The Easter break has come and gone and it’s time to tackle your school budget planning for September.
We’re still amazed by how many schools we work with who don’t have a ring-fenced marketing budget. Most commonly, we hear that a marketing budget isn’t necessary because “we just spend what we need to at the time, such as for Open Days”, or “the few ads we do come out of the general school office budget”.
Too often, not having an allocated budget (no matter how small) equates to not having a school marketing strategy. And without a school marketing strategy, you are effectively throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Not good (and rather messy).
Put simply, a school marketing strategy will make your budget work SO much harder with measurably BETTER results and here’s how:
1. Your goals will be defined and your activity therefore focused
Your goals might include driving enquiries, boosting visitor numbers to your open events or converting registrations into enrolments. And whatever they are, understanding what these are from the outset is a vital part of ensuring your planned activities (and therefore your marketing budget) are executed in the right areas.
2. Everything works together to deliver results
A marketing strategy will allow you to plan your activities in a coherent and consistent way across the term or academic year, rather than making ad hoc (and often expensive) choices. It promotes joined-up thinking and so avoids activities being done in silo. You will see exactly what marketing activities should be happening when and where, ensuring your budget is used precisely where it will be most effective.
3. Evaluating your strategy will enable you to remove activities that don’t work
Part of having an effective marketing strategy in place and spending your budget wisely, is evaluating your activities and pinpointing the things that are (and aren’t) working. The definition of insanity (according to Albert Einstein) is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, so understanding what activities to continue with vs. those that can be binned, is essential in making your marketing budget work hard for your school.
So folks, when planning your marketing budgets for September, remember the importance of having a Marketing Strategy and the difference it can make in saving your school vital pennies and pounds. It really is a game-changer.
The Stickman team help school leaders, bursars, and marketing and admissions managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.
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Emily & the Stickman team