We know that many schools across the country now consider themselves to have some kind of marketing strategy. We have worked with countless organisations to do just that. If there’s one lesson we preach time and time again, it’s the importance of research. This underpins our work with each and every client and ensures that marketing efforts are targeted and effective.
The beauty of research is that it delivers results. Conclusive data, evidence and statistics which can then be used to inform a results-driven approach to marketing and communications.
Whilst there is no denying that research is time-consuming, there are now more free, publicly-available sources than ever before from which to collect data. The collection of regular feedback from stakeholders is also an invaluable tool for any organisation.
Every organisation will have different priorities but here are our top tips for a research-led approach to marketing:
- Start with the basics and agree what information you need to inform your marketing strategy.
- Utilise the information that is available on the Department for Education’s website - from statistics on local competitors to information about new schools and local and national performance measures.
- Be aware of local demographics - when is there a dip or an increase that may affect your school? All this information is available online.
- Always be aware of local developments and changes - keep up to speed by reading local newspapers, checking the local authority website and having a presence in the local community.
- Know your weaknesses - speak with parents, staff and students. Understand what they would like to see improved and act on it.
- Highlight your strengths - use positive feedback to inform the development of your vision and values.
- Know your audience - have regular contact with local families and schools to find out what’s being said.
Knowledge is power and understanding what your target audience is looking for is the key to an informed marketing strategy.