Marketing to the Mouth

School administrators are always looking for the latest and greatest “secret” to marketing. I often hear questions from school leaders asking where they should advertise: Metro magazine? Newspaper? Radio? TV? Direct mail? Social media? How should they spend their limited dollars to maximize their impact?

I think we need to look at this question from another angle and consider a different marketing paradigm and approach.

Since we know that word of mouth continues to be the number one source for how prospective families learn about your school, shouldn’t we focus our marketing to the “mouths” that consistently talk about our school?

Instead of turning to an external advertising effort that attempts to capture the attention of our prospects through interruptive techniques, we need to focus on internal marketing to our parents. What messages and stories are you communicating to your parents? How are you communicating this to them? How much are you spending on marketing to your current parents? How is your customer service reinforcing the continued enrollment decision of your parents? And the questions go on andon.

Internal marketing is the intentional and proactive effort to continually reinforce your brand to your primary constituency–your parents.  

When you do this well, you will be marketing to the “mouths” that will enable you to harness the power of “word of mouth” marketing. This is where you should be spending your marketing resources.

You may want to check out the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, www.womma.org, and the book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz, for some great ideas to implement at your school.

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