As the headline line above suggests – the key way to get teachers and managers to believe that your company offers interesting and exciting products is to focus on the benefits of the product or service you provide.
Now that might sound really easy – and it is, up to a point. That point arises when the debate starts as to what is a benefit and what is a feature.
In their simplest form, features tell us about what the product is, such as the content of the book, the height of the chair, the size of the play equipment.
And this is what most advertisers focus on. After all it seems natural. The book has 212 pages and 48 maps and charts, the chair has an anti-tilt design, the play equipment is bright and inviting and easy to erect.
Likewise the speaker who comes into the school is an expert and highly qualified, the wrist band to be worn on school trips has the teacher’s mobile number, the asbestos survey is required by law, the canopy is bright and airy…
These are the features and they seem to be what the teacher needs to know. Except that such features don’t bring in nearly as many sales or enquiries as you can get when you focus on benefits.
So let me go through that list of products above and give some possible benefits that could be discussed in advertisements instead of the features.
This book can help students who are heading for a grade 3 at GCSE to go up to a grade 4. Students have been shown to focus for longer in the classroom because of the chair’s stability. Each part of the play equipment is designed to increase mobility, encourage sharing, and strengthen muscles.
The speaker generates a long lasting enthusiasm in students for serving others which supports those with whom they work and enhances the students’ university and job applications.
Wristbands gives parents a feeling that the school takes every precaution. The asbestos survey reveals not only where the asbestos is but also how it can be dealt with without alarming parents or colleagues. The canopy can be used as an additional teaching and learning space at a fraction of the price of a portable classroom.
Now at this point you may feel that this can’t be right because price, appearance etc are your key selling points. And I would not wish to suggest you don’t raise such issues.
However no school manager or teacher ever buys a product primarily because it is cheap. She or he buys because the product brings a benefit. If it is cheap, that might be an attraction, although teachers (like everyone else) knows that the cheap end of any market can on occasion be full of products that are not quite all they seem.
Thus the best way forward in most cases is to stress the benefits, and then if your price is particularly attractive, bring the price in as well. And the bonus is that if you do focus on benefits, readers tend to be more believing.
Of course how you choose to write your advertisement is very much a matter for you, but I do suggest that one should experiment. And to help with this schools.co.uk always states that if you run an advertisement with us and it does not do as well as you expect, we’ll help you create a revised version (if you want our help that is) and then we’ll email it out for you again, for free.
If you would like to know more about our email, postal, and website services for marketing to schools, please do call 01604 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk or see the main part of our website at www.schools.co.uk