Blog by Nicky Adams – School Marketing Consultant
Under the watchful eye of an oil-painted Duke of Wellington, movers and shakers in independent schools met for two seminars hosted by mtmconsulting in the sumptuous Waterloo Room at London’s Cavalry and Guards Club in March. They talked tactics, of course, and armed themselves with some vital intelligence, ready to do battle in the most competitive independent schools sector in British history.
Research and marketing are two of the best weapons a school has in the fight for a full roll of students and mtm’s Practical Research and Marketing Seminar on Thursday 1 March suggested plenty of ways to make sure they’re kept sharp.
Dick Davison, mtm’s Head of Strategic Consulting, unpicked mtm’s latest report on market developments in the UK education sector, the ‘UK Education Sector Report 2012–2021’, highlighting the ‘Forecasts, Challenges and Opportunities’ it presents for schools. Covering pupil and financial trends and the impact of academies, free schools and the general shake-up of the state education sector, Dick helpfully interpreted the national data and drew on his many years of education experience to predict the effect these changes will have at individual school level. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.
Roger Bacon, mtm’s Creative Director, then explained how to give your school the edge with a revitalised brand identity and knock-out marketing materials. After lunch and a chance to exchange some ideas, Marketing Consultant Nicky Adams reported from behind enemy lines on the independent school guides – those tomes and websites parents glue themselves to in the run-up to the registration deadlines. To round off the day, Head of Research Gavin Humphries and Principal Melanie Tucker gave an insight into how market research can inform strategy and enhance recruitment, to make sure that your school’s Waterloo is not just around the corner.
mtm’s Proprietorial Schools’ Forum on Tuesday 6 March 2012 was a day of discussion and also a chance for independent school owners to gather some useful ammunition. Making a school accessible to its target market is crucial to successful recruitment and Linda Howard, Senior Associate of Minnerva Transport Consultancy, gave an informative presentation on school bussing – an essential ingredient in any school’s marketing strategy, as Melanie Tucker agreed when she imparted some practical recommendations on that topic.
Peers Carter, school proprietor and founder-partner of the School Transfer Company, then lifted the lid on selling schools, with some frank advice on practicalities and pricing, and there was a chance for the delegates to discuss all they had seen and heard with each other over an excellent lunch, before returning to the battlefront of independent education once more.
To find out how mtmconsulting can help with the business of running your school, call 0843 308 7548, or email firstname.lastname@example.org