Kumon are the largest supplementary education supplier in the UK, providing maths and English programmes to students of any age. With the aim of helping children of all abilities reach their full potential, the Kumon method of learning enables self-learning and helps each child become independent, with a positive attitude towards learning.
The Dunstable Kumon centre has been open since the early naughties, but with no set commercial venue the uptake has been slow and irregular. With new ownership as of October 2019, we’ve worked closely to expand the centre reach and awareness, boosting student volume and moving the business into a glossy new high street home. With this established, long-term goals have been set to maintain student numbers and increase the business awareness.
With the business taking on new ownership in late 2019, student numbers were fluctuating in the mid-eighties. With the centre currently open 3 days per week from the Salvation Army on the outskirts of town, we set about looking at what changes could be made to boost student numbers in the short, mid and long-term.
Having analysed the current intake of students, it was decided we could make immediate impact prioritising students who currently studied single subjects, offering benefits and savings for those looking to take a second subject. To do this we combined print and digital marketing, through letters to the parents and creation of an in-house mailing list packed with information, updates and tips on how to get the most out of the programme.
With the short-term plan created, we moved on to establishing a mid-term plan. To do this we took a deeper look at what the programme offered, who it benefitted and how these figures effected the business turnover and margins. As with anything educational time is always a key factor. By using print and digital marketing materials, we set about targeting parents with children in key stage one. Ultimately, these children would then grow up using the Kumon method, be more flexible to the change in routine and from a business perspective, be signed up for longer periods. In order to make this work, we utilised leaflets and flyers in high footfall areas, striking deals with local soft play and coffee shops, where parents can often be found. We also followed this up with substantial social media updates, coverage and advertising to make sure that parents were aware of the business and the benefits to their children.
As a long-term plan, we knew that Kumon was all about awareness, and after a year of building student numbers, we were pleased to help the centre find and finalise a deal on a high street property. With visibility of the new centre high on both roads, busways and pedestrian only areas, the new nit provides ample space as well as 24/7 marketing. One of the key elements to the move is the high fronted windows spanning two sides of the commercial property and providing excellent viewing space for engaging and creative window displays. With all things running smoothly the centre is due to open March 6th, 2020 and will provide a solid, visible base that allows us to ramp up marketing efforts in a bid to boost student numbers further and get the most from the brand.
As with any business, visibility is key to building trust. Businesses with physical stores often benefit from larger online sales because of this. With a permanent address, signage and displays Kumon Dunstable is now in a position to spend its marketing budget more effectively and efficiently. To do this, we are working closely with our partner agency Omnis Intelligence, to provide engage, a fully bespoke multi-channel marketing programme. Using high quality data, we can target households in a 5-mile radius of the centre front doors., known to have children under the age of 18. Then, using our sophisticated email broadcast system, we can analyse data and hand pick known engagement with digital communications, to retarget through direct mailings and social media posts, further enhancing the brands visibility and proven to increase incoming enquiries and sales.
After phase one of the marketing plan, figures had increased steadily. After a 6-month period figures were into triple figures and income was steady. After moving into find new prospects, figures began to climb more rapidly. 12 months after ownership, the centre recorded figures close to double its starting stats and saw a huge spike in social media following. Amongst Kumon centres nationwide, the centres Facebook following showed the second largest growth in a 12-month period and largest subject sign up in the region.
With all of the above taking place in the midst of a global epidemic, Kumon has shown that with the right approach anything is possible and has grown from strength to strength. A new stable premise with increased visibility should only boost figures further, so watch this space!
Kumon has been a great example of what happens if you trust in our services and processes. Whilst not always instant, steady and well-planned brand marketing, can see strong improvements in sales and recognition over time. Pumping marketing budgets into grand scale plans can see quick returns, but by steadily increasing marketing input over time and building off events in the business return on investment can allow you to build further and see greater results in the longer term.
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