Fads, trends, meta-trends and tectonic shifts
In almost every discipline, you can identify fads, trends, meta-trends and tectonic shifts in the fundamentals. School marketing is going through a tectonic shift in the fundamentals. Unfortunately, most school Heads still believe it’s all just a fad. It’s not. It’s marketing technology.
Three forces: open information, open communications and customer experience, joined forces to become the perfect storm. And it’s your marketing department who ended up in the centre of it.
The marketing ‘back office’ used to be no more complex than a spreadsheet and a word processor. Today it includes a vast landscape of online services that grows every month. It has been, and still is, like drinking from a fire hose. Here’s why:
Meta-trend 1: Moving from traditional to digital
It is so easy to take the move from traditional to digital for granted. If you underestimate the enormity of this change, or assume that we’ve already seen the full extent of the disruption it will bring, you are vulnerable. Don’t be one of the vulnerable schools. Leave that to your competitor.
Meta-trend 2: Moving from outbound to inbound
One of the fundamental marketing changes that arrived with the web was the shift from ‘push’ to ‘pull’. Push marketing is sent out by organisations to interrupt and impose themselves on unsuspecting audiences without an invitation. The majority of advertising is push. In contrast, pull marketing resides in the sweet spot of being found when someone is looking. Your audience is searching for an answer to a problem (online and offline) and your content is the start of a relationship that can be nurtured over time at a pace set by your prospect.
Meta-trend 3: Moving from communications to experiences
Mostly, promotion is communication. At its best it is recognised as great storytelling. At its worst it is seen as interruption or push marketing. But the gap between the execution of communication and customer experiences is closing. In schools, while the marketing team has been responsible for communications, it has rarely been responsible for the subsequent experience. Marketing is now rightfully concerned about the experiences that customers have, because it determines what people say about the school online.
Meta-trend 4: Moving from art and copy to code and data
Art and copy – words and images – have been the backbone of marketing communications since it was invented. These talents remain as crucial as ever in modern marketing, but they are not enough on their own. In a digital world, art and copy must be enhanced by code and data. If code is the engine that powers the digital world, then data is both its fuel and its exhaust. The era of big data has arrived; it is driven by code that sifts through the piles of data created every day for the specks of gold we know as insights. No industry, service or not-for-profit will remain unexamined. Be first with the actionable insights from the code and data revolution that is at your front door.