3 Things to Know About the K-12 Buying Cycle for Teaching Materials
Most district and school purchase decisions are made collaboratively by groups of educators. This means that targeting one job title in a district won't work, even if that specific job title is the one who approves the purchase orders. When it comes to marketing to educators, it is essential to understand who all the players are and how their buying cycle works when it comes to purchasing teaching materials. Here are three essential things to know about the buying cycle for teaching materials for grades K-12.
May Thru July is for Planning
During May, June, and July, educators assess what they need for the upcoming year and do their research. Even though students are gone, district and school administrators are still at work. This makes the months during the summer a great time to connect with the decision makers who don’t have enough time during the months when school is in session.
While teachers have significantly lighter schedules in the summer, they are still using their time outside the classroom to plan their upcoming lessons and to participate in professional learning. During this time, they are also researching new products and programs to support their teaching efforts in the coming year. While the summer months are the best time of the year to market to schools, according to the company Sheerid, Teacher Appreciation in May and Back-to-School season are the best times to reach out to teachers.
August Thru December is for Awareness and Familiarity
By the time school is back in session in August, a majority of the significant purchases have already been made, so this is the time when companies should start to guide educators on their journeys toward the next season of buying. The fall months are a great time to sell directly to classroom teachers, and MarketingWorks, Inc. can help you with this endeavor. Some of the most popular items for teachers to purchase during this time are classroom decorations, supplemental materials, like flashcards, workbooks, and apps, and classroom supplies. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money in their classroom, according to Martha C. White, a writer for Money, 57 percent of which is spent on classroom supplies.
January Thru April is for Consideration and Trial
More than half the schools across the country will finalize their budgets in April, May, and June. This means that for companies who market to teachers and schools, the start of the calendar year is a valuable time to be in front of educators. If they don't know about your products, they won't be able to budget for them. During the first four months of the year, companies need to make sure that they are providing educators with the information they need to decide on which items to purchase. When crafting spring marketing campaigns, it is essential to make sure that you make it easy for educators to make informed decisions by providing them with the information they need.
K-12 education is a fascinating market for companies. However, depending on the products you are trying to sell, the purchasing cycle can be a bit confusing and often frustrating. Knowing the stages of the buying cycle will help you better prepare you to guide educators through each step of the decision-making process.