Developing a marketing plan will help you think about why families should choose your program. A marketing plan also gives your program a sense of identity or brand. Use the steps below to create a marketing plan that works for your business.
- State Your Mission, Values and Program Philosophy
Think about what makes your program unique and how it can meet the needs of children and families. What benefits beyond the hours of operation and the ages of children you plan to serve will you offer to families? What does your program believe that makes it a great choice for children and families? Create a mission statement and program philosophy that reflect your program’s values, priorities, and goals.
- Know Your Market, Community and Audience
Use your findings from the needs assessment to help you answer questions about the need for child care in your area, what age groups might need care, and where families live and work. It is also important to know who else is providing child care services in your area. You may want to visit other child care programs to get a sense of what they offer to children and families.
Additionally, think about what type of families you want to serve and who would benefit most from your program. This is the primary audience you should consider when marketing your program.
- Develop Marketing Strategies and Objectives
Think about where your audience is likely to look for information, and consider different strategies you can use to attract families to your program. You can create a logo, design a website, develop a social media presence and distribute flyers about your program. Have a sign created for the front of your child care business, and plan to reach out to businesses to get the word out about your program. Decide on the budget you may need for each strategy.
You will need to be able to evaluate your plan to know what types of strategies work for you. Before putting a strategy into practice, decide what your goal is and when you will revisit the strategy to see if it is successful or should be adjusted.
- Create a Communication Plan
Your marketing plan should highlight the unique aspects of your program, including your strategies to attract families to your program, and your marketing budget. Be sure that your plan includes steps, budget line items and timelines for both the creation and distribution of your marketing materials.
It is helpful to market your program whether you are just opening or if you have been open for years. Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency (CCR&R) for support with your marketing plan and reaching your target audience.