August 28, 2013

PTAs & PTOs – School Buying Decisions Are Influenced by Parents. Connect With Them!

Even been to a school bake sale lately?

These enthusiast groups of parents play more than just a role of distributing cookies. They now are strong influencers in the decisions schools make and in the development of education marketing plans.

The responsibility of decision making which was once reserved for paid staff of administrators and teachers is now taken over by parents. Dollars spent by schools on education and teaching material are now predominantly decided by parent groups such as Parent Teachers Associations and Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO).

Why you need to engage and connect with PTAs and PTOs?

Consider this:
  • Most of 80,000+ K-8 schools in the US have a parent group in form or the other.
  • 77% of these K-8 groups are independent PTOs working at schools their kids are enrolled in.
  • Approximately $2 billion is amount they generate yearly mainly from fundraising events, donations and auctions at schools. 
  • And this $2 billion is spent on school equipment, curriculum material and education software. 

This is a huge opportunity for education marketers and connecting with this group influencers in the education market is as important as targeting administrators and educators.

So, How to Sell to PTAs and PTOs?

When selling to PTAs and PTOs, marketers need to have a slightly different approach.
  • The product should be lower priced than those sold to school administrations.
  • There should be a commitment to providing support in order to make selling easier and profitable.
  • The products should be designed such that it’s easily consumable and is made for frequent purchase.
The important aspect in selling to PTS and PTOs is to address a pain-point and provide a solution. Marketers can easily generate sales from schools provided they have a relevant products and a well defined marketing and support plan. 

Make parent groups as an ally
Provide valuable resources
Make them look good in their community
And they will more likely promote your marketing messages

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