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The One Value Your K–12 Education Solution Must Offer

Developing (or improving) a K–12 education product or service is never a linear process. (It never seems to go from A to B to C. In fact, sometimes it goes from C back to A.) That’s what makes it fun and interesting! 

And, the process is full of questions, such as:

  • Which languages should we offer?

  • Which experts should be part of our team?

  • Which standards do we need to cover?

  • What’s the best way to build teacher capacity?

  • What will resonate with students?

Regardless of what we’re developing…an edtech platform, a supplemental program, or a suite of professional development and best practices resources…

There is one thing your education customers want.

There is one value you must offer.

There is one visual guide post to strive for.

Be the "easy" button.

Here’s how.

Easy to explain. Do you see eyes glaze over when you start talking about your product or service? Do customers not “get it” when you introduce it at a focus group? Is your internal team not “on the same page” as it’s being developed? 

From internal pitching to production, from launch to implementation, everyone should be able to understand the product or service. The product team may be too close to the idea. (As a product person, I know how easy it is to fall in love with a product!) Here’s a test: Try explaining your product or service to someone completely outside of education…say at a weekend get-together or a neighbor.

Easy to promote. Are you making your marketing team wade through technical jargon or a long list of features? Are they searching for a story? Are you seeing marketing efforts get lukewarm results?

Products and services that are easy to explain are easy to promote. They get at the heart of a real challenge. They are intriguing. They create curiosity.

Easy to sell. Is your sales team confused about your new product launch? Do they avoid certain products in your product line because it’s murky and complicated? 

Your sales team should be excited about selling your product because they believe in it. They should be energized to get in front of customers to introduce your solution because they know it can help solve a problem for their customers. (Hint: Your sales team is one of your customers. If they don’t “get it,” your decision makers won’t either.)

Easy to use. Today more than ever, teachers are overwhelmed by all they have to do. Administrators and district leaders are under a tremendous amount of pressure. 

So, your products and services should not add to that burden. Getting started should be simple and straightforward. Support should be timely and solution-focused. Continue to seek and apply feedback even after it’s in the market, so that you can make your product or service even easier to use. 

Easy to love. As a former classroom teacher, literacy specialist, and professional development leader, I know for certain that people are in education because they love kids and they love learning. 

To that end, your solution should add to that love. Is this the first reading intervention program they believe will make a difference? Do they see that your math product will help students feel curious and confident about problem solving? Do they say your professional development sessions are among the best they’ve ever attended. 

Where have you seen your products and services live up to the “easy” button ideal?


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