Why Corporate Pitches to Education Fail (Or Ought to)

3 Reasons Why Corporate Pitches to Education (Continue to) Fail


I posted this about 3 years ago, but after conversations with peers from around the province, it proves to be true today.

Posted on November 3, 2013 by Anthony

Having sat through a 5 hour long pitch at one of the largest software companies last Friday, I ached to get myself home. Mentally exhausted I had slowly suffered through a morning of missing the mark (this being the 3rd attempt) by a corporation that seemed to be drinking its own punch. I did say hours and yes the morning was tough on the presenter. He simply didn’t know his audience and although a second presenter came to the rescue with a touch more personality, by then the cynicism of the audience (me) was insurmountable.

1.”Oops! Your Bottom Line is Showing..”

Microsoft – like all other corporations including D2L, Blackboard, Apple and most startups under the sun continue to make the single most embarrassing mistake when they pitch to education: they prove time and time again that they simply don’t know their audience. No presenter worth their salt would ever stand in front of audience and share information without knowing where to take the audience. Even the savviest pitch takes its audience into account, tailoring the product’s capabilities to suit their needs. But when closing the sale supersedes the user’s experience, it becomes an obvious sales pitch. It also becomes quite embarrassing when the pitch assumes an understanding of education that is often a decade out of date.

2. But, But, But I’m a Teacher Too!

Despite corporations’ best efforts, they prove that they have no true understanding of curriculum, it’s extensions and the creativity that flows from it. A teaching certification fails to give the account executives even a remote understanding of what teachers need the moment they step into a classroom.

I tend to chuckle when I hear the words “Oh but I’m a teacher too..” Yet they have either no experience or have retired for some time. Both situations fail to see education for it what it really is in 2016: an ever changing paradigm that you’d never understand unless you’re in the field present time. So no.. a certification does not buy any credibility when it comes to teaching.

3. I Have All This Money… Now Where is That Mouth of Mine?

Most peculiar is the corporations’ failure to make teacher consultations through contractual commitments a part of their education scheme. Teachers like any other profession can always stand to gain from professional consultations financially and the corporations can gain the insight they so sorely need. The third party training by certified teachers is a model that utterly fails and proves to be an embarrassment over and over again.

Bottom line: if your product improves my students’ quality of education – I will always approve…period.