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Top 7 Mistakes Companies Make When Marketing to Schools

Posted: Apr 6, 2017

Top 7 Mistakes Companies Make When Marketing to SchoolsOffering a brand-new product to schools can be an exciting experience. After all, you’ve worked so hard to develop a helpful solution that could benefit everyone. It’s the best! Now comes the hard part: marketing your product to schools.

The education market is competitive – and that can be daunting. You’ll need to differentiate yourself from everyone else. You may not know where to begin. What if you do something wrong?

We’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of the 7 most frequent mistakes companies make when marketing to schools so your plan is as foolproof as it can be in this competitive space.

  1. Reaching out at the wrong time of the year.
    Timing is crucial. Knowing and planning around your target school’s fiscal year ensures your marketing strategy is in place and ready at the right time. Otherwise, your solution will be placed at the bottom of the pile and you’ll lose out on an entire year. No one wants that.

  2. Marketing to the wrong audience.
    Develop your buyer persona before you do anything else. Think about who will be actually using your product and where. Ask questions like, “Who is the end user,” “Who is the purchaser,” “Where am I targeting,” and “What is the level of purchasing or decision-making?” Create a customer profile so you know exactly how to tailor your marketing initiatives.
     
  3. Not using customer testimonials and peer reviews.
    Let’s face it, no one wants to hear about how you feel about the product; they would rather hear it from a peer. Case studies from users help with your credibility. Plus, it’s a free endorsement from people who actually love your program.
     
  4. Not offering a strong call to action.
    A call to action (CTA) puts things into motion toward conversion. This conversion can be anything from the download of a PDF or form, to a purchase or even just reading on for more information. Include a CTA button or message whenever you want a user to respond in a certain way. Make it clear, compelling, and eye-catching!
     
  5. Not providing valuable content or resources.
    Educators usually don’t appreciate (or have time for) a cold call sales pitch. That’s why it’s important to offer resources and materials to show you really know your field. Provide access to white papers, special classroom kits, webinars, free trials, research, and reports to show your expertise. This will engage more customers and get your name out there. Don’t just stop at marketing your product—go a bit further. 
  6. Assuming you only need to market once.
    Educators need multiple “touches” before making a decision about a product. Like all of us, they are suspicious of fads and phonies. Don’t expect a response after a one-time outreach. In follow-ups, offer free trials and demos and/or share content and resources.
     
  7. Not providing contact information.
    Seems like a no-brainer, right? It’s surprising how often this is overlooked. Your customer needs to be able to contact you. Provide a simple-to-use system that gives teachers easy and immediate access to you. Give options. Some educators prefer to call representatives directly if they have a question. Some prefer chat, so you could provide a phone number AND a chat window or widget form. Make sure your users know you’re there for them. Then, be there ready to help.

By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to selling your product. Remember, it’s not just about developing a good product; it’s also about convincing others that it’s a good product, too!

MMS Education can help! Clients choose MMS Education because of our deep understanding of the education market, backed by nearly 40 years of working with schools, systems, administrators, and agencies.

Most importantly, we embrace your mission and deliver on time and on budget, whether you’re outsourcing one specific project or need a complete turnkey operation.

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.

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