Conformity 101

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

When your prospects get your piece of mail do they say, "It's them again" or "I've seen that same piece three times" then off to the recycling bin it goes?
"Monkey see, monkey do!"

Dare to be different.
Here are seven tips to help your school stand apart:

1. Target your creative to the audience you market. A creative that appeals to young adults entering the workforce may not be effective with executives established in their careers. Adults who have years of experience in their lines of work and are thinking about returning to school may be motivated differently than someone who has recently graduated from high school.

2. Keep it simple. Simple sells.
3. Where's the beef? Be direct. Why should your prospects attend your school?  Target their real wants and needs, which are not necessarily what you perceive them to be. Does your prospect seek higher education for job advancement/security, basic skill training or higher pay due to the economic uncertainty? Reflect this in your message.

4. Be relevant: current news sells. Whether you are employed, unemployed or looking to increase your value as an employee, education sells!  Would you change the focus of your programs by incorporating classic business topics with classes that help managers weather a downturn in turbulent times?
5. Test enrollment trends.  In the September 2008 eZine there are links that discuss enrollment trends out to 2017.
6. Move beyond your habits. For example, if you have used only postal lists in the past, next time try e-mail marketing.  Branch out and look at online advertising with relevant associations and/or publications. Model for more effective targeting.  Test different creative pieces.
6.6 Talk about conformity ... see, you thought my next point would be #7, right?  Keep brand image consistent.
What works for your school now or may have worked in the past might not be as effective next month or quarter.  The environment is not status quo.  Continue to look for new and innovative ways to stay in front of your prospect.  Do they think of your school first?