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Targeting your marketing

If ever the time was right to take a cold look at your market and what new parents want it’s now! As we mentioned in our article last week it has been a challenging and unpredictable time for the childcare market so trying to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of the last 2 years on parental demand is important.

If you take time to try and understand what’s happening locally it will provide good insights to what parents may now be looking for, whether their use of childcare has changed and what services you could offer or develop to meet any emerging needs. This information will be very helpful to begin targeting your marketing a little more clearly and showing parents why you offer the best options and services for their children.

Matching services to market needs and parental preferences

Targeting marketing activity is a sensible approach to take with greater chances of successful place take up, however it relies in one main assumption…”that you are meeting market needs!”

There is work to be done to assess just what, (if any), market changes there have been and considering how and whether you are be prepared to adapt your delivery model to suit. Obviously if you don’t meet any new parental needs, the likelihood is parents will choose someone that will, but equally in changing your delivery model you must also be mindful of the financial implications and test that you can still remain sustainable if changes are made.

So before you begin marketing you need to check the current parental needs and align your services to match before beginning any targeting, otherwise you may be promoting on selling points that are slightly out of balance with parental expectations.

Market information to help target advertising messages

There are many pieces of demographic data on the childcare market that you can search and evaluate such as, postcodes, work status, family status, proportion of customers who need 30 hours, or just 15 hours and likely levels of the 2 year old free entitlement. Using your past customer information and gaining insights from existing parents will help you build a picture of how your local market is functioning.

Another important area to research is parental insights from “soon to be” parents or those who have just recently become parents and haven’t used any childcare services yet. This cohort could contain parents who may be thinking differently and requiring some adjustment to meet the work life balance as it emerges post Covid and this will help you assess whether your market is actually changing or not.

This is ideal situation to test parental thinking and needs, using feedback from social media, email campaigns and customer questionnaires.

Ready to start targeting?

The more you research and understand your customer needs, the easier it is to sell to them! … So once you know what your market looks like and what people want, you can start targeting your marketing towards them.

The main and simple point about targeting your marketing is that you are researching the market to narrow down and identify the people most likely to buy your services, and then aiming your advertising campaigns at them.

Social media rates highly as a method for targeting by demographics, but whatever method you use make it relevant to your targeted recipients. Here are two examples of successful responses by recipients of targeted marketing messages…

1. I am receiving this because I am likely to be a user of childcare.

2. This message is engaging me on my needs and preferences and showing a delivery model I can fit within.

A very simple “non-targeted’ method of advertising is the use of flyers.

You may deliver a 1000 flyers locally, perhaps only 30% of houses have children, maybe half of those with children are too old for childcare, perhaps some of the remainder already have a place somewhere and others don’t need childcare. The success rate just falls away because you haven’t done the market research to know the right people live in the targeted houses.

In summary

A. Target people by knowing about them and where they are likely to look for information on childcare and get your information in that arena!

B. Do your research as a continuous process and it will yield better take up results and enhance you knowledge of childcare market changes.

C. Don’t forget to measure the success rates of your marketing and advertising campaigns, some methods work better than others!

Information & Support available

If you need more information or support on any of the circumstance outlined above please do contact us.

We will put all future articles in Best Start and put a link to our website at the end of each article so you can access our information at any time.

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