From Word of Mouth to the Web: Effective Marketing Strategies for Your School, SSATB 2012 Workshop


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During this session, we will focus our discussion on word of mouth and web-based marketing strategies for enrollment success at independent schools.

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From Word of Mouth to the Web: Effective Marketing Strategies for Your School, SSATB 2012 Workshop

  1. 1. Rick Newberry, © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  2. 2.  During this session, we will focus our discussion on word of mouth and web- based marketing strategies for enrollment success at your school. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  3. 3. Michigan StateStarbucksFamilyBlogCoaching © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  4. 4. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  5. 5. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  6. 6. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  7. 7. Enrollment Catalyst partners with schools to provide coaching for school leaders in theirschool’s enrollment management and marketing strategies needed to reach their goals. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  8. 8. The marketing landscape hasshifted from outbound toinbound strategies. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  9. 9. Leadership Enrollment & Quality Marketing School Plan ExperienceCompetition Vision School Growth Faculty and Price Staff Parent Location Satisfaction Reputation © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  10. 10. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  11. 11. “Traditional outbound marketing is wherebusinesses push their messages at consumers.” • HubSpot, The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  12. 12. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  13. 13. “Inbound Marketing is a set of marketingstrategies and techniques focused on pullingrelevant prospects and customers towards a business and its products.” • HubSpot, The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  14. 14. “For the last 50 years, companies such as Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Coca-Cola usedhuge amounts of money to efficiently interrupt their way into businesses and consumer’swallets using outbound marketing techniques.The outbound marketing era is over. The next50 years will be the era of inbound marketing.” • Halligan and Shah, Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  15. 15. Excellent resourceon how to getfound by usingGoogle, SocialMedia and BlogsAlso see:www.hubspot.comfor many onlineresources includingwebinars andpresentations © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  16. 16.  New media  Old media Web-based  Traditional Pull  Push Listen  Interrupt Engage  Broadcast Hub  Megaphone Authentic  Slick Content  Ads Stories  SlogansInbound Marketing Outbound Marketing
  17. 17.  The places we advertise The world wide web The desire for authenticity The power of referral in an online world The world of social media The need to be in a conversation The importance of creating remarkable content © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  18. 18.  Why do we hang on to the traditional outbound advertising strategies? Why are our marketing budgets comprised of these strategies? Why do we keep spending significant resources on strategies that don’t produce ROI?
  19. 19. Think about the top twoways that parents find out about your school… © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  20. 20. 1. Word-of-Mouth Consistently ranks as the number one way that families hear about your school.2. Web The Web is the first place a parent looks when they hear about your school from a word-of-mouth referral. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  21. 21. Word-of-mouth is stillthe number one way that your parents first find out about your school. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  22. 22. Trust is Key to WOM “If your customers won’t talk about your stuff, you have to pay newspapers and TV shows to do it for you.But when people trust you, they are willing to put their words on the line for you.Please them, inspire them, and they’ll bring their friends to you.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  23. 23. Trust is Key to WOM“It comes down to trust. And people don’t trust your company; people trust people. People they know. People whose opinions and recommendations they seek out and have faith in.” • Phillips, Cordell, & Church: Brains on Fire © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  24. 24. We will apply a WOMframework to develop yourschool’s marketing strategy toensure enrollment success. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  25. 25. Parking Lot Face to Phone Face ParentChurch/ Talk Starbucks Club Email Web © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  26. 26. Blogs SocialFacebook Media Sites Web Talk Great Google Schools Online Reviews © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  27. 27. What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?“So what is word of mouth marketing? In thisbook, I define it as ‘Giving people a reason to talk about your stuff, and making it easier for that conversation to take place’.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  28. 28. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  29. 29.  It builds credibility from satisfied customers. It produces better results than traditional advertising. It makes your brand stronger and more trusted. Your parents can reach your target audience better than you can. It’s your number one marketing strategy for your school! © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  30. 30.  Today’s marketing is about remarkable content and joining in the conversation. Your marketing focus must be on telling the remarkable story of your school. Your marketing strategy should facilitate and build word-of-mouth in person and online. Your goal is to inspire a movement of passionate ambassadors for your school. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  31. 31. Are you giving your parents a reason to talk about your school? © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  32. 32. “Word of mouth marketing only works if you have good products and services. It only works if people like you and trust you.