School marketing is widely misunderstood and is often perceived as being solely about creating glossy brochures, school publications and advertisements that ‘sell’ a school. This is a short-sighted view. At MAPS Marketing, we disrupt common misconceptions by offering effective school marketing that develops strategies for growth through improvement and in turn increasing school enrolments.
Marketing Workshop 1 – Assessing, Auditing and Planning
Assessing and planning are critical to – and actually the foundation of – a successful marketing strategy. They are also both time-consuming tasks, and schools often overlook the value of these steps of the marketing process.
Marketing Workshop 1 assesses, audits and analyses your school in consideration of the seven P’s of services marketing: product, people, physical evidence, promotion, process, place, and price. The workshop includes identifying the scope and size of your market, a competitor and situational analysis, demographic and geo-demographic profiling and a detailed SWOT analysis. Each component of the workshop is designed to determine gaps and reveal opportunities that will improve your school and develop your brand.
At the conclusion of Workshop 1, it is valuable to conduct Market Research. MAPS Marketing work with schools who have performed their own research, alternatively, we are also able to conduct Market Research on the school’s behalf.
Marketing Workshop 2 – Develop a Strategy and Refine the Brand
The purpose of developing a strategic plan is to set overall goals for your school and then to prioritise the activities required to implement that strategy. The beauty of creating your strategy in a workshop environment is that it brings the key decision makers together and aligns everybody’s expectations.
Developing a strategy involves asking where your school is headed, what you stand for, what makes your school unique, and then the big question… why would a family choose your school for their child? Once the strategy is identified, the brand and key messages can be developed.
Armed with the full picture and a clearly articulated Strategy, MAPS Marketing is perfectly positioned to create a functional Marketing and Communications Plan that translates the information gathered in Marketing Workshop 1, and finessed in Marketing Workshop 2, into a practical communications toolbox, which supports all of your marketing communication.
Do you really know your market or are your marketing decisions based on ‘instinct’ and tradition? Undertaking market research enables you to collect, record and interpret specifically sourced, up-to-date information about your customers, the market and your competitors. Armed with this information, you are better able to target your marketing, refine your messages and make improvements that your community will embrace.
Smart decisions come from understanding the relevant data and widening your knowledge – they are not born out of guesswork. Our years spent working with schools and families have given MAPS Marketing extraordinary insights and quantifiable data into why people make the decisions they do.
- Why do families choose one school over another?
- What’s involved in their decision-making process?
- Who and what are they influenced by?
- What do families within your school community think of your school?
- What are other schools doing to attract and retain students?
- Do families within your school community have ideas they would like to see implemented — perhaps they haven’t had the opportunity to share their thoughts?
These are the questions MAPS Marketing can find answers to. When we conduct market research for your school, the responses are gathered, analysed and compiled into a concise report, which is then used to highlight opportunities, and form the basis of an effective marketing strategy that is tailored to suit you.
When marketing your school, it is impossible to achieve your goals if you don’t understand your current position. Start from a solid base with a MAPS Marketing Audit. Our comprehensive marketing audit provides schools with the tools to implement effective and important improvements, as well as providing a clear direction for long-term strategic marketing decisions.
A MAPS Marketing Audit provides schools with invaluable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as well as what is happening in the education sector around them. This knowledge forms the basis of an effective marketing plan. Resources can then be directed to areas in need, without wasting unnecessary time or money.
The most useful and accurate information about your school usually already lives within your school – that is why our marketing audit conducts in-house workshops with your school’s key leadership team. Conducting this work in-house provides your school with the opportunity to team build and strengthens staff capabilities by developing greater awareness of critical factors influencing the school.
All too frequently, like most businesses, schools have not thought to identify ‘who’ they are, the characteristics, personality, and values of their brand. A strong brand is an immeasurable asset. Through the use of key messages, that brand also communicates a promise about who you are and what you believe in. Therefore it is critical for a school to develop a plan which determines how they are going to communicate their brand and fulfill those promises.
As we have already highlighted, the most useful and accurate information about your school already lives within your school. MAPS Marketing draws on that information and offers workshops to refine your brand. As well as branding, we also work collaboratively with your school and its leadership team to construct a Marketing Plan and Communications Toolbox.
Schools are complex establishments with a multitude of communication needs. Because a random approach often leads to a random result, a marketing plan is a MAP to success and is essential for any school.
The MAPS Marketing, Marketing Plan and Communications Toolbox is a blueprint of your school’s annual marketing and communications activities. By organising your marketing through our comprehensive toolbox, you will discover that your annual marketing activities become a structured, business-as-usual duty which will save the school time, money and stress while also delivering greater results.
A MAPS Marketing, Marketing Plan and Communications Toolbox is based on relevant data, expert knowledge, years of experience, and a successful business strategy.
Schools are operating in an increasingly competitive environment, so school marketing requires a specific kind of expertise which MAPS Marketing has spent years developing. Using data sourced through our market research and audit, MAPS Marketing creates a specific plan and communications toolbox uniquely designed for your school. With a little planning, our marketing strategies show that your school marketing can be calmly implemented in an appropriate timeframe and all for the right price.