I am often asked by directors for tips about “marketing.” When directors use this word, it sounds heavy and mysterious, as if it conjures up images of glossy brochures and television jingles. Well, I’m here to debunk the mystery. Look out; you were probably “marketing” at least five times today.
The majority of child care enrollment is said to come from word of mouth. That’s right, people telling their friends about your program. Even in this information age, we still trust our friends and family more than unfamiliar sources or even “experts.” So, your best marketing strategy is right in front of you. Also good news, you don’t need any special training or a fancy brochure to be proud of your program and talk about it all the time, everywhere, to anyone. Child Care Information Exchange gives 30 practical and often free strategies to promote your program.
Now, there are other more formal marketing techniques such as brochures, websites, a presence on social networking sites and other forms of media, which can be effective. Consider including those options in your plan as time and resources permit. But you have the resources for an excellent marketing strategy right now, without spending a dollar.
First start by honing in on your message and focus on friend raising. What are you proud of about your program? Are there unique selling points about your program? What keeps families who have been enrolled for a long time coming back? Once you know what you want to share with your new friends, begin by training an army (your staff and enrolled families) on how to share the good news about your program. It’s as simple as that.