Child Care Marketing – The Importance of a Marketing Plan
The advantages of having a marketing plan are numerous. From aligning your marketing message with the mission of your child care business to effectively reaching your target clients. We could list dozens of reasons for having a marketing plan to promote your child care business.
However, in this article, we want to focus on one very important thing that having a child care marketing plan prevents – “marketing by the idea of the week.” Although we have no statistical data, our guess is less than 3 – 5% of child care businesses have a written marketing plan. Not having a written plan leads to marketing by the idea of the week.
So what do we mean by the “idea of the week.” Here are some common illustrations:
- Enrollment has dropped. You realize that you have not had a marketing campaign for months. So you quickly throw together a flyer with a registration special.
- Someone shows you a magnet – advertising promotional a child care competitor is giving away. You jump online and order 200 magnets with your child care logo to give away to parents and during center tours.
- Several times a year, you just cannot say “No” to someone asking you to advertise your child care business in a community coupon book, magazine, or fundraiser. Moreover, for your willingness to purchase an ad or make a donation, they will take care of designing your ad for you.
You get the point – “idea of the week marketing” is just that – whatever idea pops up this week. These quick – “throw some money” at marketing at unplanned, usually poorly organized, lacking a focused, consistent marketing message and often do not match your child care branding – logo, colors, fonts, and message.
The “idea of the week marketing” normally costs more than planned marketing campaigns, and often produce little if any measurable results. Moreover, not having a branded, consistent marketing message does not promote the professional image parents are searching for in a child care provider.
Planning takes time. However, creating an annual marketing plan will not only save you money and time but will also be more effective. The first time you create a written marketing plan, it will take the time to research, identify and define your target customer, schedule campaigns, create or arrange for the design and development of marketing materials, and implement each campaign according to schedule. The good news, the planning process will become easier the second year, and so on.
Most child care owners that create and follow a marketing plan for at least one year see so many benefits that they make creating an annual marketing plan a standard part of their business operations. Give it a try – you too will be surprised by the positive results.
Child Care Owner specializes in assisting the owners of child care businesses with marketing plan creation and child care marketing campaigns. If you would like to discuss your child care marketing needs, give us a call. We are always happy to discuss your child care business and marketing goals 336-645-9007.