By: Verlan Stephens, Managing Partner
Marketers are always one (or two) steps ahead. When everyone is in back-to-school mode, your fall campaigns are in full swing, you’re wrapping up winter work and you’re setting your sights on spring.
This forward-thinking isn’t premature — it’s smart. Spring is a critical season in education purchasing. Though most transactions won’t occur until summer, districts and schools begin setting funds aside around April.
That’s why it’s important to prepare spring campaigns months in advance. When decision-makers return from winter break, you need to be ready to get in front of them with information they need to make purchases.
One of the first steps in preparing spring campaigns is gathering, cleaning and organizing your data.
Over summer 2018 alone, Agile added 47,000 personnel to our database and removed 111,000. We also updated information for 449,000 existing personnel. Our records show that 706 schools opened, and 1,292 shut their doors. During the Fall, we’ll continue to update our information on millions of educators and hundreds of thousands of schools.
The data you pull for spring campaigns must reflect these changes to ensure you reach the right decision-makers. But data also can be helpful now, as you plan those spring initiatives. Take these steps to use data in two key ways: research and outreach.
1. Use your existing data for research.
Your current customers offer a wealth of insight into which educator demographics are most likely to generate leads and sales. But reviewing that long list of contacts yourself is a monumental task.
A tool like e-profile from Agile can easily identify your best prospects. E-profile quickly analyzes your customer data by key education demographics. Along the way, it answers questions like, “What are the common characteristics of our top customers?” and “Do certain campaigns perform better among specific demographics?” Use this information to inform your overall targeting and messaging.
2. Gather new data around district and school initiatives.
You can never have too much data. Imagine you’re selling an ebook library to schools. It certainly would be valuable to know which districts are 1:1, right?
You could painstakingly gather that information yourself, or you could use EdIntel to identify the markets that might be most lucrative. EdIntel offers insider insight into the products, services and initiatives that matter most to your prospects. Apply that knowledge to prepare stronger marketing messages and sales presentations.
3. Build prospect lists for lead gen.
Expand the reach of your marketing efforts with prospecting data. Engaging with educators outside of your in-house file is a smart way to get in front of more educators leading up to spring.
When working with prospect data, choose a provider, like Agile, that regularly updates their database to ensure accuracy. Work with that company to determine which titles and demographics best suit your goals. If possible, run a test campaign to predict future success.
4. Practice data hygiene.
While you work on building prospect lists, clean your house file to improve response. Removing cold, inaccurate or duplicate contacts will ensure you’re not wasting your time — or money — trying to engage with educators who will never convert.
Agile offers a range of database services. We can match your house file to our extensive database to add contacts, remove duplicates, standardize data entries, and even add missing or inaccurate information. We’ll save your team time spent reaching out to cold leads or searching for information to fill in blanks in your system.
5. Contact Agile
Agile not only offers a comprehensive database of preK-12 educators and personnel, but also a wide range of tools and services to help you access and use data more efficiently. Whether you need to gather market intelligence, tap new data for prospecting or update the data already in your CRM, Agile can assist. Contact us now to start preparing your data for spring.
About the Author
Verlan Stephens is a Founder and Managing Partner at Agile Education Marketing with more than 30 years of experience compiling, managing and analyzing large information databases. He applies that knowledge and skill to lead Agile’s data compilation efforts. He also provides expertise in data trending and market intelligence. Verlan is passionate about helping companies use data to better understand the education market and make research-based decisions around product and business development in the education space. Reach Verlan at firstname.lastname@example.org.