How to Market to Schools

Every year the education budget in the UK is set to over £85 billion and successive governments seem very keen on protecting this portion of their budget. The reasons for this are plenty but that’s not what we want to discuss here, it kind of doesn’t matter. What matters is how you get your business in front of school buyers, how you market to schools and how you make schools a part of your turnover.

Because their budgets are being protected, it is important to remember that once you have a good database of schools buying from you, provided you look after them and provide a good service, you will enjoy a good customer life span and a reliable source of income. Public sector bodies like schools also pay you on time giving you reliable cashflow. So, just how do you market to schools and guarantee yourself a good return on your investment.

Well firstly, it is important for you to know your audience. Within a school there will be scores of budget holders and decision makers. Companies selling textbooks based around Maths or French have the easiest task – target the heads of these departments. Companies selling catering or maintenance services have a slightly more segmented task – in a Primary school it is likely you will be dealing with the head, in a Secondary school you could be dealing with the bursar, the business manager, or the catering or site manager. Right from the start when you embark on a campaign to market to schools, you must remember to get the target right. You are not selling to the school, you are usually marketing to department within it.

Secondly, you need to know how your product is relevant to schools and market your product to schools accordingly. Again with the textbooks, this is easy, your whole product is probably designed for schools and so your campaign to market to schools can be designed for the audience. However, if you are selling grounds maintenance to sports clubs, schools and motorway service stations for example, then you will need a different approach for the three markets. It may sound obvious, but too many companies get this wrong, and just assume that one advertising campaign fits all. Whilst this may be true within the private sector, when you market to schools, it is not. You need to tailor both your marketing and your product offering to schools or the teachers you intend to target.

The third and final consideration when you market to schools is that your product and your service are right for schools and that you have the facilities in place to provide the necessary support that a school will need. As we said at the beginning of this article, schools have large and protected budgets, so developing long term relationships is key and should be remembered when you market to schools. So, be sensible and be honest – market your product or service to schools in an open and honest manner and do not oversell yourself or your company, you want to slowly build up a portfolio of schools who buy from you, not make a quick buck and ruin your reputation.

Always remember when you market to schools that knowing your audience is the most important first step – it will save you time and money! Make sure your product is designed for the school, and make sure you market it well. Finally, think about the long game – slowly grow your portfolio and the rewards will be huge.

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Movement Marketing: Build a Successful Business

Why Movement Marketing?
A fundamental shift is taking place in the Customer Engagement economy that deals with the way in which we communicate with customers and prospects and the way in which we build our brand. How we do that must be done in a certain way to make sure that we are building a brand that is built to last. There is an alignment between the values of customers and prospects and the values of the companies they do business with, and it’s much more than simply understanding values and shaping culture. Yes, all that is super important, but it’s part of a bigger picture.

Wanting to learn more about this subject, my research includes reading a very interesting book recently, Scott Goodson’s Uprising: How to Build a Brand – and Change the World – by Sparkling Cultural Movements, published by McGraw-Hill. I give credit where credit is due in sharing many ideas from that book. If the information resonates with you, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. And if you really like what we’re talking about, you can tweet the author, as I did, and encourage him to do an interview for Customer Engagement Magazine and directly share some great ideas as one of the experts in this field.

Let’s start with the Mind Map on Movement Marketing and study what Movement Marketing is all about. Most people think of a movement in the context of overthrowing a government, and while that is one type of movement, it’s not today’s discussion.

What is a movement? A movement is a group of passionate people with a shared identity who are committed to implementing a change in the world. There are macro movements and micro movements. The movement is often based on a set of values and beliefs that fuel its growth. A couple of key points stand out here. It’s a group of passionate people, not a group of people who are not passionate. They have a shared identity and are committed to implementing something that they strongly believe. They are all individuals but have something in common that binds them together. A movement is often tied to a higher purpose of creating meaning in the world.

Why do people enroll in a movement? There are a number of reasons: an enchanting leader captivates them; a movement helps them to do something they otherwise could not do.; the social psychology of wanting to belong to a bigger group. It’s frankly cool in some cases, and human beings naturally like to organize in groups. Also, there is a perception of strength, which is very significant. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, President Obama had a stronger movement than all of the people he competed with for the presidency. He was very good at building a movement to mobilize his message and get it out into the world, and he was successful with it. Movements are very important, and I’ll share some business movements as we continue.

