Presentation on theme: "“Let the Students Teach Us: Academy Recruitment” Marketing Max Elsman “Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Since 1984” NAF Conference."— Presentation transcript:
“Let the Students Teach Us: Academy Recruitment” Marketing Max Elsman “Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Since 1984” NAF Conference
Using “Brand Management” to Grow an Academy Understand your existing “brand” Realize that brand identities are not rational Master the tools of “brand management” “Position” your Academy’s brand so that it is more desirable than its competitors to your target audience. Market your brand to gain enrollments and support.
What “Behavioral Economists” Know “By the time we comprehend and digest information, it is not necessarily a true reflection of reality. Instead it is our representation of reality, and this is the input we base our decisions on.” -- Dan Ariely (from the book “Predictably Irrational”
“Brand” = “Perceived Identity” Humans innately “name” everything and give it an “identity.” No identity = “unknown” (scary/lethal) Identities are formed quickly on the flimsiest of evidence. Tough to change. Those around us are most influential in shaping an identity. In marketing, the shaping of a coherent identity is known as “branding.” Our goal: Become the most desired “brand” among educational options.
Academy “Brand Identity” Totality of perceptions and you efforts to control and create them =Your Academy’s “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
Why Marketers are Suspect
Increase Value; Reduce Price “Value”: The perceived benefits of Academy enrollment. “Price”: The perceived drawbacks of Academy enrollment. When perceived value exceeds perceived price, students will enroll. This simple formula also works to gain funders and supporters.
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.”
Academies Must Compete Students and parents will choose only one school. There is no prize for second place. Students have other options: The regular school Magnet/charter schools Other special schools and programs The street Critical to identify competitors and create a superior brand.
Marketing Every Day, Every Way Your “brand identity” is shaped daily. In every class In every event By every teacher By every student By the appearance of your building By what others are saying By what your competitors are doing
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.
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.
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?
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.”
Distill Your Ideal Brand ID Ask: Which one aspect of perceived value is most likely to prompt students and parents to pursue Academy enrollment? Example: Your students often say an Academy is like “family.” Selling Proposition to students might be: “Join the Academy where you’ll always belong and where we’ll succeed together.” Your goal: A unique identity that’s true, powerfully attractive and that no one else can claim.
“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
“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.
Manage Your Brand Name of your Academy Appearance of the building The “vibe” of your campus Dress codes Distinctive logo and slogan Distinctive school color Unique events or activities Frequently communicate your successes Cultivate the press
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. EMPHASIZE TESTIMONIALS!
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