Why You Need to Audit Your School Marketing Efforts


Laptop screen showing a variety of marketing metrics charts and graphs

If you’re not auditing your school or district’s marketing efforts, you could be missing out on important opportunities to improve your campaigns and return on investment (ROI). Here’s why you need to audit your marketing efforts regularly:

To ensure your campaigns are aligned with your revenue goals

Yes, schools and districts have revenue goals: private schools must enroll a certain number of students at a certain price point to ensure they’re not operating at a loss. And public school districts also need to ensure a certain number of students are enrolled because each student typically brings in state funding. 

Private school example:

  • 500 students enrolled at a tuition rate of $22,500/each = $11,250,000
    • But, if next year, only 463 students are enrolled, they bring in $10,417,500, a budget shortfall of $832,500.

Public school example:

  • 10,000 students enrolled with state funding at $7,800/each = $78,000,000
    • But, if next year, only 9,641 students are enrolled, the total state funding would be $75,199,800, a budget shortfall of $2,800,200.

So, what does this have to do with marketing? Well, you can set goals for your campaigns and hone in on what works. For example, if you work at the public school district noted above and you decide to spend $50,000 on digital marketing that helps attract 103 new students the following year, although you didn’t close the 463-student gap, your $50,000 spend equated to $803,400 in state funding – a huge win for your marketing efforts. Wouldn’t you want to lay claim to that?

To identify any wasted spend

On the flip side, if you spent $100,000 on billboards that you tracked as bringing in four students at $7,800/each, you would confidently be able to scale back or cut out that tactic in the future, seeing the billboards only brought in $31,200 in state funding.

To pinpoint which channels are most effective

Auditing your school communications and marketing efforts on a regular basis will definitely help you to identify what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to pivot as necessary.

When I started in educational communications 20+ years ago, we didn’t have social media (or social media metrics!), Google Analytics, digital ad metrics or e-newsletter metrics to support our decision-making. However, now you do, so why aren’t you using them?

To discover new opportunities for improvement

The fun part about auditing your school marketing efforts is seeing what IS working and how you can leverage what you’ve done for even better results. 

For example, if you’re a niche private or microschool and you invested $1,000 in GoogleAds that brought you 61 new leads, but only five applicants, you’ll know that the ads worked BUT, perhaps the messaging was off. You’ll be able to go back and tweak the ads to either better convey your key message OR better target to capture the attention of your ideal customer avatar (ICA).

To keep your finger on the pulse of your marketing performance

Regular audits of your marketing efforts will help you ensure that your campaigns are on track and delivering the best possible results for your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make changes – audit your marketing now and stay ahead of the competition.

Free training

For members of the School Comms Lab, June’s training is, “Summer Clean Up: A Communications and Marketing Audit.” It will be available June 15th, so log into the portal then to access it.

Not a member of the School Comms Lab yet? Starting on June 1st, you can sign up for our special, “end-of-the-school-year” celebration price of $97/year, which gives you unlimited access to new monthly trainings, templates and live Q&As. Watch our Instagram account for the details or subscribe to our e-newsletter here.

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