It’s that time of year again, when we’re hit with back-to-school marketing everywhere we turn. The stores stock an endless supply of notebooks and folders, discounted clothing flies off the shelves and TV commercials feature the latest sales on backpacks and tennis shoes.
What does back to school mean for businesses? It signals a season of change. Vacation time is over and it’s back to business. It turns out, some of the same ideas associated with a new school year can also be applied to business.
Below, we demonstrate the connection between the two and show why now might be a great time to take a fresh look at your marketing efforts.
First impression – When going back to school, kids are typically concerned about that first impression with their classmates. Do they have the latest kicks or freshest gear? Take time to step back and evaluate how your brand looks to your customers. Is it a little old and tired? Does it wear crazy outfits but is a really nice person once you get to know it?
You get my point. Customers (like schoolkids) are quick to judge. So, make sure your customers are seeing the best version of yourself. A brand refresh may be in order.
New supplies – Each year, schools send a new list of needed supplies to incoming students. Let’s equate that to your marketing collateral. What new supplies could you use this year? Your needs may change based on upcoming events, different target audiences, variations in processes, etc. Are there areas of your business that could benefit from new print or digital marketing?
It’s important to keep your marketing fresh, current and targeted. Case in point: You can use your basic 10-digit calculator for calculus, but it won’t be as effective as those high-tech graphing ones.
Syllabus – At the beginning of each semester, students usually receive a syllabus outlining what topics will be covered and when the major tests will take place. Marketing communications plans are the counterpart for business marketing. They are strategic documents, planned in advance, to help you stay organized and coordinate your efforts. Don’t be reactive and ask for things needed yesterday. Instead, stay ahead of the game with a marketing plan.
Old and new friendships – Students get excited for school to start because they can reconnect with friends and make new ones. Is your brand marketing continually connecting with your customers to remain top of mind? Do you have a lead generation strategy to attract, engage and convert your customers into your brand’s BFF?
Regular reviews – Schools have tests at regular intervals to assess students’ knowledge of a subject to that point. Don’t forget to regularly review your marketing campaigns and engage in A/B testing. The marketing plan is not meant to be created once and then lost under a stack of paper. It’s meant to be a living guide that can be edited and amended.
That’s it. Class has ended. I hope this refresher course gives you the extra credit you need for A+ results.
Interested in a strategic partner to determine your marketing refresh needs? Take a look at our marketing services and consider Marketwave.