When we buy something, we all follow a purchasing route with several stages, from the moment we discover a need to the moment we finally buy. . This journey is what we call the Buying Process and in the education segment, it is no different.
In the end, understanding this process totally makes a difference in your relationship with your audience and potential students.
The difference is that, in other markets, some processes are shorter, since a purchase can be made without impulse. In education, almost no one opts for an online course or degree out of sheer impulse. The road to decision is much longer, because the sector is selling dreams, life options to fulfill purposes and therefore requires a process that involves a consultative sale, an accompaniment.
This decision can represent a high investment and if made impulsively and wrongly, it can have negative consequences in other areas of this person’s life.
If a student chooses a language school with a methodology that is not compatible with her learning pace, she will surely not achieve her objectives. He or she will lose time, feel frustration, and may give negative feedback to your institution. Can you imagine the negative impact that this type of evaluation could have on other people’s decisions?
But, after all, what is the Buying Process and how does it work in practice for the educational segment?
The Buying Process is the complete path that a potential student or potential decision maker will take before choosing your educational institution. It goes from the stage in which the person in the educational segment begins to discover and know the institution to the stage in which it becomes the appropriate option for a student.
Our goal is that a student’s purchase or re-enrollment does not happen on impulse. The relationship with potential students is maintained with content that takes into account the four stages of the Purchase Process:
- Learning and discovery.
- Acknowledgment of the problem.
- Consideration of the solution.
- Evaluation and purchase.
To facilitate understanding of the Buying Process in this segment, follow each step below and the relationship that exists between the different profiles of the education sector and discover how to definitely work with Inbound Marketing. it becomes a benefit. .
How do the 4 steps of the Buying Process work for the education segment?
Here we will go through each of its 4 steps and indicate, in a practical way, what you must do in all of them to successfully apply the Inbound Marketing methodology.
To put these actions into practice it is important to have an all-in-one tool that has the main resources in one place so that your Inbound Marketing operation is more effective. So the advice is to use RD Station Marketing, the leading marketing automation tool in Latin America.
At the end of the content you will see more details about this tool, chosen by more than 25 thousand companies to optimize their Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing strategies.
But first, we will share the step by step of how the stages in the Purchase Process work:.
First Phase: Learning and discovery
There is always someone who wants or needs to study and knows for sure where to start looking.
It is possible that some potential students are not looking for some type of study or institution. However, when coming across the website or social network profile of a company that works with courses and educational products, it is necessary for them to find information that is attractive or sufficient to arouse their interest.
It is likely that this phase of the Purchase Process will be when a future decision maker has the first contact with the institution. In addition to social media profiles, this can happen through other digital channels, such as a blog, paid ads, or referrals from other people.
At this stage, it is important to produce and make available content of value that generates some kind of potential interest. The goal is to make sure they have to go back to the channel where they found this information in order to take the next step.
An excellent channel of attraction and relationship is the blog, as we already talked about in the post: 5 points that will make you understand how important the Blog is for Educational Institutions.
These are some suggestions for content that you can create for this stage:
- Why does studying X make a difference for Y?
- The 10 benefits of a Z course for your career.
- How the J methodology influences learning.
- What is A’s role for future students.
- What your child should learn in the initial years of school.
- What does the labor market expect of the professionals of the future?
Second Phase: Recognition of the problem
After awakening the interest of the potential student, at this stage it must be demonstrated that they have a problem or an opportunity for growth that can be enhanced in the field of education.
That potential student will start to investigate and interact more with your brand. This will strengthen the relationship between the institution and the lead. The curiosity to know more will lead you to consume more content.
The contents of this phase need to show alternatives so that this student or potential decision-maker begins to see possibilities of solving what he has just discovered.
Suggestions for phase 1 and 2 of the Purchase Process for the basic education segment
It should be taken into account that in some cases we have two profiles that are involved in the final decision: On the one hand, there is the future student who is the one who is in the entire purchase process and there is the decision maker of the purchase who can be the parents or the sponsors of your study who in the end will give an endorsement of whether or not based surely on the economic factor. That is why it is important not to forget to address both of them since their role is fundamental in the final decision: One as a decision maker and the other as an influencer of the purchase.
In this sense, some of the needs that can be shown for these decision makers to take into account are related to these points:
- The impact of the teaching methodology adopted by a school.
- Values in the construction of intellectual and social knowledge.
- Fundamental care in the early years of a child’s education.
- Preparation for a stage beyond basic education.
Tips for steps 1 and 2 of the Purchase Process for higher education
In higher education when we approach graduation, basic education can be approached initially in its initial stages, since it is a socially consolidated need. In this way, some of the pains that need to be recognized and addressed for this profile are related to the impact of an undergraduate degree in professional life. Some aspects that can be worked with are the needs of the market, salaries and areas of specialization.
When we talk about graduate studies, some needs or answers that potential students want to know are related to professional growth and improvement in a specific area of activity, as well as opportunities for salary increases in the area itself.