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  33. 33. Are you giving your parents any stuff that they can talk about? © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  34. 34. “Word of mouth is natural conversation between real people. Word of mouth marketing is working within this conversation so people are talking about you.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  35. 35. How can you make it easier for the conversation to take place? © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  36. 36. “Word of mouth marketing isn’t about marketing at all. It’s about great customer service that makes people want to tell their friends about you. It about fantastic products that people can’t resist showing to everyone.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  37. 37. Is word of mouth marketing part of your strategy? © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  38. 38. “How can a business owner [AdmissionsDirector, Head of School] know that word ofmouth is so powerful and then do so little to take advantage of it?” • John Jantsch, The Referral Engine © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  39. 39. We need a framework for ourWOM and WEB plan and to examine effective marketing strategies that work © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  40. 40. 1. Talkers—who will tell their friends about you?2. Topics—what will they talk about?3. Tools—how can you help the message travel?4. Taking Part—how should you join the conversation?5. Tracking—what are people saying about you? © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  41. 41. Find people who will talkabout your school
  42. 42.  Employees Parents (Current and Former) Students (Current and Former) Alumni Grandparents Vendors School administrators Pastors and clergy Anyone
  43. 43.  A satisfied or an unsatisfied parent, grandparent, alumni, donor or friend. A happy or an unhappy employee—your faculty, staff, and coaches. Someone else that heard something, whether positive or negative, about your school. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  44. 44. Talkers Talk Face-to-Face “One of the great misconceptions about word of mouth marketing is that it’s all happeningonline…only about 20 percent of word of mouth happens online. When it does play a role, it usually sparks the 80 percent of word of mouthconversations that actually happen face-to-face.” • Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  45. 45.  Passion for your school Credibility among their peers Connections at your school and in the community Opportunity to be involved
  46. 46.  New parents can be the best resources for your school to reach out to their previous school, church, neighborhood or other group.
  47. 47.  Recruit a team of parents to help you in your enrollment effort by: ◦ Presenting tours of campus. ◦ Hosting new family “desserts” in their homes. ◦ Mentoring a new family throughout their first school year. ◦ Calling and/or writing personal notes to parents and welcoming them to your school.’ ◦ Posting online reviews. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  48. 48.  Provide a card in your admissions package that includes the names, child grade levels, phone numbers and email addresses of your parent ambassadors. © 2010 Cherry+Company
  49. 49.  Identify the parents that are positive about your school. Meet with them to give them things to talk about. ◦ Individual or small group meetings. ◦ Quarterly breakfast or lunch meetings. ◦ Share stories of students, faculty, alumni and success! Encourage them to share stories about your school. Share your school’s vision for the future. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  50. 50. A Great School Will Create WOM“This is the foundation of buzz: in order to get people talking about your product or service, you must provide a great experience.” • Rosen, The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  51. 51. Give people a reason to talk
  52. 52.  Anything and everything about your school— the good and the bad! Their own experiences. The experiences of others. What they’ve heard along the way. What you’ve told them. What you want them to talk about (that is, if you’ve told them what to talk about!) © 2011 Cherry+Company
  53. 53.  Most school leaders haven’t considered this question as a key part of their marketing strategy. We need to begin asking the question: What do you want them to talk about? © 2011 Cherry+Company
  54. 54. Produce Great Content “When you offer great content—such asdetailed how-to articles, expert interviews,case studies, and videos—that focuses onhelping other people solve their problems, you’ll experience growth.” • Stelzner, Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  55. 55. “Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminateyour message for you. More than ever before, content is king! Content rules! • Handley and Chapman, Content Rules © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  56. 56. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  57. 57. “Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.” • Seth Godin, The Purple Cow © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  58. 58. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  59. 59. We live in a story. We relate to stories. We listen to stories.We can see ourselves in a story. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  60. 60. “Stories are real. Slogans are made up.Stories pull you in. Slogans try to push out a message. Stories are deep. Slogans are shallow. Stories are personal. Slogans are impersonal. Stories are passed on by word of mouth. Slogans are forced on us by ads. Stories are part of who we are. After all, you don’t tell slogans about your grandfather, or how your parents met, or even how you were treated in a restaurant.” • Phillips, Cordell, Church: Brains on Fire © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  61. 61.  Stories about your people ◦ faculty, students, parents and alumni ◦ Your USP’s in story form Real stats connected to real stories Your school ◦ Vision for the future ◦ How your school is remarkable ◦ How your school makes a life-changing difference in students Educational topics Parenting topics
  62. 62. Help the message spreadfaster and farther.
