Marketing Relationships and Relationship Marketing

 Mark Biggins
Marketing Tutoring

Those of you running tuition agencies are probably painfully aware that you are not alone. Whether you are well established or just starting out, marketing is crucial to the success of your business. Whilst it might seem obvious when you start a business that you need to drum up custom, and that you need to continue your efforts to grow and expand, you might take a different approach.

There are a large number of ways to market your agency, word of mouth, physical adverts, flyers and posters if your work is local, and a whole host of online means including website, adwords, social media and sponsored content. They vary in cost and effectiveness and it is important to realize how your marketing budget is best spent. But it is well-known and relatively intuitive that word of mouth and face-to-face marketing are hugely effective in terms of hit rate compared to mass email or static online content.

Word of mouth is still the most effective way to market your company.

For a moment we might wonder why that is true? The answer is that people are persuaded and trust relationships, particularly with other people, even when those people represent companies with a product to sell. So in your marketing strategy rather than think “how can I sell this to people” perhaps replace this with “how can I build relationships with potential customers”. And this approach should apply equally to the recruitment and retention of loyal tutors as well as clients.

Whilst it might be unrealistic for you to get out on the street connecting with potential clients, take a moment to think how you can personalize your communications. Perhaps that means giving your company a real face, on your website and in your email marketing or newsletters. Sell yourself as well as or alongside your product. By the same logic, video content is invaluable for having the benefit of being static with enormous potential reach, but also provide that more personalized element that helps people buy into your company. When you make these materials remember that people in this market can be turned off by content that is too flashy, too corporate. Potential customers turn off if they feel that they are being “sold to” and assume they are not being told the whole story. But at the same time would you entrust your hard won pounds and the education of your child to someone who creates amateurish self-shot videos?

There is a balance to be found, but this week, why not take a moment to reflect on your marketing strategy and how you can foster fruitful relationships with your clients and tutors.

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