The Contract Education Market Plan Toolkit is for seasoned and beginning contract education staff desiring to better understand the role marketing plays in contract education and how to utilize contract education marketing best practices and resources, to better sell present and potential clients.

Including ten sections, the Contract Education Marketing Toolkit covers the role of marketing in contract education, understanding your community, competitive analysis, marketing data collection and analysis, building your sales kit and website, lead generation, digital visibility, getting in the door, examples, and a market plan template.

Historically, contract education units have not had to market their services. The phones were always ringing and we had more work than we could handle. The landscape has changed and to grow our contract education units we have to be much more aggressive about selling, thus the need to be proactive about marketing.

The 4 P’s of marketing are a great place to start and set a foundation for contract education marketing.

  • Product. What does the client want from your product or service? What needs does it satisfy?
  • Place. Where do clients look for or find out about your products and services? What do your competitors do, and how can you learn from that and/or differentiate?
  • Price. What is the value of the product or service to your client? How will your price compare with your competitors and what your clients are willing to pay?
  • Promotion. How do you communicate with and get your message across to present and potential clients? How is your message different from your competitors?

In contract education, you cannot close sales and grow contracts sold and revenue without a person selling. Marketing does not replace a person selling, but instead complements your selling efforts and generates visibility.

After reviewing the Contract Education Market Plan Toolkit, you will better understand the role of marketing in contract education and have a toolkit you can access as needed to help improve your marketing efforts.

This toolkit was prepared by the Learning Resources Network (LERN) team of Greg Marsello, LERN’s co-founder and Senior Vice President, and Julia King Tamang, LERN’s Senior Consultant for contract education. Both authors are foremost, contract education subject matter experts.