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Education loves buzz words. In the past few years "personalized learning" has become the new name for effective teaching. School Improvement Network had shared best practices of effective teachers for 25 years. The following spread was designed to either appear one page per issue over 3 to 4 issues, or could be spread out in one issue. It both uses popular verbage of the day as well as reinforcing the truth about the product School Improvement Network delivers.

Thoughts on Marketing

I graduated in advertising/public relations and I have spent my career in content; educational, marketing, image, sales, and instructional. I have worked with several startup companies as well as being integral in creating the product for a successful educational company; School Improvement Network.

I have run my own video communications business and appreciate what it takes to build and maintain a business. I have served Smith’s Food and Drug, The Utah Jazz, ESPN, NBC, Enrich, XANGO, NuSkin, Salomon, Pacific Education Group, ICON Health and Fitness, Harry K. Wong Publications, Varnet, Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, Wilson and more. Not as the marketing director, but many times supporting their marketing efforts.

Any successful effort starts with a clear understanding of the purpose and what need a company is serving in the market place.

As Simon Sinek would put it; your “WHY”. I have seen too many companies falter trying to hide behind a cleaver slogan rather than giving the market an authentic message in their marketing. That starts with the why.

Once the why and the message support each other, it’s time to get the message to your potential customers and that of course depends on your audience.


Social Media is a tool, but rarely can be the only one. Again, studying the audience you are trying to hit takes research and some testing with different strategies until you can see measurable results.

I have been exposed to marketing campaigns that brought huge numbers of clicks, but not really a lot of new business. Marketing’s job to me, is to find out why. Again, you might be getting tens of thousands of clicks from people interested in your product but not ultimate decision makers. So where can you target the UDM’s? That’s marketing’s job to me. I’m not impressed with sheer size of numbers, I’m concerned with results. Of course numbers are important as well, but the most important measure is conversion from clicks to customers.

An important part of marketing is also the customer experience. If marketing says we are committed to being with you all the way… well you have to invest in the system that does that, because all the marketing in the world will not get a person a second time after you have broken the promise of the message.

I was around another campaign that promised customer a “full spectrum” experience, and again leadership could not explain what that meant to the customer. Sales people were told to just go sell and not worry about the language, but language matters. Every person who serves the customer, whether face to face, over the phone or writing code to help the product work is part of the marketing [and sales] team.

Nothing kills moral more than a company that promises something it can’t deliver.

Sales of course is the face that either reinforces or destroys your marketing message.

I’ve seen marketing messages striving to be “Apple-esk”, but in fact the company wasn’t Apple, and the message and the money was wasted… not to mention time. If you want clean design, that’s great! Does your website, collateral materials and user experience match that design? If you market “clean”, your product experience better be that way as well.

Authenticity is a big trend now and the reason for that is information is now everywhere. That trend is an outcome of too much information and too much manufactured information.


A bad review or experience in one place can go virtual across the world. Your customers know who you compete against and can’t be sold with a clever slogan, they know what they know.

So if you are trying to recover from a bad marketplace experience, that’s what you have to market. If all your ducks are in a row and you are approaching leadership in the market, your marketing has to represent that as well.


While the world seems more complex, in truth to me, it seems simpler. You have to align your marketing with your customer’s needs, the product you deliver and the experience they have through the process.


There certainly is room for creativity and excitement, but there is little room for empty words and gestures.

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