5 Reasons Why Parents Pick Competitors Over You

You’ve spent countless hours planning out your dream tuition centre.

Everything is in place. And you’re sure you have all the bases covered.

You’ve researched the most effective teaching methods, you hired good teachers, and you’ve even come up with a great slogan like “We will help your child get an A* in Math/Science/English”.

It’s all ready to go live, and you’re ready to watch parents pouring into your centre.

You finally open your centre, but then… nothing.

Sure, you have some decent referrals, but for the most part, it looks like parents just aren’t interested in enrolling kids in your centre.

The worst part?

Parents seem to be choosing your biggest competitors over you — even though you know that what you offer is way better than what they’re offering!

Why is this happening?

It’s kind of like unrequited love.

You love them, but parents just aren’t buying what you’re selling.

So why aren’t parents flocking to your centre the way you want them to?

Yes, you’ve put in a lot of hours into perfecting your curriculum — but unfortunately, it’s not always that easy.

But the good news is — there are a few adjustments you can make if you want to have an influx of parents coming to your centre.

Here are 8 of the biggest issues why parents pick competitors over you [and how you can fix them]:

  1. You Don’t Have A Unique Marketing Message That “Pops” Out

First thing you should know:

Saying those generic “have fun while learning”, “small class sizes”, “highly-qualified teachers” kind of messages doesn’t cut it in the highly-competitive education industry anymore.

90% of the centres out there are saying these things — and saying the same message just doesn’t separate you from the rest of the herd…

Making you just “another tuition centre” in the eyes of the parents.

And parents will naturally overlook your centre, and go for the one that is saying a different message from the rest — a.k.a the centre that is “unique”.

It’s like when you go to the supermarket to get apple juice, for example.

You’ll see 9 out of 10 brands of apple juice talking about “100% natural apple juice” or “made with real apples”.

Boring. Generic. Nothing Special.

But if you see one brand talking about how their juice is made with a revolutionary approach from Finland — which fully extracts a little-known ingredient in apples that can give you radiant skin & can slow down skin-aging…

Naturally, you’ll buy that brand of juice.


Because that brand is saying something unique!

Suddenly it’s not just “another apple juice” — now it’s apple juice that can give you radiant skin.

THIS is what you should be doing with the marketing message of your centre.

Once you craft a unique marketing message that separates you from your competitors, that’s when parents will perk up and pay attention to what you have to offer.

If you specialise in Problem Sums, use that in your marketing message.

If you specialise in minimising careless mistakes in Math, convey that in your marketing message.

If you have a unique way to condense the large volume of content in Science subjects into simple, digestible bits of info… tell that to parents.

This one simple “tweak” to your marketing message can yield a stark increase in your student signups.

Just ask ISun Education — one of our education clients who achieved tremendous growth in their business, by making their marketing message more unique.

We helped them come up with a unique message that focused on shaving off 90% of students’ revision time for PSLE…

And “shouted” it out in all of their Facebook ads:

With this highly-unique message, ISun Education managed to get more than 300 parent enquiries and got more than $104,000 worth of revenue… all within a 6-month period.

Pretty impressive — and a big part of their success is attributed to having a unique marketing message.

So take a look at your current marketing message and ask yourself:

“Is this DIFFERENT from what my competitors are saying? If it’s not, what can I say to differentiate myself?”

This question alone has the potential to help turn your business around.

  1. You Didn’t Show Adequate Proof To Back Up Your Claims

You know those “spam” advertisements you randomly get while surfing the Net — the ones announcing that you can make $454,576 in just 3 months?

Ever wondered why you “tsk” in irritation and hastily click “X” on these ads?

The answer is simple:

The claims sound outrageous and seem too good to be true!

The big reason behind this is the fact that the ad/website didn’t show adequate proof to back up their claims.

Not enough proof = skepticism.

Same thing goes for the education industry.

When it comes to advertising your education centre’s programs, you have to show sufficient proof for parents to believe your claims.

Otherwise, parents will just click “X” after visiting your website or just scroll past your ads on Facebook without hesitation.

So, how can you “beef” up the credibility of your claims?

One of the best ways is to use statistics in your marketing materials.

[Above] An Example Of A Graphical Representation Of Stats From One Of Our Clients

Parents can’t refute cold, hard numbers — and it’s a sure-fire way to gain their trust.

But a word of caution though:

You need to explain HOW you got those stats… otherwise parents will feel you just pulled the numbers out of thin air.

Not to worry though — explaining the source of the stats you used can easily be done by:

  1. Quoting a research study done by a respectable source (e.g MOE, Harvard)
  2. Or quote that it’s from your own experience of analysing your students’ work over the past XX years.

