Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Preschoolers Across the Nation Search for the Top Educational Toys for the Holidays

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, is kicking off its 9th annual Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. This year, preschoolers from 50 Goddard School locations across the United States are on the hunt for the top 10 educational toys for children (infants to six years old), just in time for the holiday season. The world’s leading toy companies are going head-to-head for the coveted title of The Goddard School’s winning educational toy of the year!

Each year, early childhood education experts from The Goddard School Toy Test Committee review dozens of applications from toy manufacturers across the globe. Each entry is evaluated based on specific educational criteria including encouraging interactive, child-initiated play, inspiring creativity and collaboration, and supporting skill development and playful learning.

The 25 toys that score the highest in the evaluation process will be tested by children from September 19 through September 23 at the 50 participating Goddard School locations across the U.S. The preschoolers and teachers will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys. From there, the top 10 toys will be put to a public vote on The Goddard School’s Toy Test page from November 1 to November 11, 2016 to determine the winning educational toy of the season. GSI will purchase 100 units of the winning toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

“The Goddard School’s Toy Test initiative is an enriching time of the year for the preschoolers as they are able to engage in playful, new learning experiences with the nation’s top toys,” says GSI’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Craig Bach. “By having the children participate in our annual Toy Test, they are immersed in an environment that centers around our core educational philosophy of playful learning. Within this environment, they are gaining valuable tools and lessons that are vital to their future successes in school and life.”

Past Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include brands such as Laser Pegs, K’NEX Brands, Learning Resources, and Lakeshore Learning Materials. For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit

Newest EAB Members Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson Share Back-To-School Tips for Parents

The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focused on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, is adding two new members to its esteemed Educational Advisory Board (EAB); Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson. The Goddard School’s EAB is a knowledgeable group of educators, researchers and experts from a range of early childhood fields including early learning and curriculum development, technology integration, brain development, parent engagement and health and nutrition.

For many years, the EAB has helped The Goddard School to move research into action to maintain the best in industry curriculm as the science of learning grows and evolves. To achieve this goal, the EAB provides crucial feedback on new programs and services; suggesting improvements to the industry leader’s proprietary F.L.EX.® Learning Program and supporting original research and publications. The Goddard School looks forward to Drs. Jipson and Pai incorporating their cutting edge research into Goddard Schools all across the country.

A thought leader in the kids’ educational media and international child development fields, Dr. Pai brings her expertise in cultural sensitivity and diversity as well as the influence of media and technology to early childhood education. Holding her doctorate degree in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and prior Vice President of Research at Common Sense Media, Pai hopes to enhance The Goddard School’s research and strategy by acting as a translator of the most up-to-date media studies and methodologies as well as providing insights on child diversity and identity.

Regarding back to school, “This is a time to be willing, as a parent, to embrace all methods of learning,” said Dr. Seeta Pai, new EAB member. “Relax and think about learning as a lifelong enterprise, not something that children do within the four walls of their classroom. Embrace and follow your child’s passion and encourage them to ask questions.”

Dr. Jipson, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Child Development at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, brings experience and knowledge to early childhood education within the domains of science, health and technology. Referencing her studies of how children learn and develop as they engage in everyday routines, Dr. Jipson hopes to shed more light on ways children learn through informal settings and help a larger audience understand child development as a field.

Dr. Jipson believes that establishing a routine is key for back-to-school time. “Get your child’s mind and body prepared for the big shift – whether it be moving bedtime back to an earlier time, making meal times more regular or establishing weekday schedules for homework, TV, baths, etc. Start early and ease children in,” she says.

“At The Goddard School, the EAB ensures a high-quality education program to prepare children for social and academic success in the 21st century,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “We’re extremely fortunate to have Drs. Jipson and Pai joining our team of educators, researchers and experts and we’re confident that they’ll be a valuable asset to furthering our unique play-based curriculum.”

For more information on The Goddard School and their Educational Advisory Board, please visit

This Harvard Business Review blog article offered pearls of wisdom from Goddard Systems’ CEO, Joe Schumacher, on why midsize companies should set priorities and avoid procrastination. Read the full article here.


“Social media for the business generation is not ‘one size fits all.’ It is not the silver bullet, cure-all or magic elixir. It is, nevertheless, imperative to the livelihood of franchise brands.” – Ashley Betzendahl, Manager, Interactive Media, Goddard Systems, Inc.

Read Ashley’s full article in Franchising World.

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, a leader in franchised educational childcare for 25 years, is pleased to announce the appointment of Maureen Corneal as Vice President of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations.

Ms. Corneal, a seasoned marketing and strategic communications professional, will focus on the strategic direction and implementation of the company’s marketing, advertising, public relations and market research efforts on behalf of its network of nearly 400 franchised Goddard School locations across the nation. She will serve as part of the company’s senior leadership team and will report to GSI Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dzana Homan.

“We are thrilled to have Maureen join our team,” said Dzana Homan. “Her experience across the spectrum of grade levels will help us communicate that learning is a lifelong process, and it starts with the decisions and commitments made in early childhood education.”

“A large part of my role with GSI will be to further the brand’s stellar reputation as a trusted industry leader. Goddard is poised for smart, strategic growth, and our marketing initiatives will focus on repeatable, optimal and sustainable results, much of which is based on research and analytics and understanding our customers,” said Ms. Corneal. “Goddard is all about families, relationships, and meaningful communication; we want to stay in close touch with parents’ interests, behaviors and ideals on what is important for their children.”