  63. 63.  Leadership  Website Faculty and Staff  SEO Parents  Blog Alumni  Email newsletter Ambassadors  Social media Referral generation  Photos Customer service  Video Personal conversations  Online reviews Group meetingsPeople Tools Web-Based Tools
  64. 64.  The most effective way to spread word of mouth is through face-to-face conversations. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  65. 65. Talkers Talk Face-to-Face“More than 90 percent of the conversations about products, services, and brands that take placeevery day in America happen offline, according to research the will be revealed in the chapters of this book.” • Keller and Fay, The Face-to-Face Book © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  66. 66.  Every meeting and conversation is an opportunity to tell a story about your school and to spread positive word-of-mouth. ◦ Large group meetings ◦ Small group meetings ◦ Coffee chats ◦ Personal meetings © 2011 Cherry+Company
  67. 67.  Quality/excellence in their job Tell your school’s story Turn negative moments into positive moments Channel concerns to the administration Communication with parents Relationships with parents Create memorable moments Positive ambassadors for the school
  68. 68.  Since your parents are the best marketers for your school, it is important to give them tools to share.
  69. 69. Card sent to parentsat Wheaton ChristianGrammar School
  70. 70. Postcard and carmagnet sent toparents at SaintStephen’s
  71. 71.  Give away items that have your school’s brand on them: ◦ T-shirts ◦ Coffee mugs ◦ Car magnets ◦ Grocery bags ◦ Gym towels © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  72. 72. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  73. 73.  Donna Cutting uses High Point University in The Celebrity Experience as a premier example of customer service. What do they do? ◦ Director of WOW! ◦ Wowing campus visitors ◦ Delivering birthday cards ◦ The President and his gumball machine ◦ Valentine’s Day ◦ Free valet parking ◦ Construction dust and car washes © 2009 Cherry+Company
  74. 74. High Point University provides“WOW” moments for prospectiveand campus students
  75. 75.  When you serve your parents or students in an exceptional way or do something that is memorable, this creates a moment that will be shared by word of mouth.
  76. 76. “Companies create buzz with great follow-up,T-shirts and other promotional merchandise, free events, outrageous acts of kindness— anything that contributes to an overall culture of buzz.” • Jantsch, The Referral Engine © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  77. 77.  It is better for parents to visit your school in a one-on-one environment than to attend an open house in the evening or on the weekend when the school is not in session. Every day should be an open house for prospective families at your school.
  78. 78.  Once you get a family to your campus, make sure you have an outstanding visit program set up for them. An effective campus visit program should include: ◦ Tour of campus ◦ Meeting with admissions director and administrator ◦ Review of the application process ◦ Introductions to key staff ◦ Connections with Parent Ambassadors
  79. 79.  Clear signage and great first impression Welcome sign with your name on it Friendly welcome from receptionist Entry area tells the story of your school Personalized tour with parent, student and faculty connections Review of application process Photo of student by welcome sign Personal note sent immediately (email and handwritten)
  80. 80.  Host a special “friend’s” day for current students to invite their friends to spend the day with them at your school. The goal is to encourage and motivate current students to focus on inviting their friends they want to encourage enrolling in your school, especially when students are key to the decision!
  81. 81. Refer a student form
  82. 82.  Place a “tell-a-friend” link on every page of your website. Link should provide you with fields to enter your friend’s name, email address, a short message and your information. Friend should receive an automated email referencing your referral and the website link. © 2011 Cherry+Company
  83. 83.  Programs ◦ Academics, Athletics, Arts, Service, Technology, Faith, Character People ◦ Students, Parents, Leadership, Faculty, Staff, Coaches, Alumni Results
  84. 84. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  85. 85. Each “Dot” Represents an Alumni Story
  86. 86. Life After Chandler showcases the schoolsthat their 8th grade graduates attend
  87. 87. Four “unbound” short books thattell the Dana Hall story in fourdifferent ways
  88. 88. Throwback Thursday Posts
  89. 89. Website features a story of the person of the week Admissions “Drop-In Wednesday’s”
  90. 90. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  91. 91. “I am CDS” allows you to click on a child’sface to read their story
  92. 92. “Student Voices” share theirperspectives on the school
  93. 93. Homepage features severalquotes from students, facultyand alumni. The user can clickon the image to read and viewmore of the story.
  94. 94. Homepage features arotating student storythat can be clicked on tofind out what CA meansto the student.
  95. 95. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  96. 96. In the Spotlighthighlights keystories on thehomepage
  97. 97. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  98. 98. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  99. 99. 1. Opportunity to share dynamic content on your website.2. Increase traffic to your website.3. Provide significant search engine optimization (SEO) value for your website.4. Provide a platform to share content.5. It’s fun!
