We’ve all heard the saying that if you give someone a fish, they’ll eat for a day, but if you teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime. What that popular expression helps convey is the power of learning. And, as we’ll see, that power can easily be leveraged to fuel effective marketing. In fact, a growing number of brands are having success educating their consumers about the things they’re passionate about as well as their products. The result? Higher levels of engagement, greater brand loyalty, and increased revenue.
When you teach consumers, you can help them expand their interests and get more out of your products. That, in turn, typically increases their enjoyment, drives more sales, and helps turn them into brand advocates who will promote your products to their friends and family. Done well, every cent you put into education — whether that takes the form of classes or instructional videos, blogs, webinars, and other content — is effectively an investment toward retaining and upselling existing customers while attracting an array of new ones.
Below we take a closer look at why educational, experiential marketing can be so effective and highlight examples of prominent brands that are using classes and other types of training to get it right.
Why Educational Marketing Is So Impactful
If you’re unsure about why taking the time to educate consumers is worthwhile, the answer is simple. Educational-based marketing resonates better with consumers and costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing. Plus, as the examples below help illustrate, it’s also an effective way to:
1. Generate Interest
Camping and sportswear retailer REI has tapped into the power of learning to help grow its brand organically. The company organizes free running clubs and offers free cycling classes at most of its locations. It combines these offerings with informational seminars designed to educate consumers on things like how to become better runners or pick the right bike for their particular needs.
Simple programs like these have proven to be a great way to help generate interest and excitement by combining opportunities to practice their hobbies while getting the practical information they need to get better at them. Ultimately that has led to more people talking about REI, visiting their website to sign up, and coming to their stores to participate.
2. Build Trust
Trust is critical in any business. When consumers trust your brand, they’re more likely to spend money with you and refer you to their friends and family. Retailer Golf Galaxy understands this, which is why it offers everything from expert fittings to opportunities for customers to take lessons with golf pros and utilize an array of technologies to help them work on everything from mastering the perfect put to driving the ball straight down the fairway.
All of that goes a long way toward positioning Golf Galaxy as knowledgeable experts that golf enthusiasts can trust when making their next purchase or to simply help them meet their full potential.
3. Create a Need to Buy
Peloton is a brand that doesn’t need any introduction. One of the keys to its success has been its live and pre-recorded classes, which have put millions of people on the path to achieving their fitness goals one ride at a time.
The magic of Peloton, of course, is that through these classes, it’s created a community that people want to be a part of. And since you need a Peloton to participate in those classes, whether in-person or online, they’ve been an incredibly effective way to not only engage existing customers but also motivate other consumers to pull the trigger and get one too. Over time, Peleton’s brand has become bigger than its classes. Today, they have their own line of clothing, for example, and regularly bring in celebrity instructors with massive followings that have helped further grow the Peloton community
4. Convert Consumers into Customers
Bardstown Bourbon Company offers classes with its spirits specialists that give anyone interested the opportunity to get some hands-on experience crafting iconic bourbon blends. The distillery promises that by the end of the class, participants will understand the techniques and methods of creating a balanced, unique blended bourbon.
And while that’s a win in and of itself, the real value in these classes for Bardstown is that they create a powerful association between the products that consumers love and their particular brand of bourbon. It’s a small but effective way of ensuring that when participants think of bourbon, they think of Bardstown Bourbon.
If You Teach It, They Will Come
When it comes to winning over consumers, sales pitches aren’t always the way to go. In many cases, a more effective approach is to give them information that empowers them to do what they love doing. By teaching consumers, you can generate interest, build trust, create a need to buy, and ultimately convert consumers into customers. Dollar for dollar, it’s a highly effective way to engage new and existing customers, make them feel more connected to your brand, and get them to buy more of your products.