Advertising & Marketing

Step 18: Advertising and Marketing

 

 

Marketing your Childcare Service

What is marketing? Marketing is the flow of goods and services from the producer to consumer.  In Childcare, this means providing a quality childcare service to both children and parents.

 

When marketing your service there are what are termed the 4 P’s to consider when devising your marketing strategy.  These are

  1. Product  (Childcare Service)
  2. Price (Fee’s)
  3. Place  (Location)
  4. Promotion (Advertising to specific target groups)

 

However, marketing a service-based business is different from marketing a product-based business.  There are several major differences, including:

  1. The buyer purchases are intangible i.e. the effectiveness of the childcare service is hard to evaluate
  2. The service may be based on the reputation of a single person
  3. It’s more difficult to compare the quality of similar childcare services
  4. The child and parents cannot return the service if dissatisfied

 

Service Marketing adds 3 more P’s to the mix. These are:

  1. People i.e. children, families and staff
  2. Physical environment
  3. Process .i.e. delivery of childcare service in its entirety including curriculum, policies & procedures and organisational structures

 

When looking at marketing of your service you need to be aware that, service marketing, as well as the first 4 P’s, also includes, such areas, as the aesthetic appearance of your service inside and out, the qualifications,  training, general appearance and demeanour of the employees, and the process by which the service is delivered. Whether you are a private service or community not-for-profit organisation, you need to target your families, let people know your service is there, why they should use your service and the importance of quality childcare for the child.

 

It is very important to create a unique message about the childcare service that clearly and concisely describes what is special about it.  This message should be based on research about what parents look for in the child care services they seek, and what the highest needs in your community are. 

Name of Service and Logo – a name for the service gives parents and the public a way to describe the service in a more professional manner.  When choosing a name, consider the following.  A service name should:

 

  • Tell people what you do
  • Convey the image you want
  • Be easy to remember
  • Set you apart from others
  • Feel comfortable

 

It is best to start your marketing for your childcare service about three months before it opens or before the expansion is complete.

Advertisements, brochures and leaflets should include:

  • The childcare service name and Logo
  • Address, hours of operation
  • Ages of children catered for
  • Fees
  • Contact information
  • Your unique message, ethos and values
  • Expected opening date on all advertising materials

 

Your Marketing Plan may include the following:

  • Targeting services and other businesses that parents use and are likely to look for information, to display flyers/brochures these can include:
     
    • Local health centres
    • Schools
    • Public libraries
    • Centres of worship
    • Local corporations and businesses
    • Colleges and universities
    • Grocery stores
    • Shopping centres
    • Community centres, groups and networks
    • Parent and toddler groups
    • Local employment offices
    • Free newspapers and local newsletters
  • A distinctive logo – consider using children’s art (permission and credit must be sought)
  • Word of mouth networking
  • Use of business cards, flyers, sign, brochures and stationary
  • Participation and displays at community events
  • Free or paid media coverage, radio, television and newspapers
  • A listing in the Golden Pages and other local business listings
  • On-site workshops and information sessions
  • An open house day/evenings
  • Internet networking and community forum websites
  • Ads on free online sites
  • Developing own website
  • An overall effort to make a good first impression!

 

Continuous Marketing Strategy

It is vital to remember that your childcare service needs to have a plan that is long term.  Once you open and reach your target of full occupancy, you need to be aware that as children grow they may not be in need of your service anymore.  You need to have a plan that is continuous and responds in advance to the changes that the childcare service will see in terms of occupancy over the life of the service.

 

You should seek help from the Kildare Local Enterprise Office who have  developed a very useful a “Start-Up” booklet for support to anyone developing a business.  This guide is available to download from the KCEB website.  In addition to this, KLEO has teamed up with nubie.com to offer access to a new Business Start Up Tool.  The “nubie, from start to business tool” is an online service which gives you step by step instructions on how to start, fund, manage and grow your business.  Further details and “Sign Up” is available on the KLEO website.

Copyright 2020 by Kildare County Childcare Committee