Suppose you are a marketing team of one. Or maybe you are your team’s only marketer, but it’s only a fraction of your role.
It’s hard enough to get through daily emails and routinely produce catalogs and communications, let alone experiment with new techniques, like implementing TikTok campaigns or creating new videos for your district site. You wear many hats and have little time. What should your focus be on in a field with many strategies, plans, and initiatives?
This spring, we connected with marketers of after school programs around the country to help answer this question. We dove into many subjects, including software, data, team size, budgets, resources, and approval processes. During our discussions, marketing strategies varied a bit, but in the end, we identified four key focus areas for after school marketers this summer that we believe to be true.
As discussed, many of these marketing teams in the after school industry are teams of one or two … if there is even a full position. Some have larger teams, but the general notion is that this industry is wearing many different hats. Learning how to effectively manage your time and bandwidth to help out your program the best way is so important.
Technologies and Platforms
Summer is a great time to test and discover new technologies for your programs. Set time aside in the next few weeks to meet with your team and discuss the biggest opportunities for efficiencies and innovation across your marketing efforts.
What technologies are after school marketers exploring this summer? Adobe Creative Suite, PeachJar, Canva, YouTube, iMovie, Hootsuite, Benchmark, etc. These tools are being used by after school marketing teams to help brand and market their district's programs.
Enrollment and Data
Are you collecting enrollment information? How often do you analyze it? Some districts practiced this once a year, and some pulled reports several times after significant registration pushes. Keeping up to date marketing analytics is essential to have an effective registration season and ensure you are reaching all segments of your community via email, mailers, and mailers.
Marketers are continuously examining their program catalog’s frequency, medium (print vs. digital), and ability to be interactive.
There is also a variance in the design and style of print catalogs. During our discussions, how programs name courses – with numbers or class-specific names – created intrigue. Other thoughts and questions that arose — What type of paper and style. Do you make one master catalog with all kinds of courses – adult enrichment, children, elderly, etc. or do you have individual catalogs for each grouping? There are many possibilities, but focusing on optimizing this year’s catalog from last is key.
The Importance of Focus
More than any other silo, marketing is a discipline where everyone is on a different playing field. Due to staffing restrictions and budgets, resources can vary drastically from district to district. However, it’s important to refine your focus regardless of your team size. Choosing one of the areas of emphasis above can help put you and your team in a better position as marketers this fall.
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