School Marketing: Emotions vs. Techniques
There is a lot of school marketing lingo being thrown around these days.
Too much. So much that I find it a little ridiculous. 🤪
Here are some examples (I bet you’ll roll your eyes): humanization, context marketing, inverted funnels, MQLs, SQLs, blue sky thinking, psychographics, word vectors, retargeting pools, etc...
🚩 Knowing how to get in front of your parent prospects is necessary.
But it is not an end in itself.
Your colleagues (or vendors) will use these to try to intimidate you into respecting them. They may succeed every now and then, but you’re not that easily fooled.
There is a cost to this.
The jargon gets in the way of authentic communication and relationship-building.
What is the essence of school marketing?
Reaching the right parents, at the right time, with the right message.
All the rest is fluff. As marketers, we get too caught up in the first two and forget the importance of the third.
To be successful, you have to get in front of your prospective parents AND have a message that resonates with them. What’s the value of paying for the right placement but delivering a soulless message?
Tapping into parents' emotions is perhaps the only way to convey your school's brand, your mission, and get them thinking about alternatives.
Have you considered what you are asking parents to do? 🤔
1. Stop what they are doing, break away from their daily routine, and look at your ad.
2. Read a thoughtful message and engage with it deeply.
3. Start considering whether they are happy with their current choice of school.
4. Compare their current selection with your school's promise.
5. Visualize themselves and their family making such a big change.
6. Assess the downside risks and potential opportunity.
7. Decide it is worth a shot and reach out to schedule a tour.
8. Plan ahead and fit a 2 hr slot into their busy schedule. And the list goes on...
That's asking for a lot.
Just repeating a generic tagline (i.e., small class sizes) won’t cut it.
They’ll simply continue scrolling, and you’ll have thrown your marketing dollars down the drain.
So getting in front of them is important, necessary even, but not sufficient.
Marketing techniques will only get you so far.
Surely, you'll need a multi-step funnel, videos to build custom audiences (testimonials, campus slideshows, faculty interviews, etc.), some lead magnets to grab their contact details, retargeting ads to convert them, and instant text follow-up to book their tour.
If you can’t do all this yet, you will soon.
You can grab an online course for $100/month and learn it all. But Facebook and Google are becoming easier by the day.
It's a shame to pay someone to get in front of parents for you. Marketing techniques are a commodity.
Grabbing attention is a commodity.
Getting parents to 'stop, think, and engage' is what you're looking for.
What you need is a system❗️
A system that will:
✓ identify right-fit parents
✓ reshape your brand into a deeply emotional digital story
✓ get it in front of 30,000 parents in a 10-mile radius
✓ make it seamless for them to connect with you, book a tour, and get them in the door
✓ meet with them and get their application
If you’re considering a marketing partner, buy the system - not its individual parts.