Knowing how teachers choose what to buy is vital when planning a campaign.

So where do we get our information?

We’ve all been to school, but our memories will probably be based on just two or three schools and biased by our own perceptions and behaviour at the time.  As a basis for judging what teachers think and how they behave, these memories may not be that reliable!

Which is why over the past 30 years we’ve not only run our postal and email services advertising products to schools, we’ve also run our own companies that sell into schools.

In this way without competing with our customers, we’ve been able to experiment with different approaches to advertising, knowing that if we tried something and it simply didn’t work, the only people taking a loss would be our shareholders!

I won’t take up your time listing all the companies we’ve run, but I would like to mention two of our subsidiaries (one which we have retired and one that is still growing at quite a pace), just to show the range of data and information we have collected, and still collect.

The School of Education Administration was a venture we ran with the Dept of Trade and Industry, the University of Northampton and the Institute of Administrative Management to provide training in management and efficiency to administrators running school offices.

It ran for ten years before a change of government policy brought the programme to a close, and during its period of operation it gave us direct access to numerous school administrators, which helped us understand how advertising is handled in schools and how orders are placed.

The Dyscalculia Centre was set up to provide resources and a diagnostic testing programme both for school pupils and students, and adults, to ascertain if they are likely to be suffering from dyscalculia – the maths form of dyslexia.

This programme has now been running for over 20 years and reaches out to special needs departments across the country, as well as to individuals who feel they or members of their family might be dyscalculic.  If you are interested, you can read more here.

It is through these, and other such programmes, that we monitor school responses to advertising, and from this have built up a unique understanding of how small changes to advertising can affect results.

Additionally, we have always had on board members of our team who have worked in schools, and in teacher training, and so bring direct experience of life on the front line.

Thus, when we are invited to comment on advertising, we not only do so from the point of view of selling to schools, but also from the point of view of the teachers, managers and administrators who sees your advertisements.

As a result, we are always happy to look at your advertising and offer our thoughts free of charge.  If you would like us to look at your advertising without cost or obligation, please do call 01604 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk

Tony Attwood

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