Workshop on Effective School Marketing in a Digital World

Today’s marketer has a vast array of digital tools from which to choose. A consequence of the pandemic has been to raise customers’ expectations of online convenience, personalisation, engagement and value.

Unfortunately, these raised expectations by customers often lead to capacity issues and ad hoc choices of platforms, apps and systems in order to remain relevant. But there is a better way. School marketers, admissions and development teams have an opportunity to build digital marketing into some or all of the current processes, and it’s more effective if a strategic approach is used to guide these choices.

This two-session online workshop aims to address the specific challenges in the current market environment in attracting and retaining stakeholder interest and commitment. These stakeholders would include pupils and parents but also sponsors/ donors and alumni. The focus of the workshop will be on digital marketing as a way to help overcome these challenges.

The workshop is suitable for the entire marketing/ advancement team of a school, who should ideally attend the same session. This would include admissions, marketing, communications, alumni and development/ fundraising. It may also be useful for senior school leadership and heads of schools due to the strategic significance of the marketing effort.

After the publication of A Guide to Effective School Marketing by ISASA, this workshop was originally designed to teach the basic tenets contained in the book. The workshop was then redesigned for the COVID-19 environment. It has now been further reinvented to embrace school marketing in a digital world.

We are fortunate to have the author of this ISASA publication, Keryn House, as the facilitator of this workshop. In her work towards a Chartered Marketer (CMSA) designation in 2021, Keryn focused heavily on digital marketing across sectors, so this new workshop design offers new insights with a far more integrated approach to the use of technology in school marketing.

This is intended as a vibrant cross-school event focussing on strategic essentials – The four pillars of target market, positioning, messages and platforms. These are then applied to a digital environment, whereby customers have changed and operational models of schooling have changed (blended approaches of online/ hybrid/ in-person across school activities).

The first session sets the scene on current market trends and what the impact is on schools, with breakout sessions to explore the changes. We discuss how the different personas (ideal client avatars) in your target market may be reached differently through digital marketing.

The second session builds on this understanding of the target market, applying it to market positioning, with a focus on key messages, digital platforms, metrics and structure. Guidelines on digital tactics are included, with local and international examples in school marketing.

The workshop ends with a group task to create a campaign (marketing, admissions, alumni and development) for a specific target market with a specific objective focused on the digital environment.

NB: There are two versions of this workshop:

  • Multi-school version with multiple schools attending (either over two afternoons online or over six hours in a single day for an in-person event).
  • Single-school version aimed at assisting an individual school to evaluate its specific marketing strategy. This workshop consists of an intensive full-day event and offers bespoke elements, including data capture and analysis through the pre-survey and an extensive post-workshop feedback report.

Please note that this online event is a multi-school event.

Facilitator: Keryn House, a strategic marketer with extensive experience in the independent school sector.

Duration: 6 hours (either 09:00 – 15:00 on one day, or two afternoons).

Cost Online: R750 per delegate
In-person cost: R1 430 per delegate (excluding Value Added Tax)

To request a bespoke single-school event contact the ISASA Professional Development Department.

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