Many private schools make the same mistake – they invest a lot of effort and resources in the development of a quality educational product, but at the same time they do not pay enough attention to the marketing and sales of their services. As a result, customers are missing and potential profits are lost.
Mistake # 1: Saving on Marketing and Sales
School is a product that clients, parents of youngsters, choose with great attention to a mass of tones. In marketing terms, this is a purchase for many years, the result of which affects a person’s future life. The choice becomes even more scrupulous when it comes to a private educational institution, where you have to pay for educational services, and, as a rule, considerable sums.
Therefore, the key task of any non-state school is to have well-developed first touchpoints (landing page, website, etc.), as well as a working sales, funnel in order not only to attract leads but also successfully convert them into concluded contracts. The specificity of the private school industry is such that parents, based on the impression of the advertisement and the website, can conclude about the quality of education in the school (although there is no direct correspondence here). And if this first impression is bad, it becomes incredibly difficult to motivate them to buy.
Mistake # 2: no segmentation of the target audience
It is impossible to effectively sell a product without imagining a buyer. The target audience for private schools is diverse. Each parent has his views on how in what conditions, and what his child should learn. At the same time, there are adherents of modern educational technologies and the Soviet education system on the market. Someone is looking for an elementary school, and someone is faced with the task of preparing a high school student for the USE (by the way, high school students themselves become the target audience, as they begin to influence the choice of parents).
The task of the school in such conditions is to understand exactly what problems of the client it solves. Based on this, it is necessary to segment the target audience and build a dialogue with each segment to convey its benefits to it. The main thing is to make a person feel that this school is simply created for his child. Otherwise, you can forget about the high conversion of leads into contracts.
Mistake # 3: the customer is not able to get to know the product in practice
Very often, to send a child to a private school, a down payment or payment of an immediate long period of study (for example, a year) is required. And clients – parents, are frankly afraid to do this if they do not understand what they will receive in return. Therefore, if the school does not have formats for preliminary acquaintance with its services, it is a big mistake.
There can be several dating formats. The minimum is a detailed story about the educational process and the institution itself in social networks. For example, open days’ work well, especially in the high season. One of the schools that used our services was quite successful in providing introductory lectures for parents. There is also a format for trial products, for example, children’s summer camps. The latter can also be an excellent marketing tool. At another of our customers, the pricing for the summer camp was built in such a way that people who can afford a private school came first – there was an automatic segmentation of the audience.
Mistake # 4: communicating with the client in the language of an expert
It is about using exclusively professional terminology when presenting the school to parents. These presentations are usually not given by sales managers or marketers, but by teachers or methodologists themselves. And very often they start talking to the audience in the expert language because they are used to it. They talk about educational technologies, the nuances of curricula, methods, and more. But they forget that communication is not built with experts, who simply do not understand such moments.
It has already been mentioned more than once above that parents want to learn only one thing – can a private school solve their problem or not. If this is not in the presentation, it can be considered a failure. That is, a teacher can develop a high-quality, modern, effective educational program that is not sold only because the client is not able to evaluate all its advantages due to incorrect presentation. And accordingly, he cannot understand the main thing – why training in this program costs two or three times more than in competitors’ programs.
Mistake # 5: Lack of a Marketing Strategy
We have come to the most important thing. Segmentation of the audience, building points of the first contact, correct presentation of the service, and other aspects related to promotion should be linked into a single strategy. It is the strategy that makes it possible to understand what kind of client the school needs, where to find him, how to attract and induce him to conclude an agreement and pay money.
Without a strategy, the school simply cannot properly position itself in the market, which means that sooner or later it will be crushed by more advanced competitors in marketing. Also, without a strategy, you cannot see what system errors are made during promotion and understand their causes.
Schools that dispense with strategy and still fail to attract enough customers to begin to endlessly change in-house marketers, believing that they are not doing their job. Such owners or hired managers are struck by the constant change of the content on the site, the style of advertising messages – that is, they are engaged in useless micromanagement, wasting time and resources. In other words, they have a map with a marked end goal, but no direct path to it. In such conditions, any path turns into a labyrinth.