Why Marketing To Schools Is Harder Than You Think
Even though there are countless resources available to marketers to help them develop strategies and campaigns, it’s not as simple as one might think. Every campaign is different, not to mention the skills needed to manage the project and successfully juggle budgets and priority shifts. On top of that, marketing to schools presents a unique set of challenges.
- The influencer may not be the purchaser or user
In most industries, it’s clear who the influencers, purchasers, and users are. In the education industry, the purchaser of the product, the person required to pay for the product, and the person who uses the product may vary from school to school and/or from district to district. Sometimes an educator can decide on a purchase and make it all on their own. Some educators need approval from their principal before they can make a purchase, and still, others may have to go through the district. This difference in processes can be confusing and takes extra time and effort as you plan for whom to contact with which marketing pitch.
- It may be a different budget cycle than you’re used to
If you’re new to the education market, then you’ll want to brush up on when budgets are announced for the coming school year. Not only do you want to market to them at the right time, but if you’re trying to schedule a meeting with someone in the school or district, you need to understand where they are in their budgeting and decision-making cycle. Unlike other industries, just because you’re marketing today doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get into schools tomorrow. You’re working on their schedule now. Take a look at this education budget cycle resource we created to help guide you in this process.
- The change in staff
Educators change schools, switch districts, retire, or even leave the profession all together, making for a higher turnover rate than many industries. As a result, your best customer may not be there next year. When possible, try to develop relationships with several educators within a customer location so your relationship doesn’t depend on one person. In all cases, stay in touch with your customer frequently to not only present yourself as their partner but to also stay on top of their future plans. By keeping open the lines of communication, you may be able to follow your customer to their new school (and get your product or program up and running there). Or, you could get an introduction to their replacement to begin building a relationship with them.
MMS Education can help guide you as you market to schools. Clients choose MMS because of our deep understanding of the education market, backed by 40 years of working with schools, systems, administrators, and agencies.
Call us today at 866-382-6116 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you reach, engage, and measure impact in the PreK-12 education market.