Overcoming the Frustrations of Mad Marketing "Genius"
The marketing meeting with reps from the agency began with a presentation of promotional activities over the last six months. Slide after slide had fancy graphs illustrating the increased number of clicks, followers, and friends who were "exposed" to the ads of the schools.
But the biggest problem wan't being addressed: Enrollment inquiries were unchanged! All the jargon was a smoke screen to cover up the failure of their mad marketing "genius."
As I sat there in that meeting with one of our school clients, I became more and more frustrated. This external marketing agency (who happened to be recruited by a board member) showed where they had placed multiple print and social media ads, along with metrics of how many people viewed them.
If the marketing investment isn't producing enrollment leads, then we're not going to grow. They lacked a clear and consistent message that should have been threaded throughout their media and social media ads along with a compelling call-to-action (CTA).
What's the takeaway from this story?
These "marketing experts" from an outside agency didn't know how to start with a clear target market for the school, create a unified brand message, and then engage and convert prospects through each stage of the enrollment funnel. It was evident that the Admissions office had very little input into their strategy and presentation.
As educational leaders, we're not selling products--we're seeking to cultivate deep, long-term relationships that are mission-driven and culturally-aligned. That requires a unique combination of marketing expertise and enrollment strategy that is uncommon among professionals in the field.
"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Growing engagement with your stakeholders and with your target market is the core focus of wise marketing investments in the education space. That necessitates having a comprehensive platform of influence that genuinely reflects who you are as an organization and the value proposition that you intentionally and consistently deliver.
- Is the marketing of your school effective?
- Where should you spend your marketing budget for the best results?
- What should you measure and what adjustments can you make to improve?
Having heard the overwhelming frustrations with marketing strategy and implementation from school leaders, we're introducing a new School Growth service to accelerate your success.
Crafting a clear and cohesive marketing strategy requires more than just a knowledge of social media and ad campaigns. You have to know your real target market--who's in it and who isn't--and what you can consistently deliver for them.
With a deep understanding of their needs and fears, you can determine how to create your school's brand narrative and guide them through a continuum of engagement that progressively builds trust and commitment. From that point of reference you can determine what media outlets will feed your enrollment funnel.
From our experience in growing schools, we've identified 7 "must have's" for marketing success. Knowing these requirements will help you focus on what matters most to more effectively communicate with and engage your stakeholders and prospective students.
In the upcoming 7 Requirements for an Effective Marketing Growth Plan Webinar, we will guide you through the critical steps to craft a marketing strategy that will increase enrollment inquiries and will build confidence and support among your leadership and board.
We'll also share a link so that you can respond to a few survey questions and download an ebook with this important information.
If you find yourself frustrated with the low return from your marketing investments, know that you're not alone. It doesn't have to be that way, though. You can create an Enrollment Growth Plan along with a Marketing Growth Plan that will accelerate your success.