ABCs of Marketing the ABC

A parent today encounters thousands of product advertisements daily, right from inexpensive shampoos to expensive cars. Schools, coaching classes, and players in the education sector face a stiff challenge in this space with regard to making themselves be seen, heard, and recognized just enough to impact the decision-making process of the parent. Therefore, the marketers today rely on the creative use of varied channels to make themselves stand apart, and stand tall in this cluttered space.

Today, we look at how marketing, branding, and promotions work in synergy to help schools and coaching classes achieve their target of being the most prominent name in the industry.

Traditional marketing techniques in this sector:

Schools developing parent advocacy groups:

The most influencing factor while selecting a preschool and school remains relatives, extended families, and friends. Most parents discuss their child’s performance with their relatives and friends which results in the selection of a particular school over the other.

Schools encourage parents to speak about their varied programs and the positive effect they have had on their student’s education and upbringing. They involve these parents in school hosted gatherings wherein these parents engage with prospective customers (other parents) and establish goodwill for the school. These parents become the face and voice of the school which plays a key role in establishing credibility for the school.

Coaching classes developing student advocacy groups:

A similar parallel is drawn when it comes to selecting and enrolling for coaching classes. The parent is the key decision-maker in the selection of a school, however the student is an equal stakeholder in choosing a particular coaching class to supplement their learning.

Coaching classes have student ambassadors who are their voice in the student group. Students follow their friends when enrolling for coaching classes, as they believe in the idea of ‘what’s good for my friend is equally good for me’.

Student testimonials are a powerful tool that coaching classes employ to reach out on a personal level to the prospective customers (student). Personal account of students and sharing their success stories on how a particular institute helped them in achieving their desired goal becomes a great promotion tool for the particular coaching class.

Schools leveraging alumni to drive admissions:

Schools leverage the name and fame of the industry stalwarts who passed out from them to establish further credibility and develop secondary associations for them. Parents and students often seek to be associated with schools who have the legacy of having been home to eminent figures and industry stalwarts. This serves as a great promotional tool for the marketers to better promote the school

Coaching classes and vocational institutes leveraging past performers to drive admissions:

Coaching classes and institutes, look to leverage the past top performers in competitive exams as a source to build their credibility and showcase their superior technical prowess. Results of students from a coaching class, and the success stories of students of vocational institutes factor in to the decision making process of prospective admission seekers.

Formal schools and informal institutes thus look to capitalize on their alumni network and previous top performers to differentiate themselves in this me-too education market.

New age marketing techniques in this sector:

Since the turn of the century, technology has revolutionized the way every sector functioned, the education sector being no exception to this. Some new age tech heavy ways used by the players in this sector are:

Emphasizing on technology driven learning:

Schools now, differentiate themselves by promoting the technology driven learning they offer. Use of learning tablets, smart boards, visual and interactive learning tools are commonplace in schools. Schools therefore, look to emphasize on their technological prowess when developing their marketing mix.

Kindergarten schools promote themselves in the minds of the prospective customers by focusing on their technology based curriculum and how this helps in the early development of kids. Technology based curriculum becomes an integral part of their go-to market strategy. This helps them distinguish themselves in this fiercely competitive market.

Promoting on the go learning capabilities:

Coaching classes and vocational institutes have moved away from traditional classrooms and moved to more interactive medium for delivering classes. Coaching classes now showcase this capability in all their promotions.

A particular institute’s on the go learning capability has become the centre of their marketing mix. Coaching classes promote themselves by showcasing their on the go learning capability in all their advertisements and communications to the prospective customers (students). This not only helps them distinguish themselves, but also helps them to carve out a market niche and target this segment with their best possible products and services.

The techniques and approaches mentioned above form the basis of any marketing strategy that the players in this sector employ. Schools, coaching classes, and vocational institutions tailor these approaches to develop a marketing plan which maximizes their outreach and positions them as a premier player in this sector.