The Benefits Of Offline School Marketing

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don't know the other side's argument better than they do.”

— Charlie Munger

I love this quote. You're not entitled to take a view unless you can argue against that view better than most.

We all hold an opinion on almost everything, but how many of us do the work required to have an opinion? Certainly not me.

I've decided to try to 'walk the walk.'
How? I'm a firm believer in online marketing for schools. It's the best communication channel. It's the most elegant, cost-efficient and powerful way to reach out, talk to and persuade parents and students.

So, every now and then, I'm going to write about all the benefits of offline school marketing...

I'll start with billboards.

  1. The website of one of the largest billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor writes, "Outdoor advertising is great because you can't turn it off, throw it away, or click on the next page. That means your message is reaching people everywhere -- all the time, every day."
    That's true; there's no turning off...
  2. Most billboards offer practical information, directing drivers to nearby gas stations, motels and restaurants. So it's not hard for a school to stand out from the clutter. An inspiring message will instantly grab attention.
  3. Drivers on long stretches of highway are most susceptible to the messages on billboards as they are more prone to needing a distraction. So billboards can be very effective in rural areas. There you can even use longer messages; you can be thorough.
  4. For cities, this is trickier, except where you have a lot of pedestrians such as, for example, New York City. So billboards directed to pedestrians can be useful even in cities.
  5. One could argue that with Uber on the rise, more people are driven places, so billboards are becoming even more effective.

Nevertheless, I’ve stopped being excited about outdoor media.
To begin with, everywhere I look I see parents mostly on their phones.
But it goes much deeper than that.

The one thing that is becoming scarce in our world is the amount of time we have. It’s the one asset that forever finite and every marketer is vying for.

So schools should start caring about where their parents’ attention is.

Nowadays, it’s very much on social media and screens in general. You never unsubscribe from Facebook. You’re there 1-5 times a day. It has a tremendous amount of parents’ attention. Facebook and Instagram are the new CBS, NBC, and Showtime combined. In the 60s and 70s, parents watched about 5 hrs of television a day.

Today it’s the same with their mobile screens.
In fact, by 7 am, 56% of new parents have visited Facebook on their mobile device.

There is also this 2nd point:

In a world with increasing distractions, if you don’t make a parent stop what they are doing and create a response, you are going to lose.

You now have to tell a story in new and exciting ways, be it six seconds or 60.

And the only way to do this is using most of the five senses.
It has to be visceral. Only vision or only audio do not create lasting impressions anymore.

Social media has this power.
Online engagement helps schools to reach more parents more effectively by communicating content in ways that resonate with different types of learners.
In this way, social media can be seen not only as a marketing tool, but a method of engagement for community building.