7 Reasons Why Enrollment and Marketing Plans Fail

In a recent blog post, I discussed why it is important to develop a comprehensive plan for school growth. On Thursday, I will discuss how you can develop your enrollment and marketing plan in a free webinar (even it you cannot attend live, make sure you register to receive the recording).

But before we develop a plan, I think it is important to consider why school enrollment and marketing plans fail. From what I have experienced in my work with schools, there are at least seven main reasons why enrollment and marketing plans fail:

#1—You Don’t Have a Plan

The first reason is really that simple and it is the most common one. Most school leaders don’t have a written enrollment and marketing plan highlighting their goals, strategies and tactics.

#2—”Shotgun” Rather than Strategic Approach

Whether it’s direct mail or the “key” billboard in town, board and committee members have many ideas of what should be done. However, the ideas are typically presented in a “shotgun” approach with the hopes of spraying your limited resources rather than hitting a specific target through a strategic plan.

#3—Ineffective Leadership

The head of school should be involved in the enrollment and marketing effort. In my coaching work with schools, I always prefer that the head of school is involved in my meetings with the admissions and marketing team. The head of school should be interested and engaged in the strategies that will drive the tuition revenue and enrollment at the school. In fact, the school’s enrollment can rise or fall based on the leadership.

#4—It Sits on the Shelf

A good plan is one that is referenced on a regular basis. If it sits on the shelf, then it likely won’t provide much help along the way. A plan is no good if it isn’t reviewed and revised along the way. It must be utilized often.

#5—No Time to Plan

I hear this excuse a lot. I realize that we are all very busy and often wear multiple hats in our schools. A typical excuse by administrators is that there isn’t a time to plan. One of the most important uses of your time is to set aside time plan. In fact, while there are still a few weeks left before the new school year begins, you should take time away from the office to plan. It won’t get done unless you set aside time to do it.

#6—No Accountability or Direction

Admissions and marketing directors must have accountability and direction for plans to succeed. This requires regular meetings with the head of school to review what has been accomplished and to discuss the upcoming strategies.

#7—Lay Led Instead of Staff Led

Committees and boards can be helpful. However, these members are comprised of voluntary individuals with many other life responsibilities. The board and its committees should not be responsible to develop and implement an enrollment and marketing plan. It must be staff led and implemented.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Have you used any of these at your school?

What do you need to do to implement an enrollment and marketing plan in your school?

Have you registered for the upcoming webinar on developing your enrollment and marketing plan?