Number Three of Five Marketing Ideas for Private Schools

This is the third in a series of five brief articles each with a piece of marketing counsel for clients in the private, independent education sector.

Idea #3: The best marketing helps parents understand how the school helps them become their best selves as parents and their students to become their best selves as human beings.

Those marketing independent and international schools face a harsh paradox: the harder they “sell” features and benefits, the less loyal customers parents become; yet, if they don’t talk about features and benefits no one enrolls. The problem is that conventional marketing, by focusing on features and benefits, feeds into a transactional mindset that makes it easy to switch schools based on something better at the place up the street. So much for conventional approaches to marketing and telling the school story!

The challenge is to change the conversation from what is on offer to the sort of parents and people the school creates. Seth Godin, in his new book, This Is Marketing, points out that “Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.” The problem is that most of us try to solve our problem when we market. We try to sell more of something, not solve the problem our “customers” have in mind when they come to our school.

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