  100. 100. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  101. 101. 1. Publish your blog once a week.2. Don’t bury your blog on your website.3. Make sure your blog is attached to your website domain.4. Use a team to strategize and write your blog posts.5. Don’t use your blog to sell your school.6. Include a RSS feed, subscription option and share/like buttons.7. Use keywords in your posts.
  102. 102. Calvert has nearly 50 blogs fromfaculty and staff on their website.
  103. 103. Head of School Blog
  104. 104. Student bloggers tell the Crystal Springs story
  105. 105. Cushing Studentsand faculty writeblog posts to sharetheir trip to Bhutan
  106. 106. Student Ambassador Blog
  107. 107. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  108. 108.  Facebook can be used to connect to alumni, parents and friends of your school.  Provide regular updates on your fan page  Tell stories of your alumni and faculty  Encourage interaction among your fans  Enter into conversations with your fans © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  109. 109.  Pictures with captions and stories Blog posts Video vignettes Ask for likes Ask questions Summer vacation pictures
  110. 110.  Ask admitted parents to post the following on their FB page: “My children were just admitted to XYZ School and will be attending this Fall!” Provide a timeline photo header with a school photo and logo in it to your parents.
  111. 111. This post features 27 photosfrom around campus in March
  112. 112. Photos tell thestory at MiamiCountry Day
  113. 113. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  114. 114.  Produce short video vignettes to provide real-life testimonials and stories about your school. Post videos to YouTube, Vimeo or another service. Feed them back into your website or send them out through an email. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  115. 115.  Ask Current Parents – “What do you like best about your school?” Ask New Parents – “Why did you select this school for your child?” Ask Alumni – “How did your school prepare you for success in college and in life?” Ask Faculty – “What do you like best about teaching at your school?” Ask Seniors – “What college do you plan to attend next year?”
  116. 116.  Traditions A Day in the Life Lower School Students Say it Best College Reps Key Brand Messages One Topic, Four Perspectives (Student, Parent, Faculty, Alumnus) Affordability
  117. 117.  Use video to share messages from the head of school State of the School message Video newsletter Student produced news Student contest—produce a one-minute video to “sell” your school; winners are posted on website and reward given Student lip dub © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  118. 118. Assumption “Firework” Lip Dub now has over44,000 views on YouTube!
  119. 119. Homepage provides access to three videosto highlight the uniqueness of the school.
  120. 120. Video testimonials in the admissions section
  121. 121. Video tells the story from a student’s perspectiveof the 10 things they love about Deerfield
  122. 122. Video vignettes showcase why students andparents chose DVFS
  123. 123. Walkabout interactivetour moves studentsthrough campus andlets you experiencethe school.
  124. 124. • Homepage provides dropdown menus and special features• The Current Online Magazine is in the format of a mini website.
  125. 125. Online magazine format for the school
  126. 126. Brookwood’s BTube page contains a variety of videos showcasing the life of the school.Brookwood’s BPod pagecontains a picture andcaption of the day.
  127. 127. Social Media Mash-Up Page
  128. 128.  We can find online reviews about our school on a variety of sites including: ◦ Private School Review ◦ School Digger ◦ Google ◦ Yelp ◦ Great Schools © 2011 Cherry+Company
  129. 129. © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst
  130. 130. Join the conversation.
  131. 131.  The conversation is taking place all around you. The most important thing for you to do is to join in the conversation. Take part in the conversation that is taking place: ◦ Web (blogs, school reviews, Facebook, etc.) ◦ Groups ◦ Individuals ◦ Events © 2011 Cherry+Company
  132. 132.  Get out of your office and meet your parents in the parking lot Take a “one-family-at-a-time” approach Small group coffee meetings Meetings or luncheons with the “talkers” Actively engage your community online through Facebook and other social media sites Write a blog and engage in conversation online © 2011 Cherry+Company
  133. 133. Measure and understand.
  134. 134.  It is important to regularly review what people are saying about you: ◦ In the parking lot ◦ On the web ◦ ◦ Facebook ◦ Surveys ◦ Focus Groups ◦ Google alert © 2011 Cherry+Company
  135. 135.  Survey your parents annually by conducting an overall parent satisfaction and perception survey. ◦ Look for areas of dissatisfaction to improve the quality of the school. ◦ Report findings from the survey back to parents. ◦ Best time to survey parents is October and February/March. © 2009 Cherry+Company
  136. 136. Actually, this is the beginning foryou to go and implementeffective word of mouth andweb-based marketing strategiesat your school.
  137. 137. For More Information: Enrollment Catalyst Rick Newberry, Ph.D. 9770 Indian Key Trail Seminole, FL 33776 © 2012 Enrollment Catalyst