If you are responsible for your school’s marketing, you will have a fair idea about your competition and which schools your prospective pupils consider and join, but how well do you REALLY know your competition?

Knowing who your competitors are and what they are offering can equip you with the information you need to make your school really stand out. It will enable you to set your prices competitively and use your knowledge to inform your marketing strategies and initiatives.

But what do you need to know about your competitors?

  • What they offer and how they market themselves
  • Their pricing strategy
  • Their bus routes
  • Their brand and design values
  • Their media activities – check their website as well as local media
  • Their social media presence – check their social media accounts & look at their engagement
  • Look at their prospectus – what is their USP and what are their key messages?
  • Visit – mystery shop your competition and find out what they are telling prospective parents
  • Research, research, research

Find out as much as possible (they may well have visited you so you have the opportunity to ask when you follow-up)  – what appeals to their parents? What do parents see as their strengths and weaknesses, are their pupil numbers rising or falling – what share of the market do they hold? Find out what you can about their development plans for the future – what they’re developing both in terms of facilities and educational services and look at the kind of resources they have.

Act on the competitor information you have

Evaluate the information you can find about your competitors – this should tell you where there are gaps in the market/ where there is saturation which might lead you to focus on less competitive areas, as well as where you compete or where you need to focus your improvements as a school.

MTM have worked with over 500 independent schools and 180,000 independent school parents and are absolute experts when it comes to research in independent schools. The research team have recently developed their Market Area Catchment Intelligence product, to give you greater insight into your local competitors, their market share vs your market share and importantly competitor influence at a geographical level. This information will be invaluable in informing your marketing strategy and subsequent pupil recruitment activities. The illustration outlines in varying shades of grey the competition at specific geographical level so you can see where there are gaps in the market and indeed where there is saturation which may lead you to focus on the less competitive areas.

To find out more about what we can offer in terms of competitor research, call James on 01502 722 587 or email james@mtmconsulting.co.uk.