- Education Suppliers
- international schools
In an ISC webinar for education suppliers this week, two experts shared some valuable insights that highlighted how essential it is to have accurate knowledge of the international schools market for sales success.
Dylan Jones, who leads global business development and strategy for Follett said that international schools have a unique business cycle, both from an ordering and budget perspective. “Ensuring your sales and marketing, as well as operations and support, are in tune with this is essential,” he told suppliers wishing to develop their business with international schools.
Dylan explained how the marketing and sales activities at Follett are targeted to school needs and opportunities appropriate for the time of year. In the spring and summer, this includes:
- Back to School offers
- Ensuring schools understand what’s coming up in the year ahead
- Focusing on closing down any curriculum gaps with supplemental materials
- Focusing on software and tools that will support the school that are less cyclical
In addition, Dylan said: “Brand awareness and social media can play a good part in building your profile, as teachers often check social media over the summer but not email.” Informative social media content, rather than promotional content will generate engagement.
Dylan suggested differentiating marketing and sales for types of schools, and for Southern and Northern Hemisphere international schools as school years vary significantly. “It’s becoming increasingly important to do this as schools, both in the Southern Hemisphere and schools in the UAE, for instance, that have an Indian or Australian curriculum, become more important,” he explained. “So, it’s about targeting your marketing to meet the calendar and curriculum needs of these schools.”
Nalini Cook who is International Schools Relations Manager at ISC Research and has worked directly with schools all over the world, explained the international school purchasing calendar. “Orders need to placed at specific times of the year to guarantee delivery of resources for the new school year,” she said. “International schools have to factor in transportation time, customs and other possible delays such as censorship or regulator checks. That’s why it’s so important to plan your marketing and sales strategies around this purchasing calendar,” she added.
Dylan and Nalini also offered advice on effective routes to market, the best people in international schools to engage with, and shared some valuable tips for engaging with international schools at this time of year. If you would like a recording of the full 30-minute webinar, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org