Now, I’d definitely recommend Option 1 if you can find a research study done by MOE or any other widely-recognised institutions…

However, in our experience, finding such studies can be tough and takes a lot of time and effort on your part — especially if you’re searching for studies done SPECIFICALLY in the area that your teaching methodology helps.

So, in the interest of saving your time, I’d strongly suggest the easier and less time-consuming Option 2.

The great thing about quoting stats based on your own experience of analysing your students’ work is…

it’s a great way to brand yourself as an “expert” in the eyes of the parents.

To give you a clear idea of exactly how you can do this, here’s an example of how you can apply this to your marketing materials immediately:

[Above] How One Centre Used Proof To Back Up Their Claims

Notice how the centre mentioned that they “have 9 centres island-wide and have helped thousands of students”?

This shows to parents that “hey, we are an established centre”.

Then the centre compared their personal student statistics (79-85% score an A/A*) to the national average (which is below 50%).

This gives parents the extra confidence that “wow, their students do better than the national average”.


Established centre + students do better than national average = higher trust.

Of course this is just ONE way to increase believability and to show proof…

But the fact is:

Showing proof and increasing trust is the key to how our clients are able to win over parents and have them entrust their kids to their centres and programs over their lack-of-proof-to-back-up-their-claims competitors.

If you want to gain the trust of parents, do a quick check of your current marketing materials and ask yourself:

“Is there enough proof to back up my claims?”

Note: Using statistics is just one way to back up your claims. If you’re interested in finding out more ways to win the trust of parents, you can arrange for a private consultation with our education-marketing experts by clicking the image above.

  1. You Are Not Using Facebook To Market Your Programs

Did you know that over 3.8 Million Singaporeans are on Facebook?

Source: http://www.hashmeta.com/social-media-singapore-infographic/

This means it’s safe to say that a huge chunk of parents are scrolling through Facebook every single day.

Which means that it’s undeniably the best platform to market your programs… simply due to the sheer amount of parents you can reach out to.

So if you are still mulling over the idea of using Facebook to market your programs…

You are missing out — big time.

Because aside from it’s powerful reach…

The best part about Facebook?

It is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising you can find today in order to reach the maximum possible amount of parents.

To reach every 1,000 people of your audience, all you need to fork out is a super-affordable 25 cents!

So if you want to reach 1,000,000 parents… it will only cost you a very reasonable $250.

That’s 250% cheaper than Google Adwords ($2,750) and 66% cheaper than LinkedIn Ads ($750).

Yes, Facebook is the ultimate advertising platform for educators because of its powerful parent reach PLUS it’s very cheap to use.

Unfortunately, 90% of education-centre owners out there are clueless about how to maximise and effectively use Facebook Advertising to give the most bang for every advertising buck they spend.

That’s what Jeremy — founder of The Classroom — faced before he met us:

He had tried a bit of Facebook advertising here and there, but didn’t see any significant results — i.e he still faced challenges getting consistent new student signups.

However, after we shared with him how to make use of our “hyper-targeted” Facebook advertising techniques…

He could:

  1. Send the RIGHT message
  2. To the RIGHT parent
  3. Resulting in sky-high signups

(Above) Some Of The Targeting Options On Facebook We Used To Help Jeremy Reach Out To The Parents Most Likely To Sign Up For His Programs

Imagine having the ability to send the RIGHT ads that are 100% Relevant to The Most Highly-Interested Parents looking for YOUR solution to their children’s needs.

Just think of how much sales and revenue you’ll have flowing into your business, when almost every single parent that comes down to your centre for consultations or trial classes… SIGNS up their kids for your programs in a heartbeat.

This is all possible if you start using Facebook to hyper-target the parents most interested in your programs.

For Jeremy? He managed to get $14,400 worth of student signups in just 2 weeks after implementing our Facebook strategies.

Yes, one of the best things you can do right now for your education business is to start marketing on Facebook.

Trust me, it’ll be one of the best business decisions you’ll ever make.

  1. Your Marketing Materials Don’t Persuade Parents To Take Action

Imagine the new Iphone 8 has just launched and you go down to the nearest Singtel store to check it out.

When you’re looking at the Iphone, A Singtel salesman comes to you and starts sharing with you all the amazing features…

He gets you really interested… but in the end you tell him “thanks, but maybe next time I will come by and get it”.


Because he didn’t do a good job in persuading you to take action RIGHT NOW.

If he had thrown in a special fast-action bonus for you — like a free set of AirPods (worth $200) if you get the Iphone 8 right there and then…

Or if he had pointed out all the problems your Iphone 7 is giving you & how the Iphone 8 easily solves everything PLUS it can do so much more for you…

You’d definitely have gotten the new Iphone 8 immediately.

When it comes to parents and your education programs, this same scenario always happens.

Most of the time, parents do read your ads or flyers… but they just don’t take action right away.

