Ringing in a new year always presents us with the chance to be optimistic and think about the opportunities it will bring. While 2020 may have looked a lot different than expected, as 2021 nears, we actually do have reason to be optimistic. Having said that, the change of a calendar year doesn’t necessarily mean returning to the way of life we had before the events of 2020. As we continue to grow and shift the ways we learn, communicate, interact, market, and sell, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Online/remote learning as a part of traditional schools is likely not going away…maybe ever. Schools will be able to adapt to the learning model that best meets the needs of their community. In addition, now that many schools have set up the infrastructure for online/remote learning it may remain a part of their regular programs. Snow days and other unexpected days away from school could be a thing of the past. Companies serving the education community should continue to talk to educators about how they can help schools improve remote learning, as well as the transition between remote learning and face-to-face learning, and develop supportive solutions as a result.
- Face-to-face conferences and trade shows aren’t coming back right away in the new year. The outlook for the first half of the year is that most education conferences will continue to be virtual. Companies will need to continue to think about ways to reach out and build relationships with educators virtually and in the spaces they frequent. Today, more than ever, teachers are engaging with their schools (colleagues, students, parents) in digital ways (class website, social channels, LMS, email) every day. Consider what kind of digital marketing tools might help you make these connections.
- Schools will continue to look for support for students’ social emotional learning and other mental health needs. In fact, while the events of 2020 have accelerated the importance of this support, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a need that has existed for many years. SEL has long been recognized as an important key to help students develop healthy relationships, increase academic achievement, and reduce problem behaviors. Schools will likely look for partners who can help them address SEL needs — during both remote and in-person learning for 2021 and the future.
- It’s always good to do some housecleaning right before a new year. Look at your customer data and be sure it is clean, accurate, and fresh. Ensuring your data is in order will increase the efficiency of your whole marketing operation in 2021. Our free report, “From Clean to Activated: Getting the Maximum ROI from Education Data,” will provide you with keen insights into ways you can use clean, accurate, and fresh data to break through the noise to engage educators and generate conversions.
- A new year will bring new opportunities. There is potential for new federal stimulus funding for schools as well as other new federal programs. In 2020, we carefully tracked the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and we are committed to monitoring the education market providing you with up-to-date information on our blog and through webinars, research and reports.
Because of the experiences of 2020, we have a bit of a playbook for 2021 and the opportunity to provide educators and schools with the new resources and support needed to be successful as the year unfolds. MDR will be here to provide you with the resources and data that you need to inform your decisions and connect with educators.