Is marketing important for educational institutions?
Do you think you're using the right marketing strategy?
Do only striving institutions do marketing?
Whether it’s a new IIT or an IIM or Amity, a market where earlier the demand was too high as compared to supply has flipped 360 degrees, and now the supply (institutions) is higher than demand (students) with a huge gap.
According to the AISHE 2015-16 statistics, there are 799 Universities, 39,071 colleges and 11,923 Stand Alone Institutions. Institutions are literally fighting to get the best students in their institute.
Education is a service, an intangible product which has no proof of quality, until, the institution markets itself with the correct marketing strategy.
Seeing India’s situation, if you are an A-tier institutions, then things are different for you, but other than A-tier, you would really have to prove your ability, credibility, quality and accountability. There are many ways to do so, content being the major (about which we would be talking in detail in our upcoming blog post).
What are the major issues faced by the institutions today?
Two of the main issues are:
- Quality Student Enrolments
- Meeting Placement Promises
And marketing has the power to solve these issues easily. Here I would specifically say Inbound Marketing as it targets only the students with the correct persona.
1. Quality Student Enrolments
What is your target audience?
Ever seen universities like ICFAI trying to target IIM level students? No, right?Because their target audience are average students, their vision is to polish average students and make them ready for the corporate world and all their marketing efforts revolve around that mindset.
Once you have identified your audience, move onto how marketing can help you reach them out.
Right marketing strategy will make sure your information is reaching out to your target market the way you want to.
How does marketing strategy for higher education help you?
- It gives you a clarity on who your target market really is? And gives you an insight of what they really want.
- It gives you a clear picture of the various channels they prefer so that you can prioritize your efforts accordingly.
- Creation of content plays a major role which can only be effective if you have a proper marketing strategy for your institution.
- It helps you keep in touch and interact with your target market and nurture them until they convert into your institution's students.
- It helps you showcase the capability your institution has to make them market fit.
And Inbound Marketing, on the whole scenario helps you stay away from the "Spray & Pray" game and just target what you really want. Wondering how? My friend Neil has discussed in his blog Can Inbound Marketing solve the big enrolment problem in colleges?
2. Meeting Placement Promises
Ask yourself, what process does your institution follow? You run behind the companies? or they run behind you? I'm sure, for the majority, unless A-tier institutions, the case must be the former one. But ever wondered what if you could get the companies come to you naturally? How? May be showcase yourself as a problem solver instead of just getting the students placed. Or be a social contributor and SHOW IT to the world. Do you have quality faculty? Get them to write blogs, as much as possible.
There are infinite ways to naturally attract companies and Inbound Marketing can be leveraged to do this.
To summarize, I would say if you’re not A-tier institution, buckle up and get ready to plot your marketing strategy tactfully because marketing plays an important role for you.
Right and accurate marketing strategies are essential for your institution to prove your niche in the industry without which you would always be striving and never thriving.