…I’ve told you a thousand times!!

Remember when our parents said that to us?  They were our first teachers, in so many ways…even regarding the basic principles of Marketing!

Before his fall from favor, Bill Cosby demonstrated one of first instructional sentences a parent uses to teach their children:

“No…no…no..no..no.no.no.nononono. NO!!”

As well as:

“Come here….come here…come here..come here..come here come herecomeherecomehere. COME HERE!”

Our parents, therefore, provide us with the inspiration for this week’s marketing matter.

You must convey the message about the remarkable place your school is, along with the remarkable things that happen there once.  Then, say it again…and again…and again..and again and again and again andagainandagainandAGAIN!

And I need to go off on a tangent here – remarkable means what’s unique, distinctive, and differentiating in the minds of your parent community.  If you’re leading a Christian school, and you believe that a biblical world view is part of what makes your school remarkable, I would think that there are a number of Christian schools in your surrounding area that also believe the same belief makes their school remarkable.  Unfortunately, if two or more schools share the same “remarkable” attribute, it’s no longer remarkable.  It’s either an imitator or a commodity.

And back to the necessity of spaced repetition.

Here’s a good rule of thumb.  When you begin to tire of saying the same thing about your school over and over and over and over and over and over again, it’s probably right about that time that someone is just starting to get the message, which will cause them to have a change of mindset a little further down the road after they hear the message a few (thousand) more times, and decides to visit your school’s Web site.

Remember, about 15 years ago, it took around 9 exposures to a new idea to only start to cause a change in one’s mindset and be open to simply considering investigating the idea a little more.  10 years ago, that number rose to about 13.  Five years ago, with mobile devices that deliver new information instantly, and literally hundreds of applications and social networks all vying for attention, that number increased to somewhere around 18.  And today, perhaps it’s even more.  Interestingly, if information is heard across multiple channels, the mindset shift is accomplished much sooner, and studies have determined that maximum effectiveness is reached between 15 and 20 exposures (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-nagging-repetition-effective-communication-marton-jojarth).  After that, if one is not interested, the message tends to become annoying.

In other words, if one parent says something positive about your school, it may take a significant number of messages from this same parent to begin a mindset shift.  However, if 5 parents share positive messages about your school to one parent, then the mindset of the prospective parent begins to think there is something worth investigating further much sooner.  If a positive comment is posted on Facebook, tweeted in a tweet on Twitter or even posted on a board on Pinterest, it can validate what’s been heard, and further accelerate the shift from not even considering your school as an educational option, to actively seeking more information about your school and scheduling a virtual tour in our pandemic times.

Speaking of, next week, a new Marketing Matter will be published, regarding your school’s virtual tour, since admissions season is right around the corner!

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2005-2020 (Original Publication Date: 20051107)