Tips for steps 1 and 2 of the Free Course Purchase Process
In institutions that offer free courses, the search for people is closely related to even more specific and faster knowledge than in a graduate school, for example.
The needs that must be recognized may be linked to obtaining a promotion at work, having more mastery in a subject or improving some aspect of personal life, which may or may not be reflected in professional life.
Here are some suggestions for content topics you can work on:
- How to learn more about X?
- 3 tips on how to get better grades on entrance exams and tests.
- Everything you need to know about Y to take the next step in your career.
- How to be professionally successful studying at home.
Third Phase: Consideration of the solution
With the understanding of the need, the future student should feel the urgency to solve it, approaching to consider the purchase. At this stage, your institution should show you how you can begin to solve the problem with what you can offer and why you are the best option.
It is essential to demonstrate that the options you offer have the quality and accessibility you are looking for. This is important so that you don’t think about making up your mind later or considering competitors as a possibility.
Advice of the phase of the Purchase Process for the segment of basic education
At this stage, it is interesting to present content such as:
- More detailed presentation of the pedagogical line followed by the institution.
- Board of teachers with emphasis on the competences of each one.
- Assess the differences with testimonies from parents of students and former students.
- Show the success of the institution’s students in the selection processes, student championships and other activities.
Tips for phase 3 of the Purchase Process for higher education
For undergraduate students, it may be relevant to provide vocational tests, market evaluations of positions and salaries for the areas of specialization of those trained in the courses, in addition to the performance possibilities that are not so widespread for a given training .
For graduate students, data on the need for specialists in certain market areas and career progression charts for those with this certification work well. Testimonials from former students and academic and professional success stories also fit in positively here.
Tips for phase 3 of the Free Course Purchase Process
This phase is the ideal time to offer exercises with topics from an institution course, parts of a program and present the benefits of hiring a teaching and learning course or service.
You can also offer the option of sending questions directly to teachers or tutors and taking placement tests. Social proof, such as alumni testimonials, is also relevant here.
Here are some suggestions for content topics:
- See how student X reached position Y by studying with us.
- Why the W methodology is the basis of our institution.
- Access our program and answer your questions.
- Meet our students who passed the Z entrance exam.
- Watch a free class!
- Discover what our former students have learned with us!
Fourth phase: Purchase decision
In this phase, the closeness with the future student or decision maker is greater and it is the moment in which they will make the final decision.
Use content and strategies that demonstrate the differential of your institution in relation to the others and how by choosing your options you will be able to achieve all the growth objectives related to the educational field.
Advice from phase 4 of the Buying Process for basic education
This is the presentation phase of the institution to the family, either in person or through a virtual tour, showing parents and students the infrastructure.
It is even possible to make a kind of demonstration, which allows them to follow a section of a classroom, know the class in which the student will enroll and clarify any doubts they may still have.
Advice from phase 4 of the Purchase Process for higher education
In this phase, both for undergraduate and graduate courses, enrollment and monthly fees should be offered, as well as scholarships, student aid (own or government) and incentive programs in general, as well as alliances with companies for programs of internships, for example.
Also invest in call-to-action buttons (Call to action or CTA) that direct the contact to your service team.
Tips for phase 4 of the Buying Process in free courses
Now is the perfect time to offer free trial classrooms! If your courses only work in the face-to-face model, gather groups of interested people to present a special classroom.
For online courses, release a course module, talk about discounts in general, and make the enrollment process as easy as possible.
Here are some suggestions for content topics you can work with:
- Get to know our institution virtually and schedule your free trial class!
- Discover the financing plans for students that are available at our institution!
- Try module 1 of our course and share your opinion.
- Access your class for free!
Building the Buying Process in practice
The Buying Process is an important guide for companies in the educational segment that work as their own students. It helps to guide the production of content and the attention to the needs of the person, which guarantees the development of strategies according to your objectives.
Knowing the buyer persona of your institution, use the Buying Process to work with Digital Marketing and attract more students. Take into account the specifications of each profile, but always keep the focus on what you can offer your future students and when they will be ready to receive that information.
To put into practice what you need to build this purchasing process, you have RD Station Marketing, the leading marketing automation tool in Latin America. With it, you have access to functions such as:
- Creation of Landing Pages for the dissemination of courses (with ready-to-use templates).
- Creation and delivery of Email Marketing campaigns (with ready-to-use templates).
- Pop-ups and WhatsApp button on the website.
- Lead segmentation to talk to the right people, at the right time in the process.
- Automation flows that allow you to create a personalized experience for your potential customers.
- And much more!
How about an example of how to get good results? We have the case of Conquer, a company in the education sector that gained more than 500 thousand new students, even in the middle of the pandemic, using the RD Station Marketing functions. This is just an example of a page created with the tool:
How about experiencing these and other features in practice? Start your free trial for 10 days now, without using your credit card.