School is out for the summer! Well, for students perhaps, but for education technology marketers and companies, the summer is no time to kick back and relax. Next year’s sales revenue is riding on your ability to fill the top of the lead generation funnel for the sales team. The summer months are used by administrators to swap out curricula, clean out the lockers, create schedules, finalize their budgets and begin thinking about how to spend their funding.
While administrators prepare for the next school year, marketers can prepare for the selling season by focusing on these seven education marketing tips. With this to-do list, marketers and sales leaders can synchronize their new customer implementation strategy with a strong leads acquisition program for a successful 2018-19 school year.
Education Marketing Tips
1. Assessment: A good strategic education marketing plan begins by reflecting on previous efforts. Evaluate what worked well, what didn’t, what new potential risks are, how those risks can be minimized, and more. Building on past successes and learning from previous mistakes helps create a strong base for the next step in the process: goals.
2. Sales Goals: Strategic sales and education marketing plans must be grounded in tangible goals. Without goals, there is no North Star to guide the team’s efforts, and no way to measure success at the end of the campaign. Once goals for new business and renewals are set for the 2018-19 school year, strategic and tactical sales and marketing plans can be outlined out by month. By aligning your plan to the sales cycle, monthly and weekly lead generation targets can be established. For earlier-stage companies, goals may be more of a qualified guess, but having a goal in mind is an important starting position.
3. Lead Acquisition Plan: With goals established, devise a lead generation plan listing well-defined tactics and a clear objective. To reach the newly created goals, various tactics and events can be pursued – a few common areas are content marketing (e.g., blog posts, case studies), social media marketing, email marketing, print and online advertising, workshops, webinars, lunch and learns, and school visits.
4. Current Customer Plan: While acquiring new leads, remember your current customers and their respective renewal processes. Create a plan to equip your customers with the resources and support necessary to drive successful back-to-school implementations. A seamless implementation process spawns a seamless renewal process. This allows the sales team to spend more time having the conversations that turn leads into future customers.
5. Product Plan: New products generate the opportunity to reach out to administrators during the summer months. Coordinate the release of new products and features to encourage multiple touch points with prospects and customers to create a stronger selling proposition.
6. Training Plan: A new school year means new teachers. Teachers from the previous school year may have mastered the education technology solutions in their classroom but new teachers may need guidance. Ensure these teachers receive high quality, consistent training throughout the school year to mitigate drop-off in product effectiveness. This approach also keeps the entire staff informed and on track to derive top returns.
7. Communications Tool Review: Finally, summer is a good time to evaluate CRM usage, your website’s role in the sales and marketing process and other communication tools in your repertoire. They may not be glamorous, but these tools help sales and marketing teams focus on meeting the needs of administrators and establishing an efficient sales process.
The summer months are a “make it or break it” time for achieving the next school year’s revenue goals. By acting on these education marketing tips and refining your sales and marketing plan, you will be setting yourself up for success in the 2018-19 school year.
To start the evaluation process, schedule a summer sales planning retreat with Arc Capital Development, a strategic venture and advisory firm for the education industry. Or, if you’re looking for an agency to help you implement these education marketing tips, let’s talk!