Returning to School For Lessons in Marketing

 
After 10 years, I knew I would never be in the same place again.
 
Physically – well it’s possible… if not likely. Emotionally… no never.

 
GLBO - Carol ConcertA couple of days ago I was sat in the church for our youngest daughter’s Carol Concert – the last one before she moves up into “big school” at the end of the summer.
 
A journey that started all those years ago with our son – was now coming to an end.
 
I’m sure anyone with children now in their teens, or older, will understand how I feel. These early years really are the most magical – after this, things are never quite the same again.
 
I made the most of the moment.
 
A moment made even more poignant not only by the nostalgia of the season and the heart warming excitement of the children, but also because it was snowing as we walked into the church.

 
The local Primary School is very much the centre of our community for all those who have children there. I have never felt that connection with our son’s Secondary School – and don’t expect it to change when our daughter joins him next year.
 
It would be very easy to put it down just to the increasing independence of the child as they get older, but I don’t think it’s just down to this.
 
Either consciously or subconsciously, our local Primary School is very successful in applying the 3 basic principles, that I call The ABC of Modern Marketing;
 
A) Develop a connection,

B) Nurture the relationship, and

C) Get us to buy!

 

Could Your Local Primary School Teach You A Few Things About Marketing?

 
Well, let’s see how they apply these laws to their “business”?
 
A) They develop a connection in Reception Class by showing they care for our children. They want exactly the same for them as we do – The Best.
 
Our children usually have fun at school, the teachers tell us how well they’re doing – how great they are – hell they sometimes even make us feel like they love them as much (or more) as we do!

 
B) They nurture the relationship – keeping us updated about our child’s progress and what is going on in school.
 
They talk to us in the classroom or the playground, send newsletters home and holding regular parent’s evenings. They invite us in to assemblies, Sports Day, to accompany them on trips out of school, the Christmas Show and of course the Carol Concert.
 
They always have time to talk to us.

 
C) They “get us to buy” – in more ways than one.
 
They let us know how important we are to them… to help them in the education and development of our child. We spend time helping our children with their homework – to help them, and the school, maximise their full potential.
 
They also present a master-class in extracting money from our pockets!
 
Christmas Fairs, Summer Fairs, Shopping Evenings, PTFA Summer Ball, Book Clubs, School Photo’s, Bonfire Party, Christmas Raffle, Car Wash for Year 6 Residential Trip… the list goes on! And this excludes events like Harvest Festival and various charity events they support but don’t get any benefit from themselves.

 
I doubt they really know how good at “marketing” they actually are.
 
I know in this case we have to move on – but I don’t WANT to leave. I want to stay a customer forever

 
However, your customers usually don’t have to leave. If you connect, engage and treat them well, they will stay with you forever.

 

Can you apply the same principles to your business?

 
A) Develop a connection – Develop the right marketing message and, just as importantly, the right marketing medium – to attract your ideal target customer.
 
Reach out to get them to visit and “try out” your business for the first time.
 
Give them great service and make sure they want to come back for more.
 
B) Nurture the relationship – Encourage them to come back again and find a way to get their details to stay in touch in between times. Treat them better – and make them feel more special and cherished than your competitors do.
 
C) Get them to buy – Once they have bought from you 3 to 5 times you have a regular customer. You will find it very easy to get them to spend more money, more often in your business.

 
And if you’re impressed – and maybe even slightly embarrassed – about how well a Primary School is applying these basic principles, you will be stunned by what else they are doing!
 
I’ll be back in a couple of days to show you how they are way ahead of the game when it comes to the very latest in Social Marketing techniques.

 

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