Are Your School Marketing Activities Data-Driven, Or Are They Still Guesswork?
I was helping a school the other day with their digital strategy and it came to mind how few marketers are actually using data to guide their marketing efforts. And understandably so. It wasn’t that many years ago that schools weren’t even thought of as a ‘business’, so of course, analytics haven’t been in the forefront of school marketers’ minds. However, with competition and digital platforms growing at a faster rate than the average school marketing department, utilising facts and figures to guide your activities only makes sense both from a business and a personal standpoint.
Let me give you a few real-life examples of how data can benefit both yourself and your school ….
You’re Feeling Pressured to Do More
We’re all guilty of checking out the competition – and of course you should keep an eye on each other to some degree – but is your marketing strategy driven by what other schools are doing? Do you look at a competitor and think ‘we need to do that’? Or perhaps your Head has come to you and pointed out a neighbouring school is doing XYZ and insists, therefore, you do the same.
Just because another school is on a particular social channel or doing some new activity, doesn’t mean the same will be work for you. Or that it’s working for them, for that matter! With so much pressure on school marketers to do it all, you’re not the only one that may be falling victim to this mentally.
How do you know if a new marketing activity is the right tactic for your school? Put some goals in place and track its effectiveness!
For instance, if one of your objectives is to increase your Open Day numbers you can set up a goal in Google Analytics that will track each time someone registers to attend your event. Then by adding simple tracking code to your new marketing activity, you can determine if it’s contributing to that conversion. If not, then perhaps it’s not right for your school. Either way, you’ll have the data to back your decision.
You’re Doing Everything and Still Not Reaching Your Targets
Maybe you’re the school that’s doing it all – blogs, news, podcasts, videos, study guides, advertising, and on every social platform out there. You name it, you’re doing it. Yet you’re still not hitting your marketing targets. Your Open Day numbers are still down and Admission applications just aren’t where they need to be. So, what’s the solution? Again, turn to your analytics. By putting those website goals in place and tracking each of your marketing activities, you can strategically focus on the activities that are making a positive impact on your bottom line. Focus your energies where they matter!
You’re Doing Great, Thank You Very Much
You’re over-subscribed and hitting your Admission numbers so you must be doing exactly what you need to be in terms of your marketing activities, right? Well, yes and no. Although you can’t deny what you’re doing is working, are you being as effective as you can be? Can you accomplish just as much with a lot less blood, sweat and tears? Not to mention funds! If you’re not tracking your marketing activities you’ll never be able to identify which of your efforts is actually making a difference and which you’re ‘wasting time’ on. With resources more often than not limited for school marketers, why not cut back where you can and put that energy into an area of your school business that can use it!
No matter what your situation, make data your new best friend. Adding goals and tracking your marketing activities really isn’t complex – any marketer can do it. And once in place, it’s very easy to identify your successes. Imagine if you were able to determine the mediums and platforms that drove the most prospectus downloads, Open Day registrations and Admission enquiries – wouldn’t you do more of that, rather than spreading your resources in areas that brought you no return? It’s this data that should be driving your future marketing – not guesswork!
Join me Wednesday, 7th of March for my latest #LunchAndLearn webinar, where I’ll walk you through the easy steps to tracking and measuring your marketing activities. It’s all about working smarter in 2018…