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“Let the Students Teach Us: Academy Recruitment” Marketing Max Elsman “Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Since 1984” NAF Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "“Let the Students Teach Us: Academy Recruitment” Marketing Max Elsman “Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Since 1984” NAF Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Let the Students Teach Us: Academy Recruitment” Marketing Max Elsman “Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Since 1984” NAF Conference

2 Increase Value; Reduce Price “Value”: The perceived benefits of Academy enrollment. “Price”: The perceived drawbacks of Academy enrollment. When value exceeds price, students will enroll. “Perception” of an Academy often more important than reality in deciding whether to enroll. Emphasize how the Academy gives students and parents what they want, not what you think they need.

3 Marketing Is More Than Sales “Product” – The quality, features and services of your Academy make up its perceived “value.” The higher, the better. “Price” – Includes financial and “time and trouble” costs of enrolling and participating. The lower the better. “Place” – Focuses on “getting the product to the customer.” Academy location, neighborhood, ease of access, hours operation are all important. “Promotion” – The mix of personal selling, advertising, public relations and sales promotions that give the “biggest bang for the buck.”

4 Students Make Only One Choice Students will make only one choice. Market your Academy to make its “value” clear and compelling. Students have other options: The regular school Magnet/charter schools Other special schools and programs The street

5 Marketing Every Day, Every Way Recruitment success ultimately depends more on day-to-day marketing than a single recruitment campaign. Your “brand identity” is shaped daily. In every class In every event By every teacher By every student

6 Recruitment in a Nutshell Identify Academy’s two main target audiences (students most in need and most likely to enroll, plus their parents/guardians) Research Academy’s “brand identity” among target audience (Awareness, perceived benefits and drawbacks) Identify one benefit that most powerfully stimulates desire and action (“Unique Selling Proposition”) Create a promotional campaign around the USP Choose media that communicate your message most efficiently and effectively.

7 Most in Need AND Most Likely Most in Need Most Likely to Enroll Most in Need and Most Likely to Enroll

8 Two Separate Efforts Enrollment decision will be influenced by students’ friends, teachers, and parents/guardians. “Value” and “Price” are perceived very differently by teens and adults. At minimum, create two recruitment strategies: one for students, one for parents and guardians.

9 Academy “Brand Identity” “Identity” exists in the minds of students and parents. Your goal is to control it. Research what students and parents know and think about your Academy Example: Mistaking a “hospitality” Academy for one focusing on hospital and medical careers. Focus on perceived “value” and “price” of enrollment Totality of perceptions=Your Academy’s “brand identity”

10 Your Brand Identity Now? A fun school that isn’t boring. A haven for social misfits and slackers. A “vocational” school for the non-college bound The school that can best help you get a good job The school for “Brainiacs” who are already college-bound The “White” or “Latino” or “Black” school The “poor kids” school The tight-knit “family style” school Unaware of the Academy Is your current brand identity your desired brand identity?

11 “Selling Proposition”=Brand ID Ask: Which one aspect of perceived value is most likely to prompt students and parents to pursue Academy enrollment? Example: Many students say an Academy is like “family.” Most people are drawn to the idea of a warm loving family. Selling Proposition to students might be: “Join the Academy that accepts you for who you are and where you’ll always belong.”

12 USP Is Your Brand Identity Build entire recruitment effort around your own “Unique Selling Proposition.” It’s how you communicate your Brand Identity.  Start with a sentence: “Our Academy offers a warm, supportive, family like environment to teach a uniquely stimulating Travel and Tourism curriculum directly leading to higher education and steady, well- paying jobs”  Distill into a slogan: “Join our Family and See the World.”

13 “AIDA” in Action Attention: “The ABC Academy: Where Paid Internships Today Pay Off Even Bigger Tomorrow” Interest: (More about USP, plus additional benefits) Paid internships with local businesses make it easier to get into college and get good jobs later. Interesting curriculum focused on exciting world of Travel and Tourism Like a family: Supportive; connected, loving; sharing; accepting Teachers who really motivate and really care

14 “AIDA in Action” (Part 2) Desire: (It works for others; it will work for you) Testimonials from successful Academy students, past and present Statistical proof that the Academy enhances chances for success (Use NAF or local figures) Action: Tell prospective enrollees exactly what to do and when to do it.

15 Recruitment Media Options “Repetition” is the key. Begin weeks in advance. Target students and parents separately Strive for multi-media approach (written, oral, electronic) Personalize as much as possible Put students and staff with a “sparkle” on the front lines

16 Media Options School enrollment events Brochures Website Posters Phone calls by students or teachers Personal invitations by teachers (letter or oral) Recruitment contests among current students

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