How do you market yourself in an industry with a very long sales cycle? Buyers in education typically take nine to 18 months to finalize a sale, and the influencers and decision-makers in the “buyers cloud” require a personalized and nuanced approach to win them over and convert the sale. To generate quality top-of-funnel leads, an education marketing agency must clearly understand what works—and equally important, what doesn’t in this sector.
Traditional Marketing Methods Aren’t Effective
History shows that trade shows and conferences are the best places to develop leads. However, only a small portion of potential buyers in the education space go to such events. Traditional marketing methods such as cold-calling or emailing also yield very low levels of ROI in the space. To improve ROI, the top of the funnel must contain quality leads captured when decision-makers are in the most receptive part of their personal (i.e. organizational) sales cycle.
An utter lack of variety in the mature channels through which education products and services can be sold complicates advertising in the education media market. On a very basic level, there are simply not enough publications (print or digital) through which potential buyers can learn about and purchase products, equipment and technology. Case in point: “Education Week” and “ASCD’s Educational Leader” are two of the largest media destinations, yet they only reach a combined total of approximately 5 percent of the administrators, mid-level administrators and teachers who play an important role in the purchase of goods and services.
Branding, too, is not as powerful in education marketing as it is in many other industries.