From School to MAT. Where they are in the life cycle dictates your marketing messages

By November 1, 2017Blog

Are you advising or targeting Schools, Academies and MATs?

By segmenting the database of targets you can improve your business development results. It’s all about the data and for those targeting academies there are three distinct markets:

Those converting / not yet converted

Single academy trust

Multi-academy trust (MATs)

Their requirements / where they are in their life cycle should determine what messages you use to create and build relationships. The reality is the majority of professional service firms send the same messages to the whole market.

Their place in the life cycle will determine some of their motivations / requirements.

  1. Those yet to convert are getting more and more worried about local authority services, their motivation to consider conversion is also around loss. After all, everyone that’s converted is constantly promoting what a great decision it was and those who haven’t are losing out by not joining in.
  2. Single academy trusts have a process in place to review advisors every 3 years or so. Many used biggish names on conversion and are now finding their fees can be beaten handsomely by more agile competition. The single academy trusts (mustn’t call them SATs) are also being courted by MATs, where of course the grass is greener. The pressure is on for Governors / Trustees to carry on the change process.
  3. MATs are growing and searching for improved solutions to offer the market, it’s a competitive world and they need USPs.

A truth you need to understand

You may have read in an earlier blog HERE, that to win a tender you have to be known well, before you get to the tender stage. They’ll give you a hearing but they won’t buy from you, unless they know you well. The trick is to constantly be on their radar, rather than just 3 months before the tender.

Being on their radar does mean, meeting them and helping them formulate a strategy, but it also means that your marketing output makes you look appropriate for them.

Segment your market and message appropriately

There are two reasons why you should ensure your database of target academies appropriately describes where they are in the life cycle.

  1. So you don’t make a X@?!! of yourself by asking them to consider something they’ve already done or don’t need. “hey fancy a conversion?” “nope done that already”.
  2. So your message ads value to their canon of knowledge, it makes them prick up their ears, it is a resonant message.

For example consider how an employment law message can be spun to the three markets.

  1. Staff engagement. Thinking of converting? Our survey results might save you hundreds of thousands…..
  2. Staff engagement. Survey shows single site academies need to compete…..
  3. Staff engagement. Survey shows some MATs are doing better than others…….

It’s all about the data

In the example above the same cost has gone into the Survey BUT the outcomes for the employment department of the law firm are improved hugely because the messages are relevant to the reader.

Law Firms, Accountants and Consultants of all shapes and sizes, spend fortunes on their brands, getting in the press, events, advertising etc. BUT forget that their target market of ‘schools’ is not one amorphous group.

The answer is very simple. Ensure your database is correct and kept up to date. This is most frequently a role that is outsourced.

If you’re interested in data on the education sector and lead generation please click below to speak with a specialist.