School marketing simplified - Randy Vaughn

Marketing your school is not complicated but it is complex.

When something is labeled as “complicated”, not only does it invoke fear, I think it also infers “this cannot be done without much difficulty.” If you are operating under a marketing effort that is complicated, I hope you will read on and let me simplify it for you.

If something is “complex”, it really is not speaking of whether something is difficult or not. While some people use these terms interchangeably, complex simply refers to the extensive parts involved in a system. The way my car works is complex, but I do not think my father-in-law (a mechanic) finds it complicated at all. When I lived in West Africa, I learned the local dialect called Aja-gbe. While it is a complex language (and yes complicated at first), I can now speak and understand it fluently. (Click to hear me recite John 3:16 in the Aja-gbe language). Languages are a complex mix of vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar rules (and their exceptions). While they are complicated at first, if you study it and pursue it with the help of someone who knows it well, it is no longer complicated or difficult.

So, if you are tired of the chaos and copycat marketing because school marketing is too complicated, allow me to simplify the complexity of school marketing.

As I wrote in an article called, “Here’s why you need a marketing system for your school“, I explain in greater detail about the 3 complex parts of school marketing: system, strategy and tactics. As a follow-up (or primer) to this article, I would suggest you click through and read the one I just mentioned.

School marketing is complex because there are factors of all kinds impacting the decisions parents make. It is complex because you are consistently considering the 3 Rs of school marketing: recruitment, retention and referrals. It is complex because it may still involve a heavy amount of traditional advertising methods as well incorporating inbound and social media efforts into an integrated and holistic approach that people want measured. School marketing is complex because it is not like marketing a business, nor is it the same as communicating like a church or non-profit organization. School marketing is complex because it is often just one of the hats someone might wear alongside donor development, admissions and maybe event planning.

As I have outlined on numerous occasions (and there’s an audio message from me about this on the homepage), the definition of school marketing can be simplified to this:

“Getting ideal families to know, like and trust you to build loyal ambassadors for your school.”

If mastering all forms of ad placement, social media and word-of-mouth marketing seems way too complicated to achieve your enrollment goals, I invite you to consider the simplicity of the definition above. I consider this definition one that is simple to remember and memorable to every member of the marketing team to keep everyone aligned toward marketing your school. I think it it simplifies your objective and simplifies your approach to the complexities of your marketing system, strategy and tactics.

At its core, this definition is about nurturing a Mom/Dad/student toward not only enrollment, but to becoming the ideal family that returns year after year without hesitation and then actively tells others about your school. That is not a complicated approach to marketing, but it does necessitate you understanding the complex system, strategy and tactical plan for marketing your school.

I would be honored to help you navigate the complex world of school marketing. I have seen clients frustrated by the complicated chaos turn into confident school marketers because they discover a new way of marketing their school. I would love to help you. Just click on the picture below and we can talk on the phone for about 30 minutes (for free and with no high pressure tactics). I will listen to your unique challenges and see if there’s a way how I could help your school.

Randy Vaughn

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