SCP (School Contact program) was not used very often by marketers till very recently. But with the power and effect of SCP realized once, it’s hard for them not to repeat the SCPs again and again. The marketers find SCP absolutely hard to resist. SCP provides a captive audience at highly affordable cost. In other forms of market, a big share of budget is allocated to the venue and logistics; but with SCP, you just need to find the right school in the right locality. Your every single rupee is spent on the tangible activity instead of simply squandering it away on secondary things.
SCP provides a platform to a marketer that is best suited to reach out to the targeted audience with both teacher and parents almost advocating the brand in positive ways. With school contact programs, you are can directly reach out to your target audience in a completely distraction-free environment, and where these activities are seen as a welcome departure from the usual mundane routine. Instead of hoping that our message is seen by the right kid at the right time and at the right place; we simply land up at the right place with the right kids, and say our message at the right time. However beware – schools can’t be used as an advertisement place for brands.
Easier Said Than Done
On the face of it, carrying out a successful SCP sounds easy and simple, but it obviously has some pain points that can’t be overlooked. A school has three key stakeholders – Kids, Teachers and Parents. The first issue is to convincing schools on why they should put up with our brand message! What’s in it for them as a message receiver?
To be honest, there is no quick-fix answer/solution to this problem. A marketer needs to get out of his AC cabin and visit the school again & again to understand their functioning, their issues, and their point of views on various activities. Start a conversation emphatically with all the stakeholders in school such as principals, teachers, students, parents, school administration etc. They won’t allow your brand to enter as long as they see any covert intention like selling the product or plain advertising within the school. This impression can be done away with only through continuous transparent communication with school stakeholders.
Not ‘What’ But ‘How’
It’s less about ‘What’ and more about ‘How’ factor. Schools also realize that you are here to deliver your brand message and not for social work. But how you deliver the message makes all the difference. Like marketers, schools also look for the value addition to their stakeholders. A branding activity within the school should be justifiable to the kids and more importantly to the parents. For example, adding a human touch to your branding activities in school premises can make it look like an educating or fun activity with enough scope for learning for kids.
Add Value to Your Message
Ensure that your campaign has a key value to offer to students in terms of safety, awareness, or knowledge enhancement. All these three stakeholders should be covered in an intelligent manner otherwise it is bound to backfire. A successful school contact program will focus on engaging children in an exciting manner and should impart scope for learning new things. The engagement activities should be unique, fun-filled with an entertaining & informative bend on the benefits of brand, and how it can help the students not only academically – but also in different aspects in their everyday life! Make your brand a platform for a fun or learning activity and kids, teachers and parents will all welcome and accept your brand with enthusiasm.
Value for Money
At the end of the day, all of us look for value for money in every single decision or action we take. Then, why SCP should be different! The marketers should ensure that with SCP implementation, everyone gets their money’s worth. Every school needs to have extra-curricular activities to fill up their social calendar. A marketer can organize events and competitions for his brand in the school. Both of them meet each other’s need. Branding a product through SCP that improves kids’ health or teaches them hygiene techniques will be happily accepted by the schools. Here, both school and the marketers are happy as school gets their share of value-added extra-curricular activity to show to the parents and marketer is also delighted as he got his right TG to showcase the product.
More the activities are fun, more successful your SCP will be. Create winner out of ordinary students through various school fun activities and let them express their creativity. Try to provide a platform to students to explore their thoughts, showcase their strengths and emerge as individuals with holistic personalities. Also, mould your program in such manner that asks for parental involvement at certain level. The stress should be more on engagement and interaction and you have a SCP that has ticked all of the boxes. An effective and successful SCP can build a long term relationship between your brand and the key stakeholders – Kids, teachers and Parents.
The best time to execute a school contact program is from July to October. The key is to create a concept that satisfies the needs of both schools and the marketers. SCP is the best bet to pull off a brand activation integrating the fun and information together around a relevant subject.
Balancing Act is an Art
The key messaging activity should be a fine combination of fun, creativity and learning. The value-add should be easy to find and understand by the kids. The activity shouldn’t be all fun without learning as that will make teachers and parents unhappy. It shouldn’t be all learning with zero fun for children as this will estrange the kids from your brand messaging and hence defeat the overall purpose of the SCP. Focus on finding that right balance where everyone is happy. And we are happy to make it happen.
Did you find this story helpful? Did you learn something you didn’t know before? Share your thoughts with Pulp Strategy as we strive to constantly innovate and build progressive school contact programs for the various brands to effect a positive change in the brand awareness. Stay tuned into Promotadka for more interesting stories coming your way to help your brand significantly.
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