Insights

Tips to prepare now for the buying time at international schools

December is the time for festivities and holidays, so do enjoy! But also remember that December is the perfect time to prepare your international marketing strategy to maximise your sales within the lucrative English-medium K12 international schools sector. 

Most international schools make their main purchasing decisions for the future academic year between February and April, so December is your month to make certain your marketing and sales strategy is well prepared, before the schools reopen for the new term when resource selection begins.

The market continues to expand and several countries now boast extensive enrolment figures (see graph) showing the latest figures published by ISC Research this November.

Here are five tips from ISC Research to raise awareness of your brand to international schools before they make their buying decisions in March and April:

  1. Decide who will most influence the buying decision for your product or service and communicate directly with them. Teachers in international schools often have their own budget for classroom resources. Department Heads generally finalise large cross-department orders. Senior Leaders handle capital expenses.
  2. Do your homework now to identify the right Consider schools with the curriculum, age range, or subject relevance of your product or service. Also consider best school locations for ease of doing business. Target schools that meet these categories rather than sending to all. Schools frequently complain about being contacted by education suppliers who haven’t done their homework.
  3. Teachers love engaging and rigorous resources aligned to the curriculum they are delivering. Free, quality resources enable you to demonstrate your expertise, product range, and to connect with purchase influencers. Many suppliers have found this to be a very successful route to market. You can read about the experiences of several UK education suppliers here.
  4. Social media is an effective route for reaching out to decision-makers at international schools. Senior leaders prefer LinkedIn and Twitter. Many teachers respond well to Facebook and Instagram. Use social media to share valuable advice, news and ideas if you want to build trusted followers.
  5. Get face-to-face when you can. Exhibit or visit conferences attended by decision-makers from the schools so that you can connect directly with them and learn more about potential markets. Forthcoming conferences include BETT in London, ISC Research January Conference for schools and suppliers near Oxford, AAIE in New York, GESS in Dubai, ACAMIS in Macao, and BSME in Abu Dhabi.

ISC Research is the leading supplier of intelligence, market trends and data on the world’s English-medium K12 international schools market. Support for education suppliers include the ISC Online data portal, Supplying the Market Reports written specifically for education suppliers wishing to understand market potential and development, and State of the Market Reports focusing on specific areas of education supply including inclusion and education technology.

More market data and information about the international schools market relevant for education suppliers and providers can be found on the ISC Research website or contact Diane Glass.