Turn Your Product into a Solution and Sell More to Schools

As a consumer, the marketing emails that I generally prefer to receive are those that showcase a selection of products I...

Jackie O'Shea Image
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Jackie O'Shea
Published: 12th November 2015

As a consumer, the marketing emails that I generally prefer to receive are those that showcase a selection of products I’m interested in, and allow me to place an order quickly and easily via the website.

So, if your business sells off-the-shelf products, it’s tempting to assume that teachers will want you to market these to them in a very similar way. However, you’d be making a fatal mistake.

I’ve seen so many education businesses fall into this trap, and the result of promoting your products in this way can almost always be summed up by the following image…

Tumbleweed

In fact, this scenario highlights what is perhaps the single biggest difference between marketing to consumers and marketing to schools.

For a consumer, ordering a product and having it delivered to your door is likely to be the end of the journey. However, for a teacher this is only the beginning; they then have to be able to use that product to enrich teaching and learning in their school.

And this is where they need you to turn your product into a solution.

Of course, this doesn’t mean fundamentally changing your business model; it simply means thinking about how your product could potentially be used to overcome teachers’ challenges, and then going the extra mile to help make that a reality.

One recent marketing strategy that we designed for a client stands out in my mind as a superb example of how you can do this…

School Competition

This strategy took the client’s product (a glue gun) and then transformed this into a solution by promoting a fun and curriculum-aligned competition that provided teachers with an ideal outlet for their students’ creative talents (while also positioning their glue guns as an essential ingredient for success).

The client was even able to create a superb 2-minute video that gave students inspiration about how they could use various gluing techniques to build their robots.

The result was over 1,700 visits to the client’s website and a huge response from teachers all over the country who couldn’t wait to enter their students into the gluing competition. But, much more than that, it generated an outpouring of goodwill from teachers who were so grateful to have access to a project that helped them enhance their delivery of the curriculum.

One D&T Teacher wrote, “I just wanted to let you know that we will definitely be getting involved and will be running the competition big time as part of our Year 8 flexi-days. All our students are really excited about getting started, thank you so much for putting together the video – very inspirational!”

So, if you promote off-the-shelf products to schools, remember that your product is a means to an end, not an end in itself. In order for your marketing to resonate with teachers you need to ensure that it gives them a clear road-map for how they can use your product to achieve a positive outcome in their school.

This will add so much value to your product and demonstrate that your business really understands the needs of teachers.

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Marketing to Schools Selling to Schools Emailing Teachers Selling to Teachers How to Sell to Schools

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