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Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?



Fast forward to 2024, and the educational marketing landscape is now vastly more complex than it was even 10 years ago. Direct mail, email, and tradeshow marketing may still offer educational marketers viable ROI, but marketers need to be more selective and careful implementing these channels. If your company uses email marketing, then check out our useful dos and don'ts by clicking here. These channels are certainly not dead, but educational marketers need to do a lot more work and planning to get the value they once got from these channels.  

Sadly, over the last decade educational institutions (particularly schools and districts) have become easy targets for bad actors who deploy cyber-attacks using ransomware or other malware threats. These attacks frequently originate from phishing emails that are sent to schools and districts disguised as legitimate promotions.  Schools, school districts, and other educational facilities have been forced to implement aggressive cyber-security protocols to ensure that institutional services are protected, and confidential data is not compromised.  The risks for lax standards are simply too great, so these types of highly visible and critical community institutions are going the extra mile to ensure they do not become the next victim.  Marketers need to understand how these protective steps work and make sure they operate in ways that adhere to the proper “Do’s and Don’ts” for these institutions.

Obviously, there were other marketing channels available to educational marketers during this time, such as space advertising in educational journals/publications, webinars and reseller marketing efforts (to name just a few). Then came the internet.


In the early years of the internet (post-2000 era) companies all ran to create their website and learn about SEO.  Educational product and service companies quickly moved everything to online ordering and companies were able to put lots more product information on each product webpage (vs in a print catalog page).  These websites helped answer frequently asked questions and allowed customers and prospects to have instant access to product and service information 24/7 and in many cases order products or services online too.  But even then, a significant portion of lead generation activity still came from direct mail and tradeshow efforts.  The idea was to drive prospects and customers to the website for more information, but the leads still came from traditional channels. Catalogs began to shrink in size because all the detailed product information could now be found on the website.  But getting teachers, administrators and school staff interested in your product or service still required direct outreach to them.  Then came Email marketing and change 2.0.

Over the next decade (2010 to 2019) that began to change too.  The enormous growth of email marketing to educators was one of the first things to take place.  Email campaigns were cheap to create and easy to send. Marketers aggressively pushed out email campaigns by the millions to any and all educators they could. Educational marketers hammered away non-stop at this channel, and it worked well for most. Marketing costs were cut by using it and allowed educational marketers to actually communicate more frequently with customers and prospects.  Where direct mail was slow, time intensive and expensive - email marketing was fast, inexpensive, far reaching and had much faster ROI.   As direct mail costs increased, more effort and marketing dollars were pushed into website SEO and email marketing. 


At the same time email marketing was exploding, industry trade shows began to shrink in size as alternative methods of online and free continuing “Professional Development – PD” education hours became available to educators.  Educators did not need to attend as many tradeshows to keep up with their CE credits.  The attendance at smaller more niche educational conferences began to drop steadily year after year and then COVID hit.  COVID quickly destroyed many educational trade groups and niche trade shows.


Then came Programmatic Digital B2B marketing and change 3.0.

For many decades the marketing of educational products and services used to fall to two main “Heavy Lifting” channels, direct mail (mainly catalog marketing) and tradeshow marketing.  These two marketing channels represented a huge portion of almost every educational product and service company’s spending, and frequently represented where 80% of the sales leads typically originated from. 


Educational marketers now have many new additional strong channels to choose from, including influence marketing, YouTube video marketing, webinars, social media marketing, amplified content marketing and now programmatic digital marketing. How your company can best achieve growth in finding new educator prospects will depend on many factors like:

  1. How technical is your product or service and what training is required to use or buy it?

  2. What is the size of the addressable prospect audience you need to reach?

  3. What is the price of your product or service and how does that factor in with public bidding requirements, district approval, etc.?

  4. Is your product student based, teacher productivity based, administrative based, school use based, district wide based, etc.?

  5. Is your product / service unique or more of a commodity solution?

Depending on the answer to these questions and others, an array of approaches may be needed to successfully drive an aggressive marketing strategy that leads to success on the sales front.  The days of being able to successfully use only one or two approaches (done well) are over for most educational marketers.  Most educational product and service companies will need to invest in a range of awareness approaches and educational marketing approaches. 

So today, we want to talk about a new and exciting addition to the mix called Programmatic Digital advertising.   Few in the B2B educational world of K-12 teacher and K-12 administrator focused products and services are using this approach.  But we feel that is about to change in the years ahead. This website will help you understand why we believe this to be true.  It will also help educate you on what Programmatic Digital advertising is and how you can use it effectively. 

This site will also talk about the limitations for educational marketers and how you can maximize your ROI using this new channel.

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

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