As you read this, you may be saying, “Marketing Budget…what’s that?”
In times of financial stress, the marketing budget is usually the first thing that gets cut. But allow me to ask the obvious question: What is (or should be) the main source of revenue to your school? If you said “tuition,” you are correct. If you said “the amount of tuition the parents pay,” you are even more correct. If this is the case, then your number one source of revenue to your school is directly proportional to the number of children in your school. Indeed, good marketing eventually leads to higher enrollment. Effective marketing leads to increased inquiries, and properly managed inquiries lead to higher conversion rates to enrollments in your school.
If you cut the marketing budget, you lose the opportunity to effectively get the word out, and therefore, potentially cut the number of students that apply and ultimately enroll in the school.
If you want to see where the “vicious cycle” begins, (that is, lower enrollment means higher tuition which results in lower enrollment which begets higher tuition, etc.) marketing is the place. Remember: marketing is at the center of it all. If you haven’t done so, check out “The Marketing Origin” on the SchoolAdvancement Web site.
Planning is essential to marketing – not only to justify spending funds (that some may say is wasteful spending), but to assess which programs have had the greatest return on investment (ROI) from year to year.
And that’s probably the best place to start…marketing is an INVESTMENT. It’s important to assess marketing programs and activities to see how effective they’ve been. If you keep doing the same thing from year to year, spending money on the same programs, and see no increase in the number of inquiries to your school, THAT is wasteful spending. However, if you can show a positive return on the funds that have been entrusted to you, that’s being a good steward – which is what we’re all called to be!
My new book to help you create a marketing plan for your school to increase those inquiries is now available! Visit http://www.lulu.com/shop/mike-ziemski-med/marketing-a-12-step-plan-to-increase-inquiries-to-your-school/paperback/product-20124107.html for details! Pick up a copy, read it this summer, and put it into practice as soon as the school year starts!
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2007-2017 (Original Publication Date: 20120618)