Why is a movement relevant? There’s a growing hunger for meaning in the world, for a sense of belonging, of purpose and significance in a complex and challenging world. People want their lives to matter and their values to be aligned with something that is important to them as well as to the bigger picture. As mentioned, movements can occur at the macro level and at the micro level. For example, the Arab Spring is a macro level movement, while Livestrong, formally associated with Lance Armstrong in fighting cancer, is more of a micro movement.

There is immense power behind these movements and mobilizing people to push their ideas forward to obtain a result. There’s an input, an output, and an outcome that movements try to strike. Some movements have been successful, some haven’t. For example, Occupy Wall Street wasn’t very well organized, and although they started strong, they weren’t able to sustain their message.

A key aspect of relevancy is that buying behavior is shifting. Customers are moving towards supporting brands that are more aligned with their values and morals. For example, as supermarket shoppers become aware of how food is made, they start to vote with their currency, in terms of where they want to spend their money. One thing I personally look for is the GMO Project, genetically modified organisms. I look for products that do not use GMOs. In this sense, I’m part of that movement and make purchasing decisions based on a company that believes as I do about value.

Smart companies know that it’s about understanding the values of their market and where those values make sense. They want to be seen as authentically and transparently supporting those values. Smart companies understand that they must be a relevant part of the big picture in order to move forward in the economy, and that they must show alignment.

What are the attributes of a movement? First, there is a like-minded group of souls or community in a movement with a common set of values, beliefs, and worldview. These people have passion and purpose and are part of a crusade they feel is worth fighting for. What is the crusade in your business? What are you fighting for?

People in a movement are interested in creating significance in the world, and that’s really the motive. They want a sense of contribution, and that, in itself, is the payoff: the ability for them to contribute and to accomplish their objective, which is rooted in their value and belief structure. There is often a cultural nemesis, as in the biblical story of David and Goliath. Who are they fighting? Typically, movements have a cultural nemesis that they are against, which is the struggle. In many Hollywood storylines, someone fights against the bad guy.

Movements involve having a role model, and there can be multiple role models. They are foundational-based, meaning that usually there is some type of book or manifesto of ideas. Look at any strong major movement in history and you’ll find a book; for example, in all religions of the world there is a book. There is something to reference that bonds people together. There’s a common language, common symbols, and a mantra. A mantra is a word or sound that’s easy to communicate and repeat which expresses the essence of what the movement is all about. There are common symbols, logos, flags, banners, or wrist bands, as in the case of the Livestrong movement. This helps to identify someone who is or is not part of the movement.

From a macro standpoint, many businesses use these exact ideas in Movement Marketing. There’s a cultural set of rules for people who are part of a movement. There are do’s and don’ts, acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors. Often, there is a shared experience of a struggle that binds the community together. A good example is CrossFit.

I used to be an avid supporter of CrossFit, a health and fitness regimen. A CrossFit Box is an example of language. A box is essentially the gym referred to as a box. They use a term called WOD, “workout of the day,” a language in that community. All CrossFit facilities provide an exercise facility and have various logos. They have rules and a culture. They are for and against certain things. For example, they believe in Paleo; raw food, organic food. These are all parts of ideas in this community. People support it because they want to be part of the community. They want to exercise together so they can share the struggles and the results. Part of the reason I participated in CrossFit is because I thought about all of the intense pain I went through doing the exercises and wanted to do it with others.

Work delegation and leadership development are elements of a movement. It’s very important to be able to distribute responsibility and to give people something to do, to empower them to take action and to organize themselves. A physical place where people can get together several times a year to build bonds and relationships is powerful. Getting together physically for fun and camaraderie is a key ingredient, because you can’t be too serious. Some historical movements have been very serious, but there must be some points in the movement where people are able to let their guard down a little bit in order to connect with other people in the movement. If a physical gathering isn’t possible, meeting virtually is a great idea.

Two conditions that fuel a movement are restlessness and social strain. When there’s a problem in society, there must be an issue that motivates people to come together. If there’s no issue, it’s not going to happen. Movements provide comfort through community and shared experience. A movement needs a message that is clear and repeatable, a medium to communicate the message, and a well-defined audience that appreciates the message. The message can be distributed live on a webinar, on a broadcast channel, or in an article. But it must be targeted to an appreciative audience.

