I’m always rather nervous about phrases such as “Be continuous, be different”, because more often than not because the need for a snappy phrase can overwhelm any important meaning within the phrase.
Even with “Be continuous, be different” (which I do like as a phrase) there is a problem – because one still has to be relevant. One has to know what teachers believe, what they think and what they want. And do know such things one has to do some research (something very few companies do – despite the fact that our research costs start at £25 per year!)
I’ll give a few examples of research that we have undertaken of late:
A company involved in running Enterprise Days was finding it difficult to get bookings in schools, and so constructed a questionnaire which asked if the school taught enterprise as a subject, whether they had an enterprise day, whether they used an outside company or not, (if so which one), and whether they were using bought in materials and teaching enterprise themselves.
The survey enabled the company to decide how to pitch their adverts, and whether to sell an Enterprise Day service or whether to publish their materials so the school could run the day.
The total cost was £100. If you would like to see a sample research form, please click on this line
In another example we had a customer who argued that their computerised literacy product was unique when it came to encouraging disengaged 7 and 8 year old boys to read.
When their adverts failed we sent an email to the appropriate teachers which said, “If you are faced with disengaged 7 and 8 year old boys who refuse to read, which software do you use?”
There was no form to fill in – we were just asking teachers to reply by email.
Our thesis was that if the product really was unique then the teachers would be saying “there isn’t anything I know about – but if you find something let me know”. In fact they wrote back and overwhelmingly nominated two software packages and from here we were able to construct adverts showing exactly what our client’s product did, which their rivals’ did not. Sales increased dramatically.
Companies that are listed on the School Procurement Site (www.top5.org.uk) get the benefit of research we undertake. We write to teachers asking them to tell us what products or services they are looking for at the present, and we send on that information to the companies listed on the site. The cost is only £25 for a year. Call 01536 399 000 if you want to join in.
Here’s one final example of research. If you are ready to do a solo postal campaign, do a trial run of a few hundred schools first, to make sure you advert works. A 300 school trial will cost around £150 – and most trials, even if they don’t reach a profitable level, will bring in some sales, so the cost (even of a failed trial) is usually much less than this.
It is because the cost of postal trial mailings to schools is so low, and yet the possible response level so high, that postal experiments are so popular – indeed some firms do several trials at once to find the best way of advertising their products. Do call if you would like talk through organising a trial.
You can organise all such research experiments individually – but if you are on the Velocity programme, we’ll come up with the ideas, and we’ll include the running of the research within the monthly Velocity fee. More details on www.velocity.ac – or all 01536 399 000.