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The Must-Have Three Rs for K–12 Education Companies in Today's Market




The K–12 education market is shifting.


COVID-era federal funding is coming to an end.


Schools and districts are paring down their resources. And, they’re being even more thoughtful (perhaps critical–choose your word!) about any new investments. 


There is more competition in the market. Entrepreneurial educators have left the classroom and started companies of their own. And, there has been big growth in the edtech space as COVID amplified a need for online learning. 


With less funding, tighter prioritizing, and greater competition, what is a K–12 education company to do? We’ve always needed great products and compelling communication. In this market, these are even more important, in three key ways. 


That’s where The Three Rs come in. 


Research


K–12 education solutions should be based on best practices. Period. 


Educators want to know what they’re using in the classroom is grounded in what works. The literacy swing toward the Science of Reading is changing the offerings of many literacy-focused companies. The idea of “the science behind” is starting to show up in other content areas as well. 


What K-12 education companies can do: Know the research behind your solution(s). Develop a succinct research base that clearly shows how that research is reflected in your solution(s). Don’t make your sales team or potential customers connect the dots on their own. 


Results


K–12 education solutions should provide results. Period. 


There must be some kind of transformation or change. It might be academic (such as an increase in students’ reading levels). It might be time-based (such as a reduction in time to analyze data and plan for small-group instruction). It might be based on self-assessment (such as teachers’ rating of their confidence in being able to manage stress). And while a double-blind study might be the gold standard, most decision-makers aren’t looking for that level of proof.


What K–12 education companies can do: Ensure you have embedded in your solution a method for measuring that transformation. Convey this transformation clearly in your messaging across marketing communication tools (especially your website). Be sure this transformational value is central to your sales communication as well. 


Reviews


K–12 education solutions should be beloved. (Yes, I used that word!)


Educators value the perspectives of other educators (and others in the education community). One of the most powerful parts of your messaging about your solution is what others have to say about it–and what they have to say about your company. Superintendents want to hear from other superintendents; and, they also want to know what teachers and students (or even parents) have to say. 


What K–12 education companies can do: Capture what teachers, students, and administrators (or parents, if they are part of your stakeholder group) say about your solution and company. Make these messages central to your communication. If a seventh grader said your online program helped them finally understand math, that’s awesome. If a teacher says yours was the best professional development day they’ve ever had in their career, that is a huge win. Spotlight these messages to help validate your communication.


With the K–12 education market changing, companies can sharpen their value to potential customers. We need great products and compelling communication. Research, Results, and Reviews reflect both of these. 


Which of The Three Rs can your company strengthen?


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