It is a fact universally acknowledged that all companies who wish to raise awareness of their products and services need to undertake forms of marketing and promotional activity. As such, establishments which provide forms of higher education need to ensure that they have a robust education marketing plan in place which details their strategic and tactical plans for the year ahead.
In order to produce the most effective marketing plan for higher education establishments, the education marketing specialists 360 Education, state that there are several very important things to remember:
Determine a Mission Statement
Ensure that your organisation has a strong and insightful mission statement in place which clearly defines the purpose and objective of your organisation. Parts of this statement can also be detailed in your marketing communications. It is important that all marketing activity adheres to this statement so that all of your communications feature a similar tone of voice. A mission statement is the ideal tool for setting you apart from the competition and for your organisation to be able to carve its own niche within the education marketing environment.
Time spent on effective planning is seldom wasted. Ensure that you have your education marketing activity for the year ahead clearly mapped out. Factor in key dates, such as A Level and GCSE Results days and your critical enrolment dates and ensure that specific activity is planned to coincide with these periods.
Know Your Positioning
Consider how you want to be perceived in the market. What is your catchment area and target market? Effective marketing is all about ensuring that you are targeting the right people at the right time. Focus groups are a great way of determining feedback, so perhaps look to conduct focus groups with past and present students as a means of obtaining valuable insight and feedback. You can then use this material when planning the messaging to use for your marketing communications.
Determine Your Channels & Messaging
Spend time reviewing which communication channels most suit the needs of your business. Which channels work particularly well for you and which could you look to scale back? The use of social media has skyrocketed in recent years and numerous organisations specialising in education marketing are now using mediums such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in order to engage with their audience. Determine which channels are best suited to the specific types of communications. For example, important and valuable information should be relayed through traditional channels and content with more light-hearted messages/a jovial tone can be relayed through your social media accounts.
Monitor and Review
As the marketing world is constantly advancing, it is imperative that changes are adapted and reacted to. Ensure that you have effective reporting mechanisms in place to monitor your communications and activity to see what has worked and what hasn’t. This information can help you to refine and improve the education marketing plan for the following year.