When Marketing to K-12, Know Your Targets

When Marketing to K-12, Know Your Targets

It’s an understatement to say that it’s an exercise in complexity to market to K-12. Here’s how it generally works (and I use the term “works” lightly): You want the largest possible sale. That means marketing that sets the stage for district-wide orders. But getting messages to district supervisors is like a hunt for the Holy Grail. And how easy is it to get ahold of the Holy Grail? Exactly.

So what’s a K-12 marketer to do? In addition to your district-level efforts, you’ve got to market bottom-up as well. That has the potential to create the buzz you’ll need to excite educators and lead to recommendations to the district office.

So who are the right site-based targets for many of the products we create? When targeting,  here’s who I’ve found to be the most responsive folks to send your marketing messages.

High School Department Chairs

Use department chairs as you main target for HS curricular materials. They’re more accessible and possibly more relevant than principals, and in some districts they carry a significant level of influence over curriculum purchases.

Elementary School Principals

Clearly, principals at the elementary level have the capability to be more integral to day-to-day decisions than their secondary school counterparts. They are a critical and many times responsive target for any elementary school offering.

Yes! School Secretaries and Administrators!

There are over 100,000 gatekeepers in K-12 education. In many instances, if you don’t get them onboard, you’ll never get the job done. In the past I’ve marketed directly to this group, asking them to pass along information to the right decision-makers in their school. And guess what? It works!

Lead/Head Teachers

Generally not a big group, but you can get to these folks by grade level in elementary schools.

Technology Champions

A great select for your web-based or tech offerings. They’re generally in the loop for tech purchases, and can be a sensible initial point of contact.

When marketing to K-12, be as targeted as you need to be without getting too narrow. Your method of deployment is going to dictate how aggressively you’ll need to target. For social media, go as wide as you can. Narrow it down somewhat for outbound email. Tighten it dramatically if you’re going old school with direct mail, or using it to augment your other approaches.

For more specifics on marketing to K-12, download the e-books below.

The K-12 Marketing Toolkit:  11 Essential Components
Direct Marketing to K-12 Education

Photo:  Bogdan Suditu


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