The Teich Group, Inc.

Articles

A Practitioner’s Reflections on Education Marketing

What's your story?

Humans are wired for story. People have been telling stories to each other since our earliest days on the planet. 

From cocktail parties to business appointments to PTA meetings, we ask each other some variation of “what’s your story?” 

Stories anchor us to a place, to a life, to each other. 

In the south where I’ve spent most of my life – first questions include where do you come from? who are your people? what church do you go to? what do you do? We’re looking for connection.

All over the world, folks are asking each other variations of these same questions. We have a natural curiosity about other people and their similarities and differences to us. At the same time, we are driven to assess those around us to determine if they are friend or foe. Do we let them in or shut them out? 

Evaluating each other’s stories is a daily practice for most of us—consciously or unconsciously.

Telling Brand Stories

In the same way we’re wired for story, we’re wired to resist hard-edged sales pressure, whether in person or through media. We don’t want to be “sold to” or “marketed to.”

But if you tell us a story, we might listen. Put a face on it. Let us see your motivation. Stories intrigue us, entertain us, inform us. 

To tell an effective story, we need to know our audience and what they’re interested in hearing. 

This is the essence of good marketing. And good marketing is driven by interesting, authentic content that addresses the needs, hopes, and desires of our audience.

Educators don’t want to be dazzled by the latest edtech whats-it. They don’t want to be sold. 

They want to shut us out if we’re selling. Because educators want to enrich and improve the lives of their students, they want to hear stories of how other educators have improved engagement or impacted the learning environment.

To tell your brand story effectively, you need to understand the challenges educators face, and provide them with real solutions that help them solve those challenges. Sharing stories with educators and providing them with helpful, no-strings-attached content is the best way to build credibility with an audience. 

Your brand story is not about you. It’s about your audience.

Writing good content for your content marketing program gives you the opportunity to provide authentic information or real assistance to educators. Only then, can you begin to build a relationship with them. You need to establish your value to them before you ask them to buy from you.

And we can’t assume we know what educators need if we haven’t had conversations with them wherever they are—schools, districts, and college and university campuses. 

Education marketers who are effective storytellers understand their customer’s challenges.

They provide valuable information at every stage of the buyer’s journey. They establish themselves as trusted partners. They do this by sharing stories of educators who have faced similar challenges successfully. 

And don’t forget to share your own story!

Why are you an education vendor? What makes you care so much about educators and students? How do you think you can help? What’s your background or experience?

What’s your story?   

Annie Teich