They might take a few days to “think about it” or tell themselves “maybe next time” — and eventually forget even seeing your marketing materials.

Or worse, your marketing might have made them realise their child has a big problem, but because you didn’t persuade them to take action right now…

They end up enrolling in your competitors programs after seeing THEIR ads on Facebook — just because they did a better job persuading parents to take immediate action.

This is why it’s critical that you — as an education-business owner — have to know how to persuade parents to rush down to your centre ASAP to enrol their kids in your programs…

Otherwise, you’ll be losing a ton of potential student signups to your competitors.

Now, you’re probably wondering:

“How do I get parents to take action right away after seeing my ads?”

If you recall my Iphone 8 analogy earlier…

One of the ways you can persuade parents to take immediate action is:

Give A Limited Fast-Action Bonus For The

 First XX Parents To Sign Up

Sometimes all parents need is an extra “push” to send them over the fence on signing up for a trial class, a 1-on-1 consultation or whatever you have to offer…

And in our experience, a special fast-action bonus does a pretty good job.

That’s why we advise our clients to give away fast-action bonuses to the first XX parents to sign up.

[Above] An Example Of A Fast-Action Bonus From Our Client

The precise number is up to you BUT it has to give the feeling that it’s very limited — a good range would be for the first 10-15 parents.

Also, the bonus has to be VALUABLE to the parents… otherwise, it won’t work in persuading them to sign up. (Makes sense, right?).

To give you a clearer idea of what I mean, here is one more example from our clients (the rest of the ad is redacted for protection of privacy):

[Above] An Example Of A Fast-Action Bonus From Our Client

So now you know what to do:

Start thinking of valuable bonuses you can give away for free… so you can help persuade parents to take immediate action after reading your ads.

You’ll be surprised at the jump in signups you’ll get.

  1. You Are Not Properly Educating Parents On How Your Programs Solve A Unique Problem

Most educators we know just can’t figure out why parents decide to enrol their kids in their competitors’ programs instead of theirs…

Especially when their competitors don’t provide the same kind of value that they do.

If this thought ever crossed your mind, let us save you some time and share with you their “secret”.

All your more successful competitors are just doing a better job in EDUCATING parents on how their programs solve a specific unique problem that ONLY they can help with.

Take every parents’ favourite education brand — Mindchamps, for example.

They did an excellent job in educating parents on the unique problem of “The 3 Minds”… and exactly how their methodology helps nurture every child’s “3 Minds”.

And how did they do this?

By running parent education events.

This is why we teach our education clients to run successful parent education events — because it’s a tried-and-tested model of success.

[Above] Packed Parent Education Events Run By Our Education Clients

Now, before you go on thinking:

“But I’m already running open houses, trial classes and things like that… what’s the difference?”

Let’s get one thing clear:

How we teach our clients to run it… is completely different from how other education centres are running it in the market right now.

Most of the centres out there simply do a sharing session with the parents… and that’s it.

There’s no OUTCOME that the parents take.

No signups.


For our education clients on the other hand, we share with them exactly how they can TEACH parents a skill/information that is valuable to them.

This gets parents to TRUST you more and BELIEVE that you are an expert in your field, and that you are the best person to help their children…

And once they trust and believe in you, that’s when parents will sign up for your programs.

Once you’re able to start running highly-educational parent events, you’ll see an instant surge in student signups and revenue for your education business.

Parents Rushing To Sign Up For Our Clients’ Programs After Attending Their Parent Education Events

In fact, our client, Vivien Le — Founder of Le Xue Education — managed to bring in $35,000 worth of student signups within just 60 days… simply by running parent education events.

As you can see:

Parent education events simply work.

Our education clients’ success has proven it.

So if you’re interested in enjoying mass student acquisition in just a couple of weekends…

Parent education events is the way to go.


The reality is that parents pick competitors over you for any number of reasons — but thankfully, there’s always something you can do to rectify the situation.

If your marketing message sounds the same as 90% of the other education centres out there, then it might be time to rethink how you can come up with something more unique.

And if parents tend to say “sure anot…” when you explain to them about how your programs can help their child… then beef up the proof behind your claims.

If you’re still not using Facebook to market your programs, it’s time to create a Business Manager account and start leveraging on the platform that more than 3.8 Million Singaporeans (and a huge chunk of parents) are using.

Perhaps parents are interested in your programs but you haven’t given them the final “push” they need to sign their kids up… so give them a valuable fast-action bonus to encourage them to take immediate action when they see your marketing materials.

Also, you should start running parent education events to properly educate parents on why you are so special and how your programs can help their children with a specific unique problem.

The bottom line?

You have to show parents why you are the best possible centre to help their children — and you have to do so in multiple ways and multiple touch points.

If you have any questions about the points covered in this article, just drop a comment below and I’ll answer it as soon as possible 🙂