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Coordinating School Marketing
It goes without saying that a school’s marketing efforts should be well-coordinated. This article covers the main areas of coordinating school marketing, to ensure a cohesive plan is aligned with all activities.
After all, if different parts of the school are promoting different messages or using different methods, it can create confusion among parents and students. Not to mention, it can be quite costly to have multiple people or departments working independently on marketing initiatives.
In this article, The School Agency team will offer guidance on how school administrators and marketing directors can streamline their school’s marketing efforts to ensure maximum efficiency, impact, and cost-effectiveness.
Ready? Let’s begin!
What Does Coordinating school Marketing Efforts Mean?
Before we can dive into the meat of the article, we need to make sure everyone is on the same page.
So, what does it mean to coordinate your school’s marketing efforts?
When we talk about “marketing”, we’re referring to a set of distinct activities that use a range of channels, mediums, and tactics to reach a school’s target audience (parents). When we talk about “coordinating” school marketing efforts, we mean organizing these activities so that they’re aligned with a single, school-wide marketing strategy.
This could mean creating a school-wide marketing plan and calendar that outlines the goals, objectives, timelines, and resources needed to achieve school-wide marketing success. Or it could mean having a school committee or team responsible for overseeing the school’s marketing initiatives and ensuring that the school’s message is consistent across channels.
How to Coordinate Your School’s Marketing Efforts
Okay, time for the good stuff. While there isn’t one “right” way to coordinate your school’s marketing efforts, there are several steps you can take to get started. These steps are designed to be general enough to apply to all schools, without loosing any of their effectiveness.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
1. Look to Your School’s Mission
Your school’s mission (usually contained within a mission statement) is the starting point for your coordinated marketing effort.
Ask yourself, “are all our school’s current marketing efforts in alignment with this mission?”
If the answer is no, then it’s time to make some changes. Don’t worry if this is the case, though—that’s why you’re here! Resolving this issue is a matter of making small, targeted adjustments that bring your marketing activities and teams into alignment.
2. Create a Time-Based Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is a document that organizations create to outline (you guessed it) their overall marketing plans and goals.
Creating a school-wide marketing strategy is the first step in organizing your school’s marketing efforts. This document can be used to plan out specific tactics, assign responsibilities, and set deadlines for school-wide marketing initiatives. In other words, it allows school administrators to all “get on the same page”.
Your school’s marketing strategy should include the following elements:
- Value Proposition: Why do (or should) parents and students choose your school over the competition? Look to your mission statement for inspiration.
- Goal: What are you trying to achieve with your school’s marketing efforts? What metric or KPI will you use to benchmark success? Think in broad strokes here—we’ll be getting more specific in a moment.
- Budget: How much money can (and will) you allocate to school marketing?
- Target Audience: Who is your school’s target audience?
Once you’ve created your school’s marketing strategy, you can use it as a foundation for every marketing action you take.
3. Create a School Marketing Plan
Marketing strategies are high-level guidelines. Marketing plans are specific, actionable documents that school administrators can use to plan out and coordinate school marketing efforts.
Creating a school marketing plan requires school admins to consider several factors, including:
- Tactics: Think school-wide print and digital campaigns, social media platforms, school websites, email lists, etc.
- Timeline: When will each school marketing activity take place?
- Team: Who is responsible for executing each school marketing tactic?
- Budget: What resources are needed to execute school marketing tactics?
- Metrics & Analytics: How will school admins track school marketing success?
Once the school marketing plan is complete, school administrators can use it to keep school team members on the same page and help ensure that school-wide marketing activities are properly coordinated.
4. Break Down Departmental Silos
Silos are naturally occurring pockets of information flow within a workplace. Within a silo, information tends to flow freely. Between silos, information flow can be slow and inefficient.
There are two kinds of silos that you’ll need to break down in order to coordinate your school’s marketing efforts:
- Intradepartmental Silos: These are silos within your school’s marketing department. Usually, these occur when specific teams or individuals are working on different marketing activities (e.g., social media and web development).
- Interdepartmental Silos: These are silos between school departments. School administrators may not have a clear understanding of what their marketing team is doing. School IT teams may not be aware of school marketing goals and initiatives. This is a breakdown in communications.
Both kinds of silos are a problem. To solve that problem, you need to take targeted actions:
- Move desks around. Create an open floor plan environment where marketing teams can collaborate more easily.
- Communicate regularly. Hold regular check-ins to keep school admins and school marketing team members up to date on school goals and initiatives.
- Involve all departments. Make sure that school IT, HR, legal, finance, and so on, are aware of school marketing goals and initiatives.
- Use school-wide software. Invest in school-wide project management and communication software to break down silos and streamline school marketing efforts.
- Hold all-hands meetings. Gather school team members from all departments to lay out school marketing goals and initiatives.
By breaking down silos, school admins can ensure that all school departments are working together in sync towards common school-wide marketing goals.
5. Take Advantage of Marketing Automation
Automation is an incredibly valuable tool for coordinating school marketing efforts because it allows school admins to automate and systematize mundane, time-consuming tasks.
Rather than relying on individuals to execute tasks like email marketing and social media marketing, school admins can use software automation to have them triggered automatically and executed at set intervals.
The result is a more cohesive system that can be tuned based on school-wide marketing goals. Automation helps school admins save time and energy, so they can focus on more strategic school marketing efforts.
Some tools to consider include:
- Active Campaigns: Email marketing and automation platform.
- Buffer: Social media scheduling, analytics, and monitoring tool.
- HubSpot: CRM, social media management, email marketing, lead generation tools.
- Mailchimp: Mobile-friendly email marketing software.
These school marketing automation tools provide school admins with a powerful way to coordinate school-wide campaigns and ensure school marketing efforts are aligned with school goals.
6. Create an Integrated Digital Presence
For school marketing to be successful, school admins need to build an integrated, unified school digital presence.
School admins can use their school website, school blogs, and school social media accounts to create synergies among school marketing efforts. For example, school admins can use their school website as a central hub linking to social media platforms, blog posts, and on-campus events.
The goal here is to create an ecosystem that facilities easy information gathering.
7. Hire a School Marketing Agency
So far, we’ve been covering school marketing tactics school admins can carry out themselves.
However, school admins may want to consider hiring a school marketing agency like the School Agency for more specialized and expansive school marketing campaigns.
A school marketing agency can work with school admins to develop school-wide strategies and campaigns that are tailored towards school goals and objectives. The main benefit is that school marketing agencies are usually better equipped to coordinate marketing efforts that target specific school audiences.
How the School Agency Can Help with coordinating school marketing
At The School Agency, we have over a decade of experience in school marketing. We specialize in developing school-wide campaigns that are tailored towards school objectives and target school audiences.
If you’re searching for a marketing partner who truly understands the unique needs and goals of your school, look no further.
Contact us today to learn more.
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