It’s just a MATter of Marketing (or what we can learn from the dating game)!

Forgive the pun/play on words and forgive me for the “everything is about marketing” tone of this blog – but of you are thinking about setting up a MAT or you are a nascent MAT thinking about expansion – then you are about to enter a sellers’ market.

At a recent conference a roundtable discussion focussed on how schools choosing to join a MAT should “size up” their potential new partners. It brought to me images of kicking the tyres of a car someone is looking to buy or checking out a hotel or restaurant on Trip Advisor or even “swiping right” on Tinder! Well, until we develop the “MATch” app (now there’s a thought!) how can you make sure your MAT is attractive to the kind of schools you want to partner with?

Here are 4 things we think are important!

1.       Communicate your character

Defining and communicating the character of your MAT is crucial. What is the culture of the MAT? What is it going to be like to actually BE part of the MAT? Is it “principal led”? Will schools retain much of their own culture? Or are you a MAT who will look to import policy, procedure and practice irrespective of what currently happens? Finding the best and most attractive way to honestly and with integrity state “who you are” is key. Then schools can appraise you in a transparent and objective fashion.

2.       Tell people what they will get

How are you going to support the schools? What will the get for their top-slice contribution? Do you “supply” new branding, website and signage as part of the “deal”? What extras in terms of partnerships and access to funding and initiatives can you bring? What influences and pressure can you bring to bare to the advantage of potential partners?  Will they enjoy and inherit aspects of your (undoubted) good reputation? You may need to define and develop your offer to make sure it is attractive enough in this crowded market place.

3.       Appearances are important

If your MAT website is too rudimental, if your materials are too homemade, if your language is underdeveloped and clumsy, if your logo is crude and clumsy, if your Powerpoint template is all over the place – then what does that say about the quality of support you are offering? MATs are often offering savings and professional support in back office and business services. If you don’t present a professional and high quality image, why would anyone think you can deliver professional and high quality support?

4.       Substance is more importance

Well, I would say all the above in point 3 wouldn’t I! Glove is a creative agency at heart after all! But we are also a strategic consultancy and so we recognise that, irrespective of how you look, if you don’t have the substance and the evidence to back up your super-duper new look then it’s just oh so much spin. So, detailed and in-depth case studies about how your MAT has improved key performance indicators are crucial. BUT these have to be presented in an accessible and benefit led fashion.

At the end of the day, it’s all about marketing and ensuring what you want to say is communicated clearly.

Through our communication and marketing consultancy service we can make sure you are ready to go to market and make sure your ambitions are matched by your strategies and communications.

And we can guide and create a brand that matches your character and communicates your vision effectively and efficiently – and supply all the collateral to support it including websites, social media and printed material.

Call us today to start a conversation.  Remember – MAT Marketing Matters.

John BrennanComment