Retention 

Marketing's Role in Retention


Marketing in schools and colleges has historically focused more on "acquisition" strategies than "retention." This is no surprise, as admissions has a very tangible series of outcomes, many of which have a reasonably clear role for marketing. Retaining students, on its face, seems primarily correlated to many other factors, such as a student's and family's satisfaction with the school's offerings, the cultural fit, and the like. So can marketing and communications support retention, and if so, how?

 

The answer is yes, and here are several areas for education leaders and marketers to consider:

  • Pay attention to the interests of families and students by providing content that is relevant and interesting to them, in email newsletters, website updates, videos. and social media. 

  • Cover the unique programs and events that occur in your school or college, such as that cute second grade play, cutting-edge engineering program, award-winning crew team, or a cappella group.

    • Confirm or refute your hypotheses about what's important or interesting by tracking response data, web activity and other direct indicators.​

  • Use satisfaction surveys to gain parent feedback on many aspects of your school's performance and the perception of it; develop a baseline for future comparisons and monitor it for significant changes.

  • Develop targeted communications school campaigns for transition grades such as fifth and eighth; do not assume these families are automatically returning to your school.

  • In higher ed, many programs have been developed to identify students who are at risk for leaving school, and using personal and communications touches to support those individuals.

  • Create Google alerts to notify you of any comments made in the news or social media that may indicate an unhappy constituent, especially one who could be seen as an influential voice.

 

 

Marketing in schools and colleges has historically focused more on "acquisition" strategies than "retention." This is no surprise, as admissions has a very tangible series of outcomes, many of which have a reasonably clear role for marketing. Retaining students, on its face, seems primarily correlated to many other factors, such as a student's and family's satisfaction with the school's offerings, the cultural fit, and the like. So can marketing and communications support retention, and if so, how?

@2016 by William R. Bullard. Proudly created with Wix.com 

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