Marketing to Schools: Are You Thinking Agile Enough?

Marketing to Schools: Are You Thinking Agile Enough?

Agile marketing is a phrase that’s being used a lot in marketing circles at the moment. It’s something we’ll probably co...

Agile marketing is a phrase that’s being used a lot in marketing circles at the moment. It’s something we’ll probably co...

John Smith
John Smith
Published: 19th June 2013

Agile marketing is a phrase that’s being used a lot in marketing circles at the moment. It’s something we’ll probably come back to in more detail at a later date, but for now I wanted to talk about one of the key themes and give you some ideas about how you can use agile marketing to sell more to schools and teachers.

At the heart of Agile Marketing is the belief that there is no longer a place for a marketing plan in your marketing plan. Does that make sense? In simple terms; your most effective marketing activities will be those that respond quickly to topical news stories or events and not those that can be planned in advance.

At Sprint we’ve been harping on about how important it is to be aware of all the mini events and celebrations in the school calendar for quite some time now. But reacting quickly to topical news stories within the education sector should also be an essential part of your marketing to schools strategy.

Of course, the rise of agile marketing is largely due to the emergence of social media, which gives companies the opportunity to react almost instantly to breaking news stories and ride on the back of #populartrends, but it is still very relevant to email marketing.

And being agile doesn’t have to involve reacting to stories from the education sector alone: Some of the great examples of agile marketing have involved some pretty out of the box thinking. It’s always worth asking the question, “What is the entire planet talking about right now that might be in some way relevant to my business?”

Let’s have a fun look at 3 of our favourite examples of Agile Marketing:

Just one day after Eden Hazard whipped up a media storm by kicking a ball boy in the League Cup Semi Final, Specsavers took out full page adverts in all the national newspapers. Their advert had a picture of a ball boy with a red cross next to it and below, a picture of a football with a green tick next to it. The heading was, ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’. Funny, very agile and a trick they also used in their email marketing to great effect.

On the day that 33 Chilean Miners were due to be rescued after spending two months underground in near pitch darkness, Oakley donated sunglasses to all the miners to protect their eyes from the ultraviolet light. More than a billion viewer’s then saw the miners emerge wearing the sunglasses. This was fantastic exposure for Oakley and it provided them with great ammunition for future email communication to its clients.

Guess what topical news event Virgin Media were capitalising on when they issued the below ‘apology’:

“As many of our TiVo customers may have noticed while browsing our tailor made collections of topical on-demand films, the collection entitled #Mooovies which promised a rich selection of films starring cows, did in fact contain films primarily featuring horses.” (Incidentally the article had a large heading of ‘We Apologise’…. a brilliant way of ensuring that people read the article).

Obviously such a playful approach isn’t going to be appropriate for all companies that sell to schools and teachers (there are examples where it’s gone wrong too), but when it’s done right it can have a massive impact and create a real buzz around your brand. So keep your eyes peeled, start thinking outside the box, and most importantly, be prepared to drop everything and react quickly when you see an opportunity!

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