I was reading Ben’s blog, ‘Ignore Stinging Criticism at Your Peril!’ the other day when a thought struck me: How often do we draw attention to our shortcomings with our marketing?
Every single selling to schools marketing campaign I’ve seen since I joined Sprint two years ago can basically be summarised in 5 words, ‘We are the best because…’.
And that makes total sense really doesn’t it? I mean, why on earth would you want to shine a spotlight on all those little blotches and blemishes that you try so hard to conceal? Well, there’s one major reason and it’s an absolute doozy...
It will make you completely and utterly unique.
And when you’re emailing the most ‘marketing savvy’ group of people on the planet (teachers) being unique is a very big deal. It’s a pretty ballsy approach I grant you, but there are some cracking examples of businesses that have used it successfully.
Here are a handful of reasons to embrace your shortcomings (along with some cracking examples).
1. It will build trust
So many sellers to schools get so obsessed with their competitors that their marketing can sometimes feel like a game of one-upsmanship. The trouble with this is that it becomes hard to believe anything that’s being said.
What I love about this example is how it uses the business’s market position as a selling point. The genius of this approach is that their honesty about this one aspect of their business instantly makes you believe everything else that follows!
2. It signals confidence
Every business has its Achilles’ heel. But where most businesses do everything they can to play this down or sweep it under the carpet, the next example wears it like a badge of honour!
3. It attracts ideal buyers and alienates less likely buyers
You can’t be all things to all people. Trying to please everyone inevitably means watering down your message. So why not focus your energy on trying to appeal to your ideal prospects?
Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam knows it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It crams people in, it’s pretty unrefined, but it’s a cheap place to crash (as their ad makes abundantly clear!).
Okay, so this last example may be a step too far for most of us. But it still shows how being honest about your shortcomings can make the rest of your marketing so much more believable.
Take a moment to think about your biggest weakness. Instead of letting it eat away at you from the inside, why not see if you can find a way to use it to your advantage in your next selling to schools strategy?
Marketing to Schools
Selling to Schools
UK Schools Marketing
How to Sell to Schools