Ms. Corneal’s background includes advertising agency, franchising, market research and analytics experience. She started her career at Sylvan Learning Centers where she first established her focus on education organizations and gained experience with franchise marketing communications.

Prior to joining GSI, Ms. Corneal served five years as Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives and four years as Executive Director of Marketing and Brand Communication for Laureate Education, Inc., a worldwide network of higher education institutions.

For more information, visit

Publicity – Connect and Communicate

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Public relations (PR) is a marketing tool and a form of communication that businesses can use to reach consumers. Positive PR can help develop goodwill and strengthen the credibility of a business or brand. By conveying who you are, what you do and how you make a difference, you can influence the public’s perception and opinion. PR can work to a business’s advantage or disadvantage, so a wise company or business owner is proactive in their PR strategy. Taking advantage of the opportunity to get as much positive information out to the public as possible and anticipating challenging situations can help to create a buffer and a balance to public conception if a problem arises.

Publicity is part of PR and encompasses media coverage including news stories, interviews, editorials and reviews. You can garner publicity through effective media relations. Publicity is one of the best ways to generate word of mouth, which is a well-known and powerful form of PR. Creating a strategy that includes a regular schedule of planned PR activities and following up with editors and journalists builds relationships and is very important.  The audience views publicity with less skepticism than advertising, and therefore publicity is likely to have a greater impact on the audience. This credibility makes publicity incredibly valuable – publicity is said to be seven times more effective than advertising.

Unlike advertising, PR and publicity are not guaranteed and do not have a clear price tag attached or a hard and fast way to measure ROI. The term “free publicity” is a little misleading as hiring an expert costs money and placing publicity often takes a lot of time and effort. Successful marketing strategies should contain a mix of advertising and public relations efforts to help keep your business in front of your customer.

Nation’s No. 1 Childcare Franchise Continues Growth with ‘Best in Class’ Social Media Interaction Program

Throughout 2011, Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), continued to establish itself as a “Best in Class” Social Media leader in the childcare industry by launching several integrated Social Media campaigns, including Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour 2011 and 2012, Goddard School Block Party Campaign and Application, The Goddard Cares Project, and Choose for Charity campaign. For its efforts, GSI was officially recognized with a Social Media Star Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

“We were thrilled to be recognized as a Social Media leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal,” said Ashley Betzendahl, Social Web Communications Manager of Goddard Systems, Inc. “This award recognizes us in our beginning stages. As our campaigns continue to mature, we hope to continue to build strong connections with our parents and fans.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Social Media Stars Awards, created in 2011, celebrates the achievements of individuals and businesses in the greater Philadelphia area in the world of social networking.

The Philadelphia Business Journal notes that this award is not simply for having the most followers or likes. In contrast, this award is for the true stars, which are the ones that have built an engaged audience and can show results on their efforts.  All nominees must be based in the greater Philadelphia area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties), but national campaigns originating from the area can be included.

To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Facebook Fan Page, visit To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Twitter Page, visit

Public Relations: Practical and Effective

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Public relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective methods of connecting with customers. Small businesses should follow the example of big companies with substantial marketing and advertising budgets by allocating significant resources to PR. Positive PR placement helps businesses by allowing them to attract customers without the expense of advertising. Companies can increase the demand for their product or service through PR while enhancing the brand’s credibility. Coverage can also create goodwill in your community, giving your business an edge over your competition.

PR is a valuable tool for creating interest, increasing sales and building brand awareness. It is often overlooked and is often an afterthought. PR can produce tremendous results, so your strategies for all your campaigns should incorporate clearly defined objectives and activities. To achieve the best results, coordinate your approach and communicate your key messages through marketing, advertising and public relations.

Great Moments to Create Word of Mouth

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Originally published by GasPedal
August 16, 2011

Some moments are just naturally better opportunities to create conversations than others. If you can improve your timing, you’ll get a lot more word of mouth for the same effort. Moments to focus on:

1. After the sale
2. After the support
3. After the check-in

After the sale

The moment of purchase can be an exciting experience — and it can make for a great opportunity to get people talking. You can help them do it with simple forms or social media links to tell friends about their purchase, coupons they can share, or catalogs, stickers, and brand gear they can take with them. A new, happy customer has great talking potential, but only if you put the tools in their hands to do it.

After the support

Thrilling a customer with great support can be a fantastic word of mouth moment. After you’ve saved the day, ask for feedback, a referral, or try pointing them to review sites. This is also a good time to be on the lookout for incoming praise from customers and to politely ask if you can use it in your marketing materials.

After the check-in

Do you do regular check-ins with clients? Not only can it be a great customer service program, but it can also be a great way to reconnect and restart conversations. Smart car dealerships do this with follow-ups to make sure everything is still running well, and Zappos is famous for emailing to make sure you’re still happy with your shoes a year after your original purchase.

The Importance of Public Relations

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A press release is the most under-rated form of promotion.  Why?  Because it’s free, and, moreover, a press editorial is perceived by the audience as true; whereas advertising tends to imply skepticism.

  • All newspapers need press releases to help fill their pages.
  • Local newspapers need news submitted by their local community – or they have to pay more for journalists to go out and ‘get’ news.
  • Press release publicity carries more credibility than paid-for advertising.
  • People are largely unaware that much of what they read in the local newspapers is in fact carefully planned PR.  They are, therefore, more receptive towards it and believe that it is without question.
  • A photograph improves press release pick-up by 100%.

Complete a press release today!