Tips to kick off your back to school program

As a supplier, it is important to keep reinforcing your message to schools – if you don’t, your competitors will, as the competition for the hearts and minds of school decision makers is fierce.

Present your services and solutions proactively with email blasts, mailouts, phone calls and even fax. Consider your call to action, or in other words, what you want the customer to do next. It may be to visit your web site, call a 1800 number or take up a one-off “time based” offer.

Start in term 1 – discretionary funds and last minute purchases represent major opportunities for suppliers early in the new year. Continue in the other key buying periods in the year: May/June, when school budgets are being allocated for the new financial year and excess funds are being spent, August/September, when school P&Cs have funds available from their annual fete, and October/November, when schools are planning their budgets for the new year.

I cannot stress enough the importance of constantly re-iterating your message, your product and your business solutions to schools. Identify a decision maker in each target school and explain why your product or service is better than the competition – i.e. why they should buy from you. Once they get to know you through regular communications, they will be more likely to buy from you when they are ready.

Anyone involved in direct marketing knows that the more direct you can be in reaching and talking to your target audience, the better response you’ll get. In real terms, this means personalising your marketing. Personalisation can range from simply naming the addressee to creating a marketing piece fully personalised with relevant content. By taking the time to personalise your marketing materials, you will stand out from your competitors who think it is OK to send something, anything, to a school and hope someone reads it. Nowadays consumers expect more. If you can tailor the marketing piece to an individual, you will begin to build a relationship which can turn into a sale.

The start of term 1 means A-ZGovBIZ also goes “back to school”, as we commence the schools research program. Each year 20% of contacts experience change. Most changes are made to the first and last name of the contact, their school, their email address and position. The majority of the changes to the A-ZGovBIZ school list occur in terms 1 and 2, but as the list is also being updated all year round, changes continue to be identified and the database is kept up to date in real time.

As we update the A-ZGovBIZ schools list, you can have the new updates delivered direct to your computer each month. Updates to the list are available to subscribers via our online service Discovery, an easy to use program that enables you to navigate around the list(s) you have licensed and export the latest changes to your in-house CRM. For the range of lists we have available please see List of Lists.

A-ZGovBIZ gives our clients access to thousands of prospects in schools, universities, TAFE and even training organisations from all around Australia and New Zealand. Lists can be ordered and supplied within 24 hours, so you can literally be hitting the ground running as soon as term 1 commences.

Michael Bleakley is a journalist, communicator and marketing professional of 25 years. His career began in his early 20’s publishing tech magazines for education. Michael’s career then moved into online and book publishing for a global business publisher, then finally into database publishing and marketing at A-ZGovBIZ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *