Industry Marketing Analysis: Education
Standing Out From The Crowd
In an ultra-competitive world, both parents and children are placing an even higher need on securing the right education. The marketplace for educational bodies – a college, a university, or even a preschool – is therefore becoming ultra-competitive too. In 2022, how can an educator stand out from the crowd and reach prospective students through marketing?
We sat down with our strategists to discuss some hot-button issues:
One of the most significant hurdles to people approaching the post-secondary landscape is the cost. Over the last decade-and-a-half, growth in tuition fees has far outstripped inflation: in 2006/2007, undergraduate students paid an average of $4,211 for the academic year, while in 2021 that has ballooned to an average of $7,304. That’s a rise of 58% – the inflation-adjusted rate from 2006 would be closer to $5,600.
What does this mean for your marketing? Trust is harder to build. You need to convince your prospective students that they are going to get their money’s worth.
The Next Big Gig
Care to take a guess at the top five most common jobs in America 100 years ago?
We’ll give you a hint – there’s no social media managers or AI engineers to be found. So, with that in mind, can you imagine what the top five most common jobs will be 100 years from today?
How about 20 years?
With the pace of technology getting faster and faster, tomorrow’s career paths become less and less clear. Would you want to commit thousands of dollars and years of your life to studying something, only to find an AI made any job related to it obsolete just as soon as you graduate? Schools have to stay an additional step ahead of (entirely reasonable) fears like this, with the further challenge of directing those prospective students in new, exciting, and most of all future-proof directions.
The Enrolment Puzzle
That brings us to the challenges of enrolment. COVID-19 brought rapid, decisive change to the education industry. Many post-secondary schools quickly adapted, redirecting their focus to resources that cultivated online platforms and asynchronous learning; this bridged a valuable, necessary gap, affording those who were newly out-of-work an opportunity to enhance or even revise their core credentials. According to StatsCan, 12.4% of paid Canadian workers between the ages of 15 and 64 have been laid off on a monthly basis in a dataset ranging from February to June of 2020. With programs like the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, many went back to school to re-skill themselves for a new line of work.
Once that wave rolls away, the forecast calls for a shrunken field of new students. Online platforming for education is a double-edged sword in the education industry: on one hand, you can attract students from much farther away, but on the other – so can everybody else.
Who Stands Apart from the Crowd?
In the marketing and advertising world, the loudest voice doesn’t necessarily outshine the competition. The standout schools will be those who capitalize on appeal and directly connect to a student’s perceptions of the dream job at the end of a program. They also serve to comfort them with a positive impression of the roadmap. These impressions can be enhanced through:
Messaging that leads with the ignition of ideas, the demonstration of passion, and the connection to community can help invoke a sense of pride, ambition, and enrichment.
Keeping the student engaged through the process, focused on the outcomes, and connected to the values of the education are all tantamount to future enrolments; experience is everything, and a student’s development as a person can be just as important in shaping the school’s future successes.
Creating community is another matter; the forward-facing messaging has to come from somewhere, and these processes and philosophies will require the breadth of a faculty to buy in completely. Applying branding and messaging that galvanizes a school’s stakeholders – from the department of education to the student body – can serve to increase reach, engagement, morale, and bottom lines.
Top of the Class
The world is in a constant state of academic renaissance. As what we know intermingles with how we interpret and apply our knowledge, we are left looking ahead. Whether it’s on the calendar, the next class, or the next career, it pays to think a few moves in advance. Our strategists are always on hand to help keep you knowledgeable and informed, and communicating directly with all your future graduates.