As the co-founder of Nexus Education I have spoken to hundreds of companies in the sector of differing size, budgets and objectives and pointed them down the right channels that will yield the best return for them.
With this in mind, here are my top 5 tips, in no particular order, for suppliers coming in to the sector (and a refresh for all you established brands out there):
1. Keep up to date with educators thoughts / frustrations – There are some great channels out there that enable you to keep up to date with what educators are talking about. TES Global Community, and of course Nexus Education, have some great community writers as well as articles focusing on what educators are talking about right now. Set up an RSS Feed to your phone to keep up to date every day and spot potential opportunities in the market.
2. Assign your events spend wisely – Well known, larger (and more expensive) exhibitions are usually attended by non decision making teachers. SLT, heads and people with buying power will go to conferences and more bespoke events to find out what is hot in the sector (see our NeXworking events for school groups). These events are the best way to get access to decision makers quickly in a relaxed, informal atmosphere where the decision makers can ask questions and ‘buy in’ to your brand.
3. Know when to contact schools and follow up on leads – The school day generally runs from 9am – 3.30. Never phone during lunch time or during the first hour of the day – this time is usually spent with students and parents. As far as ‘hot’ months for contacting schools we find February, April, June, October and November are real peak times of the year.
4. Engage with educators on social media – Twitter and LinkedIN are awash with teachers writing great blogs, sharing ideas / best practice and, get this, they research social media when making purchasing decisions! Be visible and be seen to be working with the right companies to get your content out there. Teachers are, as we all are, online 24 hours a day so don’t stick to the conventional work hours to get in front of your audience.
5. Understand the demographic landscape – Although almost a third of UK teachers are aged 30 or under purchasing decisions are usually made by the school leadership team (SLT) and they tend to be older (49% being 40+) – but this is changing. Educating the SLT on latest trends / products needs to be a multi-channelled approach – events, meetings, Twitter, free resources, webinars, online content etc.
For more information about how to effectively market to schools and academies in the UK give me a call on 01244 687371, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss how best to get your message out there!