7 Reasons Why Enrollment Marketing Plans Fail

Developing an enrollment marketing plan for your school may seem like a daunting task.

However, it isn’t “rocket science.”

It also doesn’t need to be overwhelming.

This is why Andy Lynch, president of North Star Marketing, and Rick Newberry, president of Enrollment Catalyst (that’s me!), will be offering our next Geeks on the Road Workshop on this key topic. This November 15-17, we will host our second workshop on how you can develop your school’s enrollment marketing plan.

If your team has struggled to develop a comprehensive enrollment marketing plan, or if you’ve got a plan that just sits on the shelf, we will help you get “unstuck.” During this workshop, you’ll develop a plan using the Family Journey framework as you affirm what you’re doing well and close gaps in your marketing and admissions process.

You can learn more about this workshop by clicking on the following link.

As you consider attending this workshop, I think it is important to understand why school enrollment marketing plans fail. From what I have experienced in my work with nearly 500 schools, there are at least seven main reasons why enrollment 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. This is why I focus on developing your plan through my Enrollment Catalyst Program. This is also the main reason why we are hosting this upcoming workshop.

#2—”Shotgun” 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. A plan has to be comprehensive and strategic.

#3—Ineffective Leadership

The head of school should be involved in the enrollment 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.

#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 enough time to plan. One of the most important uses of your time is to set aside a focused time to plan. Now that the new school year has begun (or it will soon), you should take some time with your team 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. Without accountability and direction, a plan will fail.

#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?

Do you have an enrollment marketing plan?

Have you considered attending our upcoming workshop in Orlando?