Education Marketing Trends

What Vendors Need to Know about Marketing to Educators

By September 14, 2011 No Comments

Back-to-school pop quiz: where do most educators go when they need information on a new product?

a. Educational publications

b. The teachers’ lounge

c. Vendor websites

d. None of the above

Ready…pencils down! If you answered D, congratulations! You’re starting the school year off with an A+.

Extra credit point: If not publications, nor teachers’ lounge, nor vendor websites, where?

How about Twitter?

At ISTE 2011, C. Blohm & Associates and Winter Group held two focus groups consisting of teachers, technology specialists, librarians and curriculum directors. The focus groups touched on a variety of topics, but the findings boil down to one golden nugget of goodness that vendors can savor:

For educators, personal learning networks (both physical and digital) are the pièce de résistance of decision-making.

More educators turned to Twitter for information than to educational publications, vendor websites or conferences. When educators have a specific need, many push out a tweet asking for their followers to recommend products or services. Digital PLN’s such as Twitter prove to be an invaluable source of information and guidance in educator decision-making. Educators also admitted that they don’t research products (and don’t truly appreciate this type of information from vendors) until they have a specific need.

So what does this mean for vendors? Using social media—especially Twitter—is key in connecting with educators in a right-place, right-time format.

Want to learn more? Come to “What Educators Say, Think, and Do With Your Marketing Techniques,” Table 28 at EdNET’s Birds-of-a-Feather Roundtable, Tuesday September 27. Linda Winter, President of the Winter Group, and Charlene Blohm, President of C. Blohm & Associates will further “unpack” the focus group data and explain what it all means for education marketers who want to cut through the clutter, cut costs, and build demand and revenue. Each roundtable participant will receive an executive summary of the ISTE 2011 sessions, and all will have the opportunity to compare and share experiences with multi-channel, integrated advertising, direct, PR, and social marketing programs.