The Importance of Educational Marketing


There are many companies that can thrive following the tried and true methods of traditional marketing initiatives. If you are one of those companies, it makes sense to place yourself in the most familiar arenas, where potential customers expect to see you. That is, if your intention is to compete with Coca-Cola for mindshare, it is probably in your best interest to utilize bold advertisements in print and television media.

But many other companies are learning that traditional approaches are no longer sufficient to convey their message and effectively convert the casual shopper into a paying customer or even better, a brand evangelist. It used to be that you could distinguish your company through lowest prices or a sparkling slogan. Now, however, these old silver bullets will barely leave a dent in the mind of the modern consumer. What can your company do today to stand out above the noise and clutter?

Enter: Educational Marketing

Education-Based marketing is the act of creating marketing materials and executing on strategies that distinguish your company as a knowledgeable authority and resource in your area of expertise. Notice the inclusion of "resource", as it is uncharacteristic to antiquated marketing approaches. It follows the revised premise that to be an active and valuable participant in the information age, one must become an information center.

With multiple, seemingly identical solutions popping up everyday in various industries, those that will shine are those that can lend a hand to their audience, rather than using that same hand to bludgeon their audience with an exhausted sales pitch.

Author David Frey has outlined not only how the average customer has become numb to the sales pitch, but also the underlying goals and burgeoning techniques of Educational Marketing. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to flip the script, and focus on the questions of customers rather than the sensational hype associated with a typical sales pitch.

Say you were the owner of an oil change store. A standard approach to market your business would be to place ads that say:

Get Your Oil Changed Here for Just $14.95!

By integrating educational marketing into your marketing arsenal, you might instead try:

“A new study finds that changing your oil every three months adds $1,437.81 to the resale value of your automobile. Come in to find out the effect of oil changes on the resale value of YOUR automobile.”

The information and help you can provide your customer is the new hype. The emphasis of such techniques revolves around the establishment of trust. By assisting in the open sharing of information, you become an ally to your consumer, rather than the oft-avoided vacuum cleaner salesman.

One main concern that can come with Educational Marketing initiatives is "How do I monetize these new informed shoppers?" Frey goes on to map out the packaging of one's educational message through multimedia options such as video tapes, email courses, and seminars which can extend the dialogue and thus your marketing window of opportunity. Such long-term, or “drip” campaigns can have a tremendous impact on the duration of your trust-based relationship and the lifetime value of your prospective customers.

What is your educational message?

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Eric says

We used to have to gather our knowledge on a topic and deliver it in a print format that was slow in development and expensive. We are starting to embrace the value of putting our knowledge into an online format to create a resource for our customers. The great part of this format (as I'm learning) is that the user group adds to the collective knowledge and makes it better for all users. I've heard some comments on how to seed a community with new content. Are there any ideas on how to do that?
Posted at 6:27 pm
Steve says

Educational Marketing is a great approach to informing prospective clients to the benefits of working with you. EM builds a community around product and/or services (Blogs, Videos, Wiki's, Social Media sites, support groups etc). Once you have community-your marketing efforts become viral (ie your customers begin to sell for you). Build your community, build your brand. Growthink does a great job of educating people. As my firm goes through our re-branding campaign this month, you can bet we'll take this article into consideration.
Posted at 9:31 am
Bontsi says

This is very interesting, I have learned many things with your programs and ideas concerning businesses that you offer and thanks for your time giving me this lovely informations. I stil have to learn more with this industry because I am interested in establishing a business which deals with Property Developing and Management Consulting, so could please give provide me with some tips concerning this business and if this is any courses that you also offer, I will be very thankful if you can inform me or send me any material thereof. My addres is P.O Box 996 Vryburg 8600 Cell: 073 3433 466 Thanks Bontsi
Posted at 7:06 am

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