"We have to focus on how we stand out; you take those similar benefits and figure out a unique way to tell your story with a deeper voice that connects what you are doing to the bigger world." - Scott Allenby
Our guest today is Scott Allenby. He is the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives at Proctor Academy. Scott is passionate about developing and implementing strategies to help build the school because he cares deeply about the community that his work serves. He launched an inbound marketing initiative that boosted applications to Proctor Academy by more than 40% during the first year. Scott helped to lead a web redesign and strategic planning process for admissions, communications, and advancement teams. He has written hundreds of blog posts for Proctor Academy as a part of his effort to get the word out about the great things that are happening there.
In this episode, Scott shares an imaginary marketing start-up plan for a school that is beginning from ground zero and wants to increase enrollment. He shares simple, specific, “doable” steps to take when considering how to start building an effective marketing strategy that can be expanded as the school accomplishes goals and grows toward success.
Listen and take note of how a school can identify their value proposition, engage their internal and external audiences, and decide which tools and data will best help them to begin the adventure of sharing the “product” of which they are so proud - the school itself!
In our discussion, we cover:
4:45 Scott responds to Andrew’s question about how to manage conflicting needs amongst what parents express that they want from education.
9:45 Scott discusses the need for schools to get better and better at telling the story of who they are in a way that stands out from other independent schools with similar benefits.
16:20 Scott and Andrew discuss how a school could “start from scratch” in considering a marketing strategy.
21:27 Scott shares the value of creating off-campus learning opportunities for students to dramatically enhance the school’s value proposition.
25:10 Scott talks through the various Social Media marketing options and the values and pitfalls of each.
33:00 Scott shares the importance of a long-range marketing vision rather than focusing on short-term gains.
33:45 Scott and Andrew discuss ways to get short-term gains in enrollment so that long-term goals can be accomplished.
35:40 Scott responds to Andrew’s question about what metrics matter and what data to consider in marketing.
38:25 Scott and Andrew discuss the value of a Parent/Alumni Ambassador Program and how to utilize that resource.
42:34 Scott shares final thoughts about staying involved in the school so that marketing is a natural outgrowth of feeling passionate about what you are doing.
6:42 “It is really important to listen to what parents want, but also important to know what you want to represent as a school.”
11:00 “We have to focus on how we stand out; you take those similar benefits and figure out a unique way to tell your story with a deeper voice that connects what you are doing to the bigger world.”
22:30 “If a school’s value proposition is weak, it has to evolve.”
25:10 “Think of marketing like a building project. You start with the foundation - not picking out light fixtures.”
37:35 (When considering leads, applications, and interviews) “Catch the fish that are already in your net first. Don’t just let them get away.”
42:40 “Love the product. Selling is being proud of what you are doing and sharing that.”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Seth Godin, This Is Marketing - https://seths.blog/tim/
Where to learn more about Scott Allenby:
Proctor Academy - https://www.proctoracademy.org/page
Email - AllenbySc@proctoracademy.org
Twitter - https://twitter.com/ScottEAllenby
Scott on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-allenby-89261b13/
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/