As a childcare center owner, you know the best marketing is running a great school.

When your school exceeds expectations, your staff and families become brand ambassadors. They go out into the world and share their positive experiences, which encourages others to enroll. In fact, studies show 88% of people trust personal recommendations more than any other type of marketing or review.

Unfortunately, running a great school isn’t enough on its own. You need extra marketing to keep the lights on.

Most childcare owners didn’t go into business to do their own marketing. Instead, they rely on marketing agencies to do the heavy lifting, which can be challenging — especially if you partner with an agency that isn’t a good fit.

It can be frustrating when you suspect your marketing partner isn’t achieving the best results for your business. What’s more, although there are thousands of marketing agencies, very few specialize in childcare. This is critical because the seasonality of the industry greatly impacts how childcare marketers plan their strategies.

Suspicious that your marketing partner isn’t a good fit for your business? You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll review four signs you need a new childcare marketing agency.

Infographic: 4 Signs You Need a New Childcare Marketing Agency

4 Signs You Need a New Childcare Marketing Agency

1. The Agency Is Unresponsive

Clear, two-way communication is imperative and integral to success. If your emails, calls, and questions often go unanswered, your marketing agency isn’t a good fit for your business.

Poor communication breaks trust, fosters uncertainty, and calls your relationship into question — especially if the person failing to communicate is someone you’ve entrusted with your business’s future. Poor communication can also result in missed deadlines and opportunities, which are unacceptable.

Instead, expect prompt replies and proactive communication. You should have an open dialogue with your marketing partner about KPIs (key performance indicators) and measurables, which may include phone calls, tours, and conversions. Furthermore, the agency should be excited to educate you about the strategies and tactics they’re using to achieve success.

Anticipate those conversations, and participate in them. Responsiveness and cooperation signify a team mentality, which is essential for a successful marketing partnership.

Your partner should be proud of their work and make you feel like you’re both in it to win it. After all, their job is to help you succeed.

2. The Agency’s Results Are Unclear

If you’re unsure how the agency is spending your money or what results you’re achieving, there’s a massive problem. Are you getting leads? If so, are they quality leads? How many are converting?

Your marketing partner should not only answer these questions, but provide the information ahead of time on a regular basis so you never have to ask. If these conversations don’t happen, you’ll lose trust in the relationship and suspect a lack of integrity or experience on the agency’s part.

When partnered with the right agency, you can expect a positive return on investment and consistent reporting. For example, every month, we provide each of our clients with a Marketing Performance Dashboard, which tracks campaign performance and analyzes the results. The dashboard helps us identify new opportunities to boost conversions and improve return on ad spend (ROAS).

If your agency is providing you with anything less, it’s time to make a switch.

3. The Agency Has No Experience in Childcare Marketing

The childcare industry stands apart from others and requires more specialized marketing tactics. Nuances like the seasonality of childcare and the language of parenting are imperative to any good strategy. If overlooked, your strategies will likely fall flat.

For example, parents often start looking for summer camp information as early as January and begin planning for their child’s fall needs in May or June. Marketers without experience in childcare may not realize that and run campaigns too late or at the wrong time, leading to lost revenue.

Perhaps the most important concept to understand when advertising for a childcare center is that you’re not selling the facility, curriculum, or staff — though all those things are important. Instead, your main deliverable is the parents’ peace of mind.

You’re marketing the ability for parents to have the confidence to go about their daily lives — working, running errands, caring for elderly family members — and know their child is well cared for, nurtured, and safe.

That’s unlike any other product or service. At the end of the day, you’re partnering with parents to raise happy, healthy children.

You know that, and that’s why your parents chose your school. Your marketing partner should also understand this and share your conviction.

4. The Agency Doesn’t Provide Comprehensive Services

If your marketing agency doesn’t offer all the services you need and you’re forced to use multiple agencies to meet your advertising goals, your messaging likely won’t match from one campaign to the next.

There’s also the risk of duplicating efforts, resulting in additional (and unnecessary) expenses in time and money. It costs you at least double the amount of time to communicate with multiple agencies, which can easily result in conflicting messages and offers. These can confuse prospective families, leaving a poor first impression.

We’ve also seen instances of businesses running paid ad campaigns with multiple agencies, resulting in their own ads competing against each other and driving their cost-per-click sky high.

The best way to avoid these issues is to work with a single agency that offers comprehensive services. That way, they can do everything for you and report back in a clear, concise way. The result is streamlined, efficient, and effective marketing.

Finding a Better Fit

If any of these scenarios sound familiar and you’re frustrated with your marketing experience thus far, we understand.

Thankfully, you’re not alone.

We at Rose Marketing Solutions pride ourselves on our long-term relationships with our clients, most of whom have been with us for over eight years. Finding a good fit is much more important to us than “landing another client.” We believe successful childcare marketing starts with a partnership between professionals who share the conviction that the ultimate deliverable is a parent’s peace of mind — and it’s priceless.

If you’d like to learn how we can help you market your services or manage your reputation, reach out today. 

Quote Card: 4 Signs You Need a New Childcare Marketing Agency

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