Safety: A Marketing Issue for Every Parent – Interview with Sam Jeffrey (School Marketing Podcast #74)

Safety: A Marketing Issue for Every Parent - Interview with Sam Jeffrey (School Marketing Podcast #74)

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Sam Jeffrey - Security Consultant - Megiddo Operations


Sam Jeffrey joined the Harding University Criminal Justice program as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in 2015. Prior to working at Harding Sam worked in a variety of roles as a Multi-Disciplined Security Officer for 10 years with the Central Intelligence Agency. While at the CIA, Sam worked in the fields of polygraph, interview and interrogation, employee and asset vetting, personnel protection, personnel security, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Counternarcotics. Sam has worked in numerous countries on five continents. Since leaving the CIA Sam has founded Megiddo Operations, a company dedicated to securing the spiritual battlefield by providing security services and consulting to churches, schools, missionaries, and businesses operating throughout the world. Sam and his wife, Emille, have four children and reside in central Arkansas.


Randy Vaughn - 9 Steps to Marketing Your Christian School

 To get marketing strategy coaching or social media coaching help for your school, contact Randy for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

Connect with Randy on Twitter: @schoolmktg

Stop promoting to your prospective families and start helping them

Stop promoting to your prospective families and start helping them: interview with Jay Baer by Brendan Schneider on

In the world of school marketing, recruiting and admissions, promotional marketing has been engrained in every school’s head for a very long time. Replicating what has been done in the business world, schools would do their very best to aggressively push their product into the lives of prospective families.  This traditionally has been done through:

  • radio, TV, billboards, newspaper
  • magazine ads
  • flyers, door hangers and direct mail
  • billboards

However, in spite of our cultural rejection of much of this “interruption” marketing, schools have continued.  But let’s consider the following:

  • Radio has given way to iTunes, Spotify or Pandora
  • TV can be fast-forwarded or DVR-ed, thus almost nullifying any $$ spent on expensive commercials
  • Billboards remain an expensive 5-second drive-by with little metrics attached
  • Printed newspaper subscriptions continue to dwindle in favor of digital versions
  • Our hurried culture tosses anything that shows up on our windshield, door knob or counter top

There are exceptions where traditional marketing works. I would also suggest that social media and inbound marketing efforts by themselves may leave you wondering about ROI.  So how do we market our schools in this contemporary age?

By being useful!

Jay Baer, author of Youtility, suggests “if you provide something truly useful, customers will reward you eventually with their attention, purchases, and loyalty.”  Your school marketing seeks to produce loyal ambassadors through the 3 Rs of school marketing: recruitment, retention and referrrals.  But if you try and market solely through interruption marketing, you will miss your audience.  Instead, learn how to be useful!

Read Brendan Schneider’s “useful” interview with Jay Baer on

Read Brendan's Interview with Jay Baer

A simple way of looking at school marketing

A simple way of looking at school marketing - Randy Vaughn

As a former consultant within the Duct Tape Marketing global network of consultants, I approach marketing based primarily on what the Duct Tape Marketing network calls the “marketing hourglass”. This is a variation of the traditional marketing funnel.

The “marketing hourglass” was conceived by John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing. I think it offers a simple metaphor in understanding the relationship your school has with potential families.

Based on a similar definition from Duct Tape Marketing, I believe an easy-to-remember definition of school marketing is this:

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

This definition follows the “marketing hourglass” perfectly. New potential families are led into the top of the hourglass. Subsequently and systematically, these ideal families are nurtured through a variety of touch points and trust-building encounters that lead a family through the “know-like-trust” phase. I believe that when a potential family has vetted the competition well, they will come to a point in their relationship with you that they trust you enough to educate their kid(s). Assuming they are a good match, they enroll. The “marketing hourglass” expands from the traditional marketing funnel by emphasizing the “retention” and “referrals” that happen after enrollment. The re-enrollment efforts are given as much attention as recruiting efforts because we do not just forget about them after enrollment. This metaphor causes us to consider how their repeat enrollment year-after-year is something worth nurturing.

As well, the word-of-mouth and marketing referrals are also given as much attention, intentionally instituting marketing efforts aimed at bringing in new leads of potential new families because our current established families are doing the marketing for us!

I would love to help your school install a marketing system that follows this simplified approach to school marketing. I invite you to explore our coaching programs by clicking this page and then filling out the form so that I we can chat for free about it for 45 minutes. I am eager to answer questions, explain fees, and tell you what I expect your enrollment marketing results to be.

Randy Vaughn - Christian School Marketing

Did you miss these marketing opportunities at your recent graduation?

Missed marketing opportunities at your private / Christian school graduation

Graduation is one of your school’s best marketing events. Tears of joy, cheers of pride, and years of experiences tell powerful stories of your school’s ability to produce top graduates who are ready to change the world!

However, like many campus events only witnessed by insiders (current families), many marketing opportunities are missed. When prospective families, your ideal target audiences and investigating students want to learn about your school, you need evidence to prove every claim you make on your website. Families are too sophisticated (and appropriately suspicious) of “marketing speak” they see on your brochures or website. They want validation. Highly emotional moments in the life of your school offer numerous opportunities for evidence.

In my recent guest article on, I mention some marketing opportunities you may have overlooked at your recent graduation event.

– in the commencement program, have a full page dedicated to the cumulative amount of scholarship money awarded to the graduating class and from what universities such money came. This is powerful evidence of the type of scholar produced by your school!

Click to read:  “Marketing Fail: 7 Opportunities You Missed at Graduation”

Learn more about our Enrollment Marketing Roadmap PLUS+ to get your enrollment strategy back on track!

Winning Over Families: Part 2 of 2

Winning Over Families for Your Private School

In a previous post about winning over prospective families for your school, we looked at 4 popular marketing tools that private schools use in showcasing themselves, including your school’s website, the printed marketing collateral, your high-priced overview video and recruiting events.

But let’s be honest:  while these are likely necessary elements in your overall marketing mix, there are many prospective families who are not yet ready to commit.  One of their most obvious questions is:  “does everyone really look that nice?”  While some families are easily convinced, others shout out for proof:  “Sure, you’re a great school, but show me the evidence!

Here are 3 ways to showcase this evidence: (more…)

Winning Over Families: Part 1 of 2

Private School Marketing: Making First Impressions

If you are like most schools, you spend alot of time (and money, too) seeking to impress families, showcase your very best, and eventually convert students into full-pay families for not just one year, but until they graduate!

Typically, I see 4 main areas where schools spend alot of resources: (more…)