Regarding organizational systems, viable means must be available to enrol people in numbers, to assimilate and activate members into a movement, and to spread the message in a viral nature. That’s where social media and SMS (short message service, texting) technology on telephones come in handy. The more you can share the message and make it easy to activate and enroll people, the more successful you will be.

How do movements operate? Scott Goodson talks about “The Swarm Effect.” Consider a group of bees flying through the air, moving in unison as they swarm. They can identify resources, opportunities and threats as they move about and communicate inside the swarm. That’s also an important attribute of a movement, because as you build a movement in the business environment, you want to consider ideas that make it easy for your group to move and to grow.

Let’s further consider some business implications. One key aspect comes straight from Scott Goodson’s book:

“I think it all breaks down as follows: for a movement to happen, you need to tap into the passion, energy, or restlessness that people have concerning some aspects of culture. To do this, you need to articulate a big idea that somehow addresses the restlessness and is expressed in a fresh, compelling way which is where semiotics can come into play. If you succeed in doing that, you may end up with a group of true believers who are ready to act, and at that point you can foster that action by providing support tools and platforms.”

That sums up the key idea here. It’s really critical to realize this idea, because everything I’m going to talk about next flows from this central concept. He goes to say:

“So you basically end up with a formula: restlessness plus an alternative idea that’s expressed effectively, plus true believers, plus facilitation equals a cultural movement.”

That’s the key idea, so let’s dive in and unwrap this concept even more.

Movement Marketing was done very differently in the old world. Today, Movement Marketing takes the old world and flips it upside down, and I want to show you how that happens. Before, customers just seemed to make purchasing decisions. Now, a lot of buying has to do with making purchasing decisions based on values, beliefs, sharing, and connecting with like-minded people in the marketplace. Scott goes on to say, “As customers begin to care deeply about issues, businesses must care about them, too.”

If the public is moving forward to a world of greater collaboration and sharing, then businesses must begin to do the same. They must move in this direction; otherwise, they will fall out of touch and become irrelevant. And if people, newly empowered by technology, gravitate towards constructive and creative movements, then businesses need to figure out how they can be relevant and move in the same direction.

Instead of marketing and advertising being focused on the individual, we now see in Marketing 3.0 a shift toward taking a message and looking at how individuals are interconnected into multiple groups that share common values and beliefs. So instead of attempting to persuade people into a particular ad message, marketers must think about how do they tap into what the market already believes? I want to really emphasize that key point. Instead of being focused on selling, the way to connect with movements is to be dedicated to sharing the message instead of controlling the message. Marketers must learn to relinquish control and let people who are part of the movement be able to share in this new Customer Engagement economy.

Strategy: You must have a clear understanding of the business movement you want to create. What are the inputs? What are the outputs? What are the outcomes? What are you trying to accomplish? Then you can start to think about why you want to accomplish it and eventually how you will do it.

Declaration: It starts inside your organization. You must build support for what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You must declare this inside of your organization.

How to Develop iPhone Programs and Apps

Are you interested in developing an app for the iPhone? These apps are a major way to making heaps of money. If yes, then there are four ways to learn, how to do this:

1. One thing you can do is, take your idea to the developer who can build an app for you.

2. You can use an online program builder tool that requires little or no programming.

3. You should learn how to convert a program developed in HTML or other programs for use on the iPhone.

4. You can learn to develop your own apps by learning all the programs and skills yourself.

First of all, you need to decide whether you want to use “web app” or “native app”, after considering all the pros and cons of each approach.

Once you proceed it is necessary for you to know about the apps.

What is a web app?

A web app is fundamentally a website that is specifically designed for or modified for the iPhone. You can use various tools to adapt an existing website for use. It is built with web technologies like HTML, JavaScript etc. If you can build a website, then you can develop a basic web app. You need a URL and link, most of the functions and hardware are not available for you. The Web app is installed on the phone like a native app and not available in the iTunes app store and it is not written in Objective – C.

Pros:

Web developers can use the tools what they know and they can modify the current web design and use existing development skills.
Not limited to Mac OS.
The app can run on any device that has a web browser like Blackberry, Android, etc…
Bugs fix in real time and not require the users to upload revised versions of their phone.
The development cycle is much faster.

