Empathy key to unlocking
the SBM audience


Schools are under constant pressure to save money. So, in a market where every cost centre is scrutinised, educational resources supplier Findel Education needed to move the conversation from cost to value. The launch of their range of Smart Ordering solutions presented the opportunity to save School Business Managers (SBMs) something much more valuable than money – time. But with the majority of SBMs still ordering from catalogues, Findel needed a big, attention-grabbing campaign to raise awareness of Smart Ordering, and convince SBMs that it really could make their lives easier.


Through focus groups and extensive social listening, it became clear that SBMs have a tough job. Their role is busy and hugely varied, but many feel under-valued and unappreciated. In response, they have developed an incredibly engaged community on Twitter; turning to each other for practical tips and advice, emotional support and cheerleading. And often a good old rant.

For any campaign to be successful, it was vital that SBMs felt Findel really understood their unique challenges, otherwise, how could they be expected to solve them? So the Smarter SBM campaign hinged on its authenticity.

We used real-life SBMs as the models and created headlines from examples of the broad – and sometimes bizarre – range of tasks SBMs deal with on a daily basis. We were then able to deliver targeted messaging relevant to each person’s progress on the Smart Ordering journey; demystifying Findel’s digital proposition by focusing on real-world benefits that meant something to SBMs.

Social graphics

Social graphics

Press advertising

MPU digital advertising


Very shortly after launch, Findel’s brands began to see traction through social media, organically becoming a valued member of the SBM Twitter community. And as the campaign continued this turned into commercial success.

The most valuable Smart Ordering solution, Smart Connect, saw a 137% increase in registrations in the first 7 months, with a 24% increase in the volume of orders and 482% increase in sales value delivered through this channel. In total, over 6,000 new shoppers were added to Findel’s customer base, with the campaign delivering a 1,841% ROI in the first 12 months.

“Just 3 days in and 9 internal briefings later, the feedback from SBMs, industry leaders and colleagues has been fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with in getting this over the line.”

Lynsey Marcham,
Head of Customer Retention at Findel Education


increase in registrations in the first 7 months


increase in the volume of orders


increase in sales value