Association E-learning Veterans Launch Market Research and Consulting Firm

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Today marks the official launch of Tagoras, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the design, marketing, and management of digital learning and knowledge. Tagoras, founded by e-learning veteran Jeff Cobb, will provide research and consulting services to help membership organizations leverage two important trends: the growth of e-learning and social media in the association sector and the increasing importance of content marketing strategies.

Educational content is not just a product for these organizations

Today Jeff Cobb, co-founder and former CEO of association e-learning provider Isoph, announced the official launch of Tagoras, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the design, marketing, and management of digital learning and knowledge. Based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, Tagoras will focus initially on providing research and consulting services to trade and professional associations nation wide. The firm's first substantial report, Association E-learning 2009: State of the Sector, will be published in March.

Cobb, a long-time veteran of the online learning industry, points to two trends that led to the launch of Tagoras. The first of these is the growth of e-learning and social media adoption in the association sector.

"Over the past few years it has become much easier and less costly to produce e-learning and knowledge content," said Cobb. "At the same time, the Web has offered up an amazing array of new social media tools for facilitating member and customer learning communities. These two factors, combined with current economic pressures, will push the sector towards a level of maturity in the area of online learning that it has so far not achieved."

The second trend, according to Cobb, may be even more important. "Internet marketers and entrepreneurs have already realized the powerful role that educational content can play in attracting, converting, and retaining customers. Increasingly members and customers expect to realize value before any sort of sale takes place, and they expect the ongoing relationship with an organization to be a value-rich, learning relationship. This shift offers a tremendous opportunity for membership organizations, but also poses a significant threat to those that ignore it."

Cobb views the two trends as tightly connected for organizations that are in the business of providing educational products and services. "Educational content is not just a product for these organizations," said Cobb. "It also has the potential to be a powerful, strategic part of their marketing mix. Our role at Tagoras is to provide advisory services and up-to-date market research that will help organizations create great knowledge and learning products and incorporate them into an overall member and customer engagement strategy."

The firm's first planned publication, Association E-learning 2009: State of the Sector is intended to provide not only market data, but also practical insights and guidance to help associations achieve better results from their e-learning initiative. Cobb will discuss the report in an Association E-learning 2009 Webinar plan for March 26. "This is intended to be a practical, results oriented publication, not dry research that will gather dust on a shelf," said Cobb. "That will will be the trademark of all Tagoras research."

Cobb will be joined at Tagoras by long-time business partner Celisa Steele, also a co-founder of Isoph. As co-managing directors, Steele will oversee the firm's research publications while Cobb will lead its consulting and education efforts. To receive an executive summary from Tagoras' recent research on e-learning in the association sector and be notified of ongoing Tagoras research, sign up for the Tagoras Association Sector Research List .

About Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele:
Jeff Cobb co-founded and served as CEO of Isoph, a provider of e-learning technology and services in the nonprofit sector. He is author of the popular Mission to Learn blog as well as of the eBook Learning 2.0 for Associations. Cobb serves on the Professional Development Council of the American Society of Association Executives and has previously served on the research committee of the eLearning Guild and the editorial board of Innovate, a leading resource for information about technology and education.

Celisa Steele was a co-founder and chief operating officer of Isoph and has overseen the implementation of a wide range of association e-learning initiatives. A veteran of the e-learning world, Steele served on the research committee of the eLearning Guild and has served multiple times as a judge in Brandon Hall's annual e-learning awards.

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Jeff Cobb
Tagoras
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