Promote Diversity in the Education Market
Open the door to a new world of opportunities in this evolving market
Everyone knows the old axiom "Knowledge is power," so where better for distributors to apply it than in the education market?
From universities with hundreds of departments and internal colleges to the neighborhood school right around the corner, the opportunities for sales of printable products are endless. It just takes some basic creativity, motivation and knowledge to discover the opportunities that exist there.
For instance, while traditional registrar forms, report cards, labels and tags are the tried-and-true educational standbys, products such as advanced software systems for revising academic documents, software-compatible checks, brochures, direct mail, customized stationery and specialty envelopes are also often needed by many schools.
"And, you can't forget about branded mugs and other promotional products," said Brian Nelson, director of marketing and sales at The DFS Group, Townsend, Mass. "The fact is, many schools tend to be image-conscious, and if a distributor can meet the requirements needed to offer the right types of products while establishing trust early in the sales process, educational accounts can be very loyal and lucrative customers."
Kim Thomas, plant manager at Ennis' Star Award Ribbon division, Wolfe, Texas, agreed. Thomas said that pitching ideas such as ribbons for field days or folders for graduation to local schools may not occur to distributors as creative ideas. "But, they are," she said. "And, once distributors garner trust by providing products such as these, those buyers will come back again and again."
On the other hand, Julie Pritchard, president of TopForm Software, Norcross, Ga., said that true-blue customers in education can also be gained by reaching much further out of the box—for instance, offering software systems that test-creating professors can get excited about. "Teachers, professors and forms purchasers are benefiting greatly from a product that we introduced this year called DocuCenter," said Pritchard. "It's a management system that saves time, effort and money for educational end-users."