Cons:

Hardware access is not available.
You must develop your own payment system if you want to charge for the app.

What is a Native App?

A native app is developed using the iPhone system and is installed on the iPhone. The application can use all hardware like speakers, accelerometer, camera, etc. It is available in the iTunes App store which increases their appeal for users. But means that the apps have to be submitted to apple and approved.

Pros:

There are excellent tools available through the registration of Xcode, Interface Builder, and the Cocoa Touch framework.
You can access all the excellent hardware features.

After considering all these pros and cons, now you have to decide which way you want to go ahead.

1. You can take your idea to the developer who can build an app for you.

There are several developers who will work with you and create a program for your idea and make it registered with the app store. They will fully develop the native or web app for you for an upfront fee, a monthly fee or a share of the profits.

2. You can use online program builder tool that requires little or no programming.

You can use online tools that can use to build your own apps from the templates and various tools any functions, which have the templates and tools. There are some general online app builders that are designed for general business and entertainment needs and more specific ones that target specific needs. Some of the others allow the developers familiar with HTML and Java Scripts to write the code with a specific knowledge of development. It would be nice if you know HTML, Ruby, Java, JavaScript, CSS, Python, PHP.

3. Develop your own apps by learning all the programs and skills yourself.

It may be you need to play various roles for the programming skills and understand the iPhone system, you have to be a researcher, creator, idea developer, entrepreneur, project manager, information architect, user information designer, accountant, developer, marketer and advertiser.

You need some aspect to work on an iPhone app, that includes:

You must have an ability to know what works and what doesn’t work for existing systems.
You should have market research skills to find out what is in demand.
Graphic and layout design.
Graphic user interface design, and so on.

Wishbone Software is a full-service Website Development Company and our goal is to bring your ideas to life using robust solutions to turn your “Concept” into a reality. Our multifaceted team has combined 5+ years of experience with expertise in iPhone app development, design, android applications, SEO, Social Media Marketing and iPhone applications to name a few. Every project is a unique, and we will work with you to collaboratively bring your ideas to life. No concept is too big or too small to surface, and we’ll work with you to find an affordable solution to creating the site your business deserves.

Creating A Successful Niche Market Product

We are always advised to focus on a niche product or niche area of the market when starting a successful business but many of us don’t really understand what Niche means and the impact it can have on the products and services we offer. When a business is started, finding a niche market and business is often focused on for the wrong reasons and people end up trying to be completely different from anything or anyone in their endeavor to create a Niche market. Creating a niche market isn’t about developing a product that isn’t already on the market, neither is it about being completely different, it’s about taking a business opportunity and defining this to target a specific area within a market.

A niche market in simple terms is a specific area of the market and can be described as a smaller part of a larger market. If you focus on soap making it will become quickly obvious that this is a very broad market that covers thousands of products and different variations and uses of candles, finding a niche area of this market would be focusing on a specific age range of customers, uses for your candles, certain fragrance’s, shapes and colors that would be appealing to a specific age range and gender. Home ware products include a vast range of products and marketing your products under home ware key words or just through the home ware channel will be incredibly hard, you will be selling home ware but you will also need to focus on a specific area within home ware, you will need to identify your customers and concentrate on targeting those people through your marketing and advertising.

If you already have an established product, the first step is to research the competition, look at the products out there and what is popular and establish a firm area of the market that you are targeting. Analise your product and what it has to offer and in turn how and where best to market and advertise. The second step is to stay true to your product. Many business start ups do very well identifying their niche market but become too tempted with being all things to all people, understanding that creating a niche product within a smaller market will be an advantage can be hard to understand at first. The benefits of targeting a smaller market are easier advertising, knowing who your customers are will be easier than trying to advertise to everyone and everywhere. Creating a niche market also encourages and increases loyal and repeat business, if your product is popular within your niche market, customers will want to come back and you will become known for that specific product or service.

The other advantage of niche market selling is the business opportunities that will be created. When you focus on a smaller part of the market and you know your customers well by creating a popular following, you will understand what your customers want and this will generate new ideas for new products that you can develop, create and sell. A popular product can then become popular products as you build your business up slowly. Creating a niche product and becoming successful takes time, energy and lots of enthusiasm but if you are passionate about what you do and have the endurance and determination not to give up, you will build a loyal following and a very successful niche market business.