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What works and why? Successful marketing to British international schools
  • Marketing and Communications

At the recent COBIS Annual Conference, we spoke to four colleagues from the British international education sector about their experiences of sales approaches from businesses and service providers. All four were from different settings and offered contrasting perspectives on this topic:

The small school perspective - Catherine McKinley, Director, Green Shoots International School, Vietnam

The large school perspective - David Tongue, Principal, St George's British International School, Rome, Italy

The school group perspective - Brian Cooklin, Managing Director, Nord Anglia Education India

The industry perspective - Steve Whitley, Founder, EdTech Consulting

While all colleagues shared different experiences, some of the messages were consistent. So which tips did our colleagues share? And how can you use them to successfully market to COBIS schools?

Top Tips:

  • Targeting is important. Understand who you are communicating with and tailor your messages. Every school is different.
  • Ensure you have a good database and use it!
  • Understand the buying process in schools. Who do you need to contact and when?
  • Emails are great but only when they are targeted and personalised. Don’t mass mail.
  • Understand which social media networks work best in which country. Take a personalised approach.

What works:

  • Webinars
  • Free trials
  • Advocates and case studies
  • Articles about hot topics
  • Research
  • COBIS Supporting Associate status

So how can COBIS help you to successfully market your products and services to our member schools? Here’s some advice:

  • Use the COBIS services available to you to position your company as an expert in the field. Deliver webinars, write blogs, share social media content. In short, get involved!
  • Make sure you use the Supporting Associate logo on your website and email signatures. Schools will notice this and see you are part of our network.
  • Ask any COBIS schools you’re already working with to write a case study for you and share it via a blog. One glowing endorsement from a school can work wonders!
  • Think about the problem your product or service solves and communicate this to your audience via a webinar or blog. If they have this problem, this approach will resonate with them.
  • Consider commissioning some research to share via our Supporting Associate Hub or social media.
  • Think about offering a free trial. You can share this with our network through our Supporting Associate Hub or social media channels

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you grow your international business, please contact Natalie Williams, Membership and Engagement Officer.