McMullan webBy Ann McMullan, www.annmcmullan.com

This is the second in a series of five monthly articles providing tips for ed tech vendors to use when working with school clients to implement innovative solutions for teaching and learning. Each month we pull a leadership lesson from Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby., a book I co-authored in 2016. 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.

Last month we explored the topic of why listening is the number one key skill for any leader. This month’s reflections come from Chapter 2 in the book.

Data from a 2017 Agile Education Marketing survey reveals that educators value email for communicating with vendors about their products and services. Ultimate Email Marketing Toolkit However, research also indicates that your competitors have caught on to email’s effectiveness, as educators receive many emails every single day — often reaching the double digits.

Your messages must make a statement in crowded inboxes. Not only do they need to get noticed, they also need to get opened, read and acted on. The Ultimate Email Marketing Toolkit, sponsored by Agile and PR with Panache!, is packed with 11 helpful resources you can use and reuse to build better email campaigns.

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.  

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