Holding on to tradition is important – it helps us remember where we came from and honor those people who made today possible – but when traditions get in the way of progress, they need to be retooled or discarded. The same is true for your school's marketing. Sure, you've done things the same way for a long time, but the education market is becoming increasingly competitive as students seek out customized solutions for their education needs. Your school's marketing must stay relevant in today's tech-driven world – here are five reasons why your marketing needs to change.
1. Location is no longer a barrier to education. There was a time not long ago when students were reluctant to leave their home cities or regions in order to attend a school hundreds of miles away, but with the spread of Internet-based educational programs, that's no longer the case. Today's students can as easily attend schools located far away as those nearby to get the education they demand.
2. Education isn't enough. At the base of things, your school, program or software offers the same thing every other school offers – education. Competing in a national educational market means that education, tradition and prestige are simply not enough anymore – your marketing must target students who want what your school offers in the way of special programs and unique learning opportunities. You've got to find a way to flaunt what your school does best, simply existing will get you left behind.
3. Traditional marketing is old hat. Fewer students are attending school fairs, picking up printed brochures and mailing out for information packets than ever before. Instead, they're reading reviews of schools on the Internet and discussing them in online forums before they ever set foot on campus. The same goes for educational software, apps or other programs. The vetting process for students, school administrators and staff has change dramatically in the last decade. Since your target audience is changing the way that they are looking for information – you need to change your marketing.
4. Students make decisions differently. Internet-based education has turned the decision to attend a distant school from a potentially relationship-shattering parting into a simple matter of semantics. Students no longer have to limit their education choices to what is available locally, or even through their own school. Programs, software and apps are all part of the way that they are educating themselves. Today’s students are so thoroughly wrapped up in the online experience that your marketing needs to be as well.
5. Your messages aren't getting through. We're bombarded by emails, phone calls and noise – it makes it hard for anybody to get through the endless sea of distractions. A dramatic change in marketing creates new interest, especially in students, educators and parents who have seen your materials often enough that they've tuned you out. By delivering your message differently, you're also likely to encounter buyers who haven’t become numb to your messaging.
Education marketing is changing. Whether you have educational software, a private school, a program or an app – if you want to reach students and the adults that help them make decisions, you need to change your marketing approach.