A customer’s journey starts long before they’ve signed a purchase order. It begins when an administrator goes online to search for a solution for challenges she’s facing in her district. Or when a teacher saves a piece of direct mail because it promotes a product that could help with lesson planning.

Simply put, the customer journey starts when educators are just beginning to research a product or service to fulfill specific needs in their districts, schools or classrooms.

It’s a long process from prospecting to signed PO. Therefore, it’s important to map out educators’ journeys through the sales process and develop a strategy for how to nurture those leads at each stage.

McMullan webBy Ann McMullan, www.annmcmullan.com

In the fall of 2013 I retired from my position as Executive Director of Education Technology for Klein ISD near Houston, Texas to move to Los Angeles, California with my family. Klein ISD was an early adopter of technology tools for learning, beginning in the late 90’s. Today Klein ISD – with over 50,000 students –remains at the forefront of innovative teaching and learning to meet the needs of all students.

As I transitioned from leading a school district team in Texas to becoming an independent education consultant based in Los Angeles California, I discovered that the questions I was asked most often revolved around leadership: “How do you navigate the change process in a large organization?” “How do you empower teachers and administrators to move forward?” With those types of questions in mind, in the fall of 2016 I co-authored Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby. The goal of this book is to provide leaders of all ages (“For Leaders Ages 8 to 88”) and occupations with memorable strategies for leading people and processes, especially when it comes to navigating change.

Education, like most industries, has a purchasing cycle. In order to nurture educators down the path to purchase, it’s important to align your marketing and communications to every stage. You must deliver the right information to educators at the right time, and give it to them in the right place and format.

The 4 Stages of the Education Purchasing Cycle

Decision-making in education purchasing is a long process. Before the 2017-18 school year begins, educators will have already started planning purchases for 2018-19. Yet, purchases likely won’t be made until summer 2018.

The education purchasing cycle is made up of four phases, which begins with spring planning and culminates with summer purchasing. Create integrated marketing campaigns tailored to each of these four stages to nurture educators through your sales funnel.  

If Google doesn’t know who you are, do you even exist?

Of course you do. But if your target customers can’t find you when they turn to Google and other search engines to research your products or services, from a sales and marketing standpoint you’re invisible.

That’s why search engine optimization (SEO), the process of increasing your website’s visibility in organic search results, is so important to marketers today. According to HubSpot, 66 percent of marketers say that improving SEO and growing organic presence is a top inbound marketing priority. It should be yours, too.

If you’re considering a website redesign or refresh, move SEO to the top of your to-do list. In fact, SEO is something you should be working on year-round, especially in the summer when the market slows down while educators enjoy summer break.

There are three core SEO ranking factors that are critical to work on and monitor on your company website: content creation, link building and technical SEO. Here are simple things you and your SEO team can do to optimize your website for search in these categories.

In February 2017, Agile Education Marketing asked educators all about email. Do they like receiving emails about education products and services? What prompts them to open and act on these emails? How many of these emails do they receive daily?

Part 2 of our survey results reveals how administrators and teachers interact with emails daily. Click here for Part 1, or view an infographic of the survey results.

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We're the go-to people to build brand recognition and generate leads. Using our comprehensive EdConnect™ database of early childhood, K-12 and higher education institutions and personnel, Agile Education Marketing helps you reach educators at school, at home and online.