a new learning experience for media buyers that shared how their 
 brand could benefit from the platform while delivering 
 on the delight they already associated with Snap.

Six months on, Marcus Chairez, director at Beyond who worked to architect the Snap experience, speaks 
to Kristen Casalenuovo, Partner Education Marketing Manager at Snap Inc. about the role of learning for 
the brand.

Marcus: Who is Snap Focus for and 
what value does it deliver to 
 your audience?

Kristen: Snap Focus is for anyone who wants to learn about Snapchat advertising products and solutions. Ultimately, we aim 
to deliver value to advertising professionals across all experience levels: from beginner to advanced to expert. We had to start with a strong foundation though. So we built an evidence based learning framework and started with certifications for Snapchat advertising essentials and performance advertising. Future content will appeal to audiences with more mature skillsets.

Marcus: Have you focused your attention on specific audience segments? 
 If so, who and why?

Kristen: The audience for Snap Focus is advertising professionals across the globe. That’s a big audience. We think of our learners in terms of their job role, geographic region, vertical, and the type of company they work for. However, initially focusing on any of these segments would have forced us to exclude a lot of learners. Thankfully, for learning frameworks, the most important individual characteristic is prior knowledge (Clark, 2019*). So we focused instead on those topics and learning methods that get an advertising professional from beginner to advanced, then from advanced to expert.

Marcus: How does the way people learn affect the way you approach the experience they need?

Kristen: The way people learn touches every single decision we make regarding Snap Focus. It’s the only thing that matters because it’s the only part 
of the performance improvement process that Snap Focus can support. For content, people learn best when it offers a solution to an on-the-job challenge they are currently facing (in learning science, that’s known as intrinsic motivation). For technology, people learn best when it is as easy and intuitive as possible, saving their finite cognitive load for the actual learning process. For design, people learn best when they can activate prior knowledge, see the skill performed by an expert, apply it in coached practice, and integrate it into their job (Merrill, 2012**).

Marcus: What is the value of your learning experience for the business?

Kristen: Snap Focus has directly helped our partners, which means it’s also helped our business. Learner feedback from the course has been overwhelmingly positive. Certified learners commented on the format itself that it’s clear, direct, and easy to follow. Most importantly though, we’ve heard feedback from partners that learning the course content has improved their job performance. Ultimately, the goal of professional learning is to help someone do their job better. Achieving that goal gives value to everything that person touches in the service of their role.

3 min read
January 10, 2022
Marcus Chairez
Marcus, Program Director at Beyond, leads our long standing partnership with The California Department of Public Health.