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Your Quality Childcare Program Can Turn Lack of State Oversight Into a Marketing Opportunity

 

As state and municipal budgets shrink, the funding, oversight and statute enforcement for child care facilities decreases. Disturbing reports are filling the media in all parts of the country.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the state of Illinois has been paying for child care that is provided in the homes of convicted sex offenders. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-humanservices-sex.0.6669987.story

 

The state of Georgia has determined that thousands of violations of state child care rules and regulations are occurring and there is neither the funding nor the manpower to enforce them.www.ajc.com/news/newspaper-georgia-day-care-560959.html

 

Missouri admits that it's cuts are making enforcement of child care statutes increasingly more difficult.http://www.komu.com/SatelliteRender/KOMU.com/ba8a4513-c0a8-2f11-0063-9bd94c706769/854d683d-80ce-0971-0060-077e5f4078f1

 

All of this negative news is making parents nervous and the fact that child care continues to be the biggest financial burden on working families isn't making them feel any better. www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-occasions/article_682c90d4-82cf-11df-a594-0017a4a78c22.html

 

Now is the time to let your clients know that regardless of what your state is or isn't doing, your facility abides by the law. Let them know that you consider their child's safety and well being to be not only your primary responsibility, but a sacred trust. Address their concerns so they know their children are safe and their money is well spent.

 

Whether in person, by letter or email, communicate these facts to your clients. Rest assured, the schools that do this will b

COMMUNICATION = PROFIT

 

One of the top marketing executives in the country likes to tell the story of two companies in the same business, in the same city, that he visited on the same day. He had advertising proposals ready for both of them.

The first company spent six months trying to tweak the copy he wrote, holding conferences and debating the merits of various forms of advertising. The second company proceeded immediately with the suggested marketing plan.

Today that second company is the leading company in their field. The marketing guy claims it wasn't his efforts that got them there, but the company's own marketing philosophy. That philosophy boils down to two things.

First, they believe they should communicate more than any other company in their field. When the marketing whiz asked their director of marketing how long they continued mailing, e-mailing and contacting prospects he replied, "Forever or until they choose to do business with us."

Secondly, they don't waste time and effort debating endlessly whether something is worth trying. They get on with it. Renowned marketer Richard Benson states that there are two solutions to every problem. Number 1, test everything. Number two, refer to number 1. Companies often test which messages will get the best response. They do this to eliminate useless, time wasting discussions. After all, why debate which message will get the best results when your customers will let you know with their actions which message is better?

As a general rule if you communicate more than your competitors, you'll do better. There is a direct relationship between profit and communication. Keep at it until it doesn't pay. Then give it a rest and try again. As the the old saying goes, "the more you tell the more you sell".

If you spend five minutes everyday thinking about reasons to talk to your prospects or customers about things that might benefit or interest them (not you), you'll find it to be the best return on investment you ever make.

Don't Be A Team

The other day I got a message from "The IDMF Team". They are the people who run the International Direct Marketing Fair.

What is this obsession with initials? Aren't there enough around? And why does everyone think they need to be a team?

If I want to reply to this message, who do I reply to? The team?

Ask yourself, would you prefer to deal with a "team" or talk to one person and maybe build a relationship?

Both advertising (direct marketing) and customer service are about serving individuals better based on their specific wants, needs and characteristics. "Team" doesn't do that. Your clients don't think of themselves as "us", but as individuals. Ones who want to communicate one-on-one with another individual, not a "team".

So in your advertising don't be a team. Write from "me to you".

 

Advertising With Word Pictures

You may recall our discussion about pictures - and whether they are worth 1,000 words - but what about "word pictures" and their power?

If I say the word "dog" to you, what pops into your mind?

Do you see the word dog, or do you visualize the animal?

Most people see the animal in their mind's eye.

Word pictures can be divided into two groups; active and emotive.

Here is an example of the active type of word picture in the italics below. It is the first four paragraphs of a letter that was part of probably the most profitable advertisement ever run - a mailing for the Wall Street Journal.

On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both - as young college graduates are - were filled with dreams of the future.

Recently, these men returned to their college for their 25th reunion.

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