The K-12 buying cycle is complex. It’s a multi-phase process that has highs and lows during the school year. Some periods are more competitive than others, and spring is the most competitive of all. Here are four things you can do to take advantage of this prime decision-making time.
Most school districts operate on a fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30. Spring is a busy time for K-12 decision makers. They’re conducting final reviews and purchases for the upcoming school year, while starting to evaluate needs for the school year to follow. In some cases, they might be scrambling to use remaining funds before the current fiscal year ends.
While your K-12 marketing efforts should span the entire school year, they should intensify in the spring. Here are four things you can do to take advantage the spring buying season.
Make sure you have enough visibility.
You want to be in front of K-12 buyers as they’re making final decisions for the upcoming school year, while also starting to plan for the following year. Ramp up your visibility with a combination of PR, email and content marketing campaigns, advertising in trade journals, and so on.
Follow up leads from education conferences.
If you exhibited at ed-tech trade shows like FETC, TCEA or SXSWedu, or at national conferences for associations such as AASA, ASCD and NSTA, you probably had an opportunity to speak with K-12 educators and administrators from around the country. These face-to-face connections can be invaluable, and now is the time to leverage those leads by contacting them to ask if they have any additional questions, or would like to set up a demo on site.
Identify funding sources of which prospects may not be aware.
Suggest creative funding solutions that might enable you to close the deal. Become familiar with providers of federal grants, as well as grant opportunities from private foundations and other funding sources.
Take advantage of “use it or lose it” funding to close end-of-year sales.
In many states, if school districts don’t spend all their state funding by the end of the fiscal year, they forfeit any leftover funds. That puts pressure on K-12 buyers to use their remaining funds or lose them, which creates an opportunity to close before the end of the school year.