By Kerry Roberts

When we think of marketing, we typically think about logos, tag lines, positioning statement and flashy TV ads.  Luke and Amber have written several brilliant pieces in recent months showcasing how Marketing permeates our culture and our decision making even when we don’t realize it.

I like to consider myself a savvy marketer; and a fairly rational decision maker – I want to share a personal story that, on reflection, proves to me yet again how powerful marketing can be in influencing the path of our lives.

We are relocating from the Midwest to the New York City area in the next few months.  My evenings have become filled with marathon research sessions exploring neighborhoods, schools, commute times etc.  Among all the incredibly terrific towns in Westchester County, I have become fully, deeply and emotionally attached to one elementary school in a neighborhood I had never even heard about until I booted up my laptop last week.

Why?  The Kindergarten teacher made a video.

It features her calm soothing voice, showcases happy children in a nurturing environment, and speaks to the school’s philosophy for learning.  Do I think that every other school in the area is less loving, less academic, or that the teacher’s voice is any less soothing?  Objectively – No.  But am I willing to make a huge real estate investment, with major implications to my family all because she took the time to embrace technology and post to a website?  You betcha.

I am knowingly falling victim to the marketing efforts of this very smart kindergarten teacher, and here’s why I’m ok with getting ‘schooled’ by this teacher on Marketing 101:

  • She made an Emotional Connection:  While relocating my family is certainly a roller coaster of emotions, choosing a home and neighbourhood should be fairly objective.  The impact of that emotional connection however, has outweighed other factors and inspired a loyalty to a brand (or school in this case) that I haven’t even experienced yet.
  • She put the rock in the snowball.  Wrapped up in the emotional, she included the very rational and important “Reasons to Believe” (starting to sound like a creative brief yet?).  While I admit I’m a sucker for happy smiling kids, the teacher was smart enough to showcase the projects that her students had worked on, the field trips etc.
  • Embracing Technology:  More and more people are making life, brand and purchase decisions only after thorough investigation, often online.  I applaud this teacher for mastering a technology, and having the savvy to understand the power of video over pictures to tell a story.

Stay tuned for an update on our decision making (and if you have any thoughts on Westchester towns please drop me a line!).

I certainly think this is one kindergarten teacher that missed her calling as a marketer.  But I think I’ll wait to tell her until after she’s taught my sons!

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