As I’m writing this, we’re developing the marketing strategy for the college where I am working. Since our budget is limited, we can’t really compete with the universities and some of the larger colleges when it comes to resources. We have to do things a little different.
We are competing with the big players and in one way or the other, we’re closing the gap and building our brand – the right way.
Our students are our business, they are everything to us. If they don’t graduate, or they think our college stinks, we have failed. Therefore, our marketing strategy is all about communication with our students.
They’ll give us feedback that will help us improve our college. If we do everything right, we can also cement our college in their minds. This way they’ll spread the word about us, and be our best representatives for many years.
We ask for feedback
It doesn’t matter if the feedback is good or bad. We need it. The feedback helps us to improve, tweak, keep what’s working and get rid of what isn’t working.
Sometimes we ask our students to fill in a simple online survey. But we’re also thinking about using fun polls about their preferences as well. Their feedback is always anonymous, this way, it’s easier for our students to state their true feelings.
We stay in touch
No matter how impressed our students are, it’s easy for them to forget about our college once they graduate. It’s easy for them to forget about our college while they’re actually in school.
If we stay at the forefront of our student’s mind, then we’ll have a much better chance for them to spread the word about our college. They might even return themselves if they need some extra credit.
We’ve developed a newsletter. We’ll be sending it to our current students and to everybody who subscribes.
Even though the best incentive for students to spread the word might be a simple “thank you” and great service – we’ll be adding a monthly gift as well (not sure, but it might be an iPhone).
Our level of service is very important. We urge to treat each and every student as though they are our only student and try to make them feel special. Although, we don’t send out birthday or Christmas cards (but maybe we should?).
We try to be creative
We try to stand out from the crowd, by using short and catchy expressions and humor. We try to be different. I’m not sure if we’ll end up with a funny campaign or not, but we’re doing our best to grab people’s attention.
The first step is always getting a person to look at us – a creative marketing campaign will help us with this. Once they’re looking, we’ll do our best to wow them with our excellent service.
I believe that a marketing strategy is really all about connecting with people on a more personal level and setting up a system to help customer and to provide something of value (something they either need or want).