“For years, our marketing efforts have drawn parents to our center. We have enrolled them fairly easily, and they have usually stayed. Now, it’s not as easy to generate inquiries, or to persuade them to come in for a visit and enroll. And even though we provide quality care and education, they don’t seem to stay like they used to. I know the economy is sluggish and there’s more competition, but we have always been able to overcome those obstacles in the past. Not so now,”
Says the owner/director of an early care and education center.

If you are saying something similar, consider this. Economic influencers and fierce competition can impact inquiry generation and enrollment levels. However, a factor you may not have considered is the difference in how today’s parents of young children make buying decisions. Today’s primary target market for early care and education services is unique in how they perceive your image and marketing message, and in what causes them to act on that perception.

Not everyone sees through the same eyes or hears through the same ears.  As prospective parents read your ads and brochures, visit your website, and talk to you on the telephone or during a center visit, each prospect sees and hears it differently. Their perceptions and their urgency to act on that impression, vary according to a number of buying influencers. One of the most powerful to be studied recently is generational diversity. It influences how your prospects see their world, and more importantly, how and when they buy your early care and education services.

Generational Differences

There are five generational groups in America today – MaturesBoomersGeneration X-ersMillennials, and Generation Z-ers. They each see through different eyes and hear through different ears.

No one perspective is right or wrong. It’s just that each generation sees it differently. Members of each generation are linked through shared life experiences in former years. Adversities, changes in technology, and other complexities of life experienced while they were young cause them to view the world – and their buying decision process – in unique ways. Since the prospect’s perspective is the reality from which they make buying decisions, understanding their view is essential to making them feel comfortable enough to buy from you.

In the next blog, we will take a closer look at the two of these groups most likely to have parents of young children – Generation X-ers and Millennials and reveal valuable insight into why old marketing approaches are no longer as effective, and what changes you need to make to appeal to the majority of today’s early care and education buyers.

Julie Wassom
The Child Care Marketing Coach
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author