Guest blog post by Angela Ridpath, VP Marketing MCH Strategic Data
It starts with a great idea. That idea is tested, and you have a proof of concept. You are ready to start selling. Where do you go from here?
If you’re like many EdTech startups, you are probably facing some challenges with reaching your actual target. Your users may be different from those who procure your product or influence buying decisions. You realize really quickly that teachers and district leaders are all focused on slightly different factors when making purchasing decisions.
You need to identify your users, influencers and decision-makers and message appropriately to them. Effective outreach, in combination with an account based marketing strategy, will help you effectively reach and motivate your audiences.
Tip 1: Understand your target users
Identify your audiences. There will most likely be more than one, which is why it’s important to clearly identify who you are trying to reach and what will motivate them to take action. You may start by targeting teachers, but your ultimate goal is to upsell to districts. You might go straight to district leaders, but the end users are teachers and students. Whatever the case may be, identifying the right target audience will allow you to focus your message and position your value proposition in a meaningful way.
Tip 2: One size does not fit all
Effective account based marketing strategies are tailored to each audience. This type of personalization goes beyond identifying a salutation. Your “story” needs to be different when selling to schools. Tailor your story to address the specific problems you are solving for that audience. You will often need several versions of the same marketing collateral, one for each audience.
Tip 3: Put data in the driver’s seat
Accurate, quality data should be the foundation to your account based approach. The more tailored and personalized you get, the more you should rely on quality K-12 education data. Teachers move, retire and change titles. New teachers enter the workforce. These monthly fluctuations can have a great impact on your ability to build your brand and grow sales. New roles, district job titles and job functions have also emerged, and are still emerging. Clearly identifying who those technology champions are at each district is important.
Tip 4: Frequency makes a difference
In many cases, sales cycles with districts are fairly long and it can take 9-18 months to close a deal. That’s why it’s important to have - a phased marketing approach. Building lead nurturing strategies for prospects is important. Keep your brand and your message in front of your audience, so when they are ready to purchase, they will know who you are and have developed a sense of trust.
Tip 5: Outreach enables growth
Many EdTech startups believe that if you build it, they will come and rely solely on organic growth. Organic growth is very important. However, in a crowded, often over-served environment, purchasing quality K-12 education contact names can enable rapid expansion and fuel growth. Appending quality third-party data to your existing database can also enhance your attributes, allowing you to segment even deeper.
About MCH Strategic Data
MCH knows education. After decades of helping educators, students and families, the K-12 and childcare markets are near to our hearts. Founded on the publishing and distribution of children’s books, MCH has grown into a data information company that commits the same care and quality to our B2B clients as we did directly with schools and families. Learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or mchdata.com.