Education-Based Marketing

The primary marketing strategy we utilize to help our clients attract the widest possible audience is called education-based marketing. To do this, you must really understand and research your market and target audience. By utilizing this strategy, you will be way ahead of the game because most people don’t have a clue what their market is.

The idea behind education-based marketing is to appeal to a broad audience and to motivate an audience that didn’t exist before to actually take some action. If you can bring something to the table to your buyers, or potential buyers, that no one else is bringing that gives them an advantage or gets their full attention, the game changes overnight.


Potential Buyer Pyramid

At any given time, you have 3 percent of the population looking for your product. You have an additional 6 percent to 7 percent who are open to your product but not actively buying. The remaining 90 percent of people fit into one of three categories:


  1. 30 percent: I’m not really thinking about buying your
  2. 30 percent: I don’t think I’m interested in your product (“soft no”).
  3. 30 percent: I am not interested; I hate your















I’m not thinking about it.

 I don’t think I’m interested.


 Open  and interested— Not actively buying.











I’m not interested.


The real hook of education-based marketing–that which makes it profitable–is that it appeals to the people in the middle and bottom of the pyramid. When done right it naturally woos those who are not interested at all into thinking it’s time to call you. What can you say to that person to make them interested and start to ask about what you are selling?


For example, if you are selling shoes, a typical marketing strategy would be to offer a 40 percent discount on your overstocked inventory. Doing this would appeal to about 3 percent of the population who are looking to buy your product right now, and some of the 6 or 7 percent who are interested. These are absolutely important sales you must close, but there are more fish to catch.


To appeal to a wider audience you will have to take a more tactical approach. For instance, you might create an advertisement that educates people by using the following statistics: The American Podiatric Medical Association says wearing well-fitted sturdy shoes can cut your chances of falling by 60%; or The American Medical Association says your chance of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes is cut by 50 percent if you just walk two miles a day. Take care of your feet!


Educating everyone about the benefits of footcare and exercise appeals to everyone in the pyramid.

If you are going after supervisors, department heads, and/or ownership, you must have an educational product that the boss is interested in.

Changing the Buying Criteria

What are your current buying criteria, and what are your new buying criteria going to be? Instead of just offering your product, offer your product plus an education. The education that you give should highlight a shortcoming that your potential customers have and show how your product or service can solve their problems or benefit them in some way.

Education-Based Marketing on the Web

Education-based marketing can help drive more customers to your Web site, too. If your company is on a Google search page (must be on the first page!) and you’re surrounded by other companies offering the same products and services, what is going to differentiate you from your competitors?

Let’s say you’re a massage therapist in Los Angeles, and someone goes to Google and types “massage therapy, LA” into the search bar. Many different therapists will pop up, all listing their services and prices. But what if yours said “The Four Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Massage Therapist?” Just out of curiosity, people will click on your link because it stands out and it offers them more information.

This is a case of “changing the buying criteria.” Before reading your subject line the customer’s buying criteria likely incorporated location, reviews, and maybe price. But now they have at least 4 more important factors to consider. Guess who they need to tell them what those mistakes are? You! Better yet, you will have the opportunity to lay out the pitfalls and how to avoid them.  Guess who they’re going to buy from once they’ve finished reading? You!

No one wants another salesperson in their life, but everyone wants to learn something. If you can stop selling your product, and start educating your target audience, you have created the best situation for the eventual sale.” –Ritchie Havok

Let’s look at some of the strategic objectives accomplished by education based marketing:
  1. It makes getting appointments a lot easier.
  2. It enabled you to get in to see just about anyone— including the 90 percent who were not buying now.
  3. The information is so good, it establishes the salesperson as the expert, rather than a meagerly a salesperson.
  4. It also gives credibility to the salesperson.
  5. When you begin any meeting with real data and hard facts, the sales material at the end of the meeting has a lot more credibility.
  6. When meeting prospective clients, because we have control over the material covered, we can artfully unseats every type of competitor in our way.
  7. It creates brand loyalty. Everyone wants to stick with a winner!
  8. If someone gives you something of value, you want to give back.
  9. Part of the education we provide stresses the importance of consistency in advertising. This addressed another strategic problem newspapers are having. Companies would try advertising once and, if it didn’t yield results immediately, they would pull out.
  10. It made people feel that advertising in the community newspaper was almost a moral obligation to support your community. “The more support we have, the more programs like this we can bring to the community.”
  11. The expert and strategically designed presentation made selling idiot-proof for the salespeople . The sales reps went around to business owners with a three-ring presentation binder that stood up on the desk. They flipped through the panels and showed the information to all the prospects. I recommend using PowerPoint. It’s cheap and easy for the presentation designers, and for the people presenting to use. It can be run off the cloud on almost any mobile device. This would ensure every rep presenting the best most up-to-date information and the same materials.
  12. The presentation says everything the top management would want every prospect to hear and know. Most sales organizations leave 90 percent of the sales process up to the rep.
  13. At least, it helped reps work smarter. Even when some reps aren’t using the exact material provided, it gives them insights and language to support the corporate identity and brand messaging in a way they didn’t have before. This automatically made them more effective in selling and building rapport with clients.