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Marketing to Parents? Here are 3 Questions to Answer First

Marketing an educational product or service to parents opens numerous avenues for acquiring customers and increasing revenue. In addition, if your offering extends to schools attended by the parents' children, your marketing can amplify your company's reach into schools. However, marketing to such a diverse audience requires an investment of resources over an extended period of time. Crafting a thoughtful marketing strategy is essential for maximizing the efficiency of your efforts to reach this broad audience. 


parents with a child at a computer


Questions to Answer When Marketing to Parents


To get started, we recommend asking yourself these three questions to help you get into the mindset of the parents you're marketing to:


  • Why would parents seek an educational product or service like yours?

  • What would hold them back from buying from you?

  • Where do parents spend their time online and in person?


Doing market research to understand the types of parents you're marketing to will help you use your time and resources more effectively. You'll create messages for your marketing that are more relatable in getting parents' attention. You'll also have a better idea of where to market to reach them, so you're not wasting efforts. Let's dive into each question and why these are important for you to consider.


Why would parents seek an educational product or service like yours?


As you build your strategy for marketing to parents, one thing to keep in mind is that most parents are not ready to buy from you right now. There are stages that people go through when making a purchase, and the more important it is for the family, the longer it will take them to go through the buying journey. 


The process starts when they realize they have a problem or a need. Maybe their child just got their second report card with slipping grades, was just diagnosed with ADHD, or just finished their first year of high school and they are looking into colleges. It's at this moment that parents will start researching options.


Related to your product, think about what happens in a family's life that would prompt them to conduct research that would lead them to a solution like yours. Address that moment in your content marketing, whether it's in blog posts, videos, or downloadable checklists, to help get your company in front of parents at this moment to build brand recognition. 


What would hold them back from buying from you?


The reality is that parents will be comparing your product or service to other solutions. When they do that, they will have a set of criteria in their minds they will use to decide between the options. When marketing to parents, you want to be aware of how they make their selections, including what might stop them from buying. 


In many cases, cost is at the top of the list. Reputation is also an essential factor for an education product. Identify the top three factors parents evaluate when deciding which solution to buy and address them in your marketing.


For example, if cost is a concern, offer a free trial or free resources so they can experience what you offer and determine if it's worth the price. Or, try promotional discounts or test different price points.


The reputation of an education company is usually critical to a parent. If it's an edtech product, they'll want to ensure the product is safe from a data privacy perspective and effective in helping them learn. For education services like tutoring, parents will want to know that the tutor is trustworthy for their child to spend time with and knowledgeable.


To help build a reputation for your education company, start with delivering a solid product or service with responsive customer service to address any issues. A good experience for the parent will feed into positive testimonials, reviews, quotes, and word-of-mouth recommendations for you to highlight on your website, in your emails, and in promotional items. 


In addition to quotes from other parents, you can also build a reputation by showcasing the expertise of your company's leaders through press mentions, blog posts, content on your website, or social media posts by company leaders.


Where do parents spend their time online and in person?


The main goal for marketing to parents is to find ways to get your education company in front of them in multiple ways. They will need to see your company name multiple times before it registers enough for them to want to visit your website and check you out.


Build a profile of what type of parents you're trying to reach to help you narrow in on how to connect with them. For example, parents' lifestyles change tremendously through the stages and ages of their children. A new parent is very different from a parent of a high schooler. Through online research and talking to your existing customers, find out where these parents hang out and where they go to research. A new parent will rely a lot on online searching, whereas a high school parent has a network of parents and will use word-of-mouth recommendations. 


Keep in mind that not everyone is ready to buy right now. Going back to the first question, you want to get in front of parents at the beginning of the buying journey when they first realize they have a problem. So, in addition to finding where they research, consider the average day of a parent. They might be in Facebook groups, follow certain social media accounts, listen to podcasts, or spend time in the car driving their kids to sports events. Find ways to market your education product or service to parents in those venues also.


There's a lot of potential for education companies marketing to parents. There are 84 million families in the United States and to effectively capture that audience, approach your marketing strategically in order to get parents' attention and convince them to buy from you over another solution. 



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