School Marketing for Non-Marketers

The following article was contrbuted by Tom Nagle, Chief Strategist at Growth School Enrollment.

Stating the obvious, just as a parish cannot exist without its parishioners, a school cannot exist  without students and supportive families.  The cost to educate in Catholic Schools presents a challenge to many families of primary and secondary school students.  Non-Profit Catholic schools take painstaking efforts to maximize resources while keeping tuition rates low in order to be as accessible as possible to students and families in their community.

In light of constrained budgets, school leaders continue to work extremely hard to provide the highest quality education to their families.  As such, the primary focus of resources  is properly placed on the instruction of students entrusted to their care in the form of teacher/staff salaries and related operational expenses.  Additionally, school leaders are tasked with many critical, diverse responsibilities that frequently consume their days and weeks. School leaders are left with the unenviable challenge of adding full scale marketing and effectively sales operations to their plate. For many or perhaps most this is a daunting or even impossible responsibility for an individual who has dedicated their career to mastering instructional models and the leadership of education professionals.  In addition, with scarce resources, the support of experienced marketing agencies or even the ability to hire a professional marketing team to their staff is an impossibility.  The results often boil down to the formation of well-intentioned marketing committees made up of volunteers and staff with a collection of skills that if properly combined can make an effective dent in school marketing efforts.  However, often times, the duties of the committees and volunteers fall deep down on the priority list of the involved individuals and well intended efforts often go unimplemented or even unplanned. Without growth in enrollment and ultimately revenue, schools are positioned at a disadvantage, not only in growing their mission and educational programs but also in their ability to continue delivering high quality service to their currently enrolled families.

Like most things in life, effective marketing requires focused, continual effort.  Success in this area allows advocates to fast forward through the trial and error phases and the frequent starting and stopping.  Successful execution of the right actions at the right time allows you to reach prospective, qualified families and share the value of your school.  The exciting news is that even in light of competing responsibilities, this type of deliberate informed action is absolutely attainable.

The team at Grow School Enrollment has developed an innovative approach to marketing planning and execution that addresses the constraints experienced by school leaders and admissions directors.  We will be hosting a free webinar in partnership with the NCEA on January 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern entitled “Focused Marketing to Grow Enrollment”.  In this highly interactive session, we hyper-focus on key aspects of marketing planning.  Participants will be guided through the strategy and planning process, resulting in a scale-able marketing plan that can be immediately implemented to drive your enrollment growth efforts throughout the year.

Live attendees will have a chance to win a $500 grant for their school!

You are invited explore our resources at and follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) to keep up with the latest in marketing strategies for your school.