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Test Your Marketing: School or Customer -Centric?

 Are you using a school or customer -centric approach to marketing?  Most schools go with the former which is not the best choice for recruiting more full-pay families.  Here are some descriptions to show the difference between a school-centric and a customer-centric approach to marketing.  Which style are you using?

While researching schools, I discovered a revenue generating idea that I had never encountered before. This school, which we will call Blue Hope Academy, offers a part-time studies program for students who are currently being homeschooled. Not only can this idea bring in additional income, but also opens the potential for turning these part-time students into full-time students.  First, let’s examine what the school used to promote their program – a school-centric approach.  Think about which of these examples reflect your marketing style. Each example would be a posting on the school’s website.

Example 1, used by Blue Hope Academy, shows a school-centric announcement style approach, fulfilling a school’s tendency to believe – “build and they shall come.”  Advertisements tend to take this approach when announcing an event or creating a general advertisement about the school.

Example 1

Non-Traditional Students (Navigation words used – First Click)

Part Time Studies

Blue Hope Academy offers a part-time studies program for home-schooling families looking to take advantage of the unique opportunities and courses offered by our school.

Students in grades 7-12 may enroll in as many courses as the schedule allows. Enrollment is limited to the space available for students in each course. Some prerequisites may be required.  Each 90-minute block course is $900 for a full year.  The cost is prorated for shorter courses.  

Please email Paul Anderson for more information and to receive a Part-Time Student Application.

Homeschooled students may also participate in certain sports at Blue Hope Academy throughout the year. Email Athletics Director Martha Anderson for more information.

Example 2 is another school-centric approach that I would describe as the narcissistic style.  Most schools attempting to develop an attractive viewbook or website will take this approach. (However, when done correctly it should feel more like helpful information, not narcissism.)

Example II

Non-Traditional Students (Navigation words used – First Click)

Part Time Studies

Blue Hope Academy has offered an excellent education for over 100 years.  We are pleased to introduce our newest program which will allow home-school students to be a part of our outstanding, welcoming student body.  With our talented teachers and great facilities, we think this part time study program will provide many benefits that the home-schooled student can’t find otherwise.

Students in grades 7-12 may enroll in as many courses as the schedule allows. Enrollment is limited to the space available for students in each course. Some prerequisites may be required.  Each 90-minute block course is $900 for a full year.  The cost is prorated for shorter courses.  

Please email Paul Anderson for more information and to receive a Part-Time Student Application.

If you see yourself as a customer-centric practitioner, then you will quickly realize a key component that is missing from these examples – addressing the problem to be solved for your prospective customer.  There are no connections being built with the consumer that express that the school understands them.  It is likely that the reason they left their previous school system in the first place, was because they didn’t feel the needs of their child were understood.

Let’s take a look at the an example of a customer-centric approach.  Click here.

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