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 Which Makes For Better Marketing?

Every marketing expert advises that your advertising concentrate on benefits to the customer .
 
However, all too often there's confusion between features and benefits. The difference is features describe what you offer, while benefits demonstrate how your features are of value to prospective clients and their children.
 
To put it simply: features tell, but benefits sell.
 
Most child care marketing materials list features. Few discuss the benefits. By failing to articulate the benefits your program provides, you are missing your opportunity to sell your services.
 
For example, you may be proud of the playground you've built. It's a nice feature.
 
But parents care that it provides the supervised, safe, age-appropriate outdoor activity their child needs for proper health and development.
 
Detailing your benefits will distinguish you from your competitors by satisfying the all-important "what's in it for me and my child" question that all prospective clients have.
 
Below, you will find the features that are most commonly found in child care marketing materials. Amongst them you will no doubt find features you provide, but more importantly, ideas for discussing the benefits those features provide.
 
Features:
Licensed, Insured, CPR and First Aid Training, Health & Safety Training, Playground & Environment Safety, Video Surveillance,  Licensed Nurse                               
 
Benefits:
Parents want to know that their children will be safe. These features provide the benefit of peace of mind. Let parents know what it means to be licensed and the background checks you and your employees have cleared. Discuss the fingerprinting , state visitations and inspections you are subject to. Relate to them how your training in CPR, health, and safety enables you to respond to their children's needs in the event of an emergency. Discuss how video surveillance keeps your premises safe and your playground safety helps prevent injuries to their child.
  
Features:
The Age Range of Children Served,  Infant Care, Specialization in Infant and/or Toddler Care
 
Benefits:
Let parents  know that you are experienced in caring for children of their child's age. Be sure you communicate that you are knowledgeable about child development.
 
Features:
Activities sich as: ABC's, Music/Dancing/Singing, Story Time, Dramatic Play, Outdoor Play, Manipulative Play
 
Benefits:
Articulate the importance of play, new experiences and everyday routines in learning, social and cognitive development.
 
Features:
Pre-School Curriculum: One-on-One Attention,   Hands on Learning, Age Appropriate Academics,  Play Based Learning, Child Choice Encouragement, Free Play, Research Based Curriculum, Project Based Child Directed Learning, Structured and Unstructured Play
 
Benefits:
Whatever your curriculum consists of, parents need to know what it accomplishes. Tell then how your curriculum develops pre-reading and math skills, letter and sound recognition, social, emotional, cognitive and motor skills. Illustrate how it facilitates learning such things as empathy, cooperation, safety, and hygiene.
 
Features:
Low Student to Teacher Ratios, Small Group Size, Full-Time Assistant(s),  Experience, Educational Degrees, Completed Credits/Degree in: Child Development and/or Early Childhood Education 
 
Benefits:
These features provide the benefits of individually responsive care and a greater amount of one-on-one time. Parents want to that you are knowledgeable in the areas of child education and development and continuing your education in these fields.
 
Features:
Bi-lingual   
 
Benefits:                                        
Speaking two (or more) languages provides you with a distinct advantage. Parents want to know that you can communicate with them. Additionally, many parents are keen on having their children learn a second language. Let them know that Washington, DC's Center For Applied Linguistics says, "Bilinguals take a more creative approach to problem-solving, read earlier on average than their monolingual peers, and score higher on standardized tests like the SAT.” Tell them that according to Carey Myles, author of Raising Bilingual Children, “Bilingual language skills have been correlated with improved cognitive performance in children." 
 
Features:
Food Program, Organic or Vegetarian Meals, Nutritious Meals and Snacks, Nutritional Training                                             
 
Benefits:
Discuss the importance of proper nutrition for optimal development of body and mind. Cite research. Point  out the convenience of not having to prepare and bring the child's meals. If you participate in a food program, let parents know of the access this provides you to nutrition workshops. If you provide weekly menus in advance, be sure prospective clients know this.
 
Features:
Field Trips, Library Visits, Pick-Up & Drop Off, Before & After-School Program, Provide Diapers, Wipes & Other Baby Supplies
 
Benefits:
If you provide field trips or other outings, focus on what the children learn and experience by participating, how their developing social skills are exercised as they get the chance to learn while utilizing all of their senses. If you have pick-up and drop-off service, before and after-school programs, or are supplying diapers, et al, point out the ease and convenience these services provide.
 
Features:
Accept Subsidies, Extended Hours of Operation, Located Near Transit Lines
 
Benefits: 
Many parents may feel they can not afford you, so if you accept subsidies or offer assistance in obtaining such, let parents know. If you offer non-traditional hours, let the parents who work those hours know how easy and convenient it is for them to have their children safely cared for. If you are on a bus line, highway exit, main street or intersection be sure to point out your accessibility.
 
Features:
Co-ordination With Public School Readiness, Parent Involvement, Parent-Teacher Relationship, Nurturing Environment
 
Benefits:
Discuss the ease of transition to public school you provide for your students. relationships are crucial to quality child care. Cite research showing how the relationship between the provider and child - and the provider and parent - impact the child's optimal development.
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