From preschool to graduate school, one educational principle remains a debate: What constitutes the “best” school, and how can a student – or a parent – measure this success? This is a question that all educational institutions, public or private, must answer when planning their annual public relations campaigns. But, they cannot stop there if they wish to be successful.
They must decide what their potential customers want to hear, and what matters most. Ronn Torossian, 5WPR CEO says, while each institution must answer this question in it’s own way, it is far from the only question at hand in the emerging education marketplace. Here, he offers some additional questions that institutions must ask to measure success:
What is your market looking for?
Where once there were only two primary educational tracks in this country, the marketplace is growing. “The educational marketplace, at every level, is widening, and deepening. Earlier schooling, virtual schooling, homeschooling, charter schools … the market is completely different than it was ten years ago.” Torossian suggests that the successful educational institutions will begin asking – and answering – a question their forebears would have considered superfluous. “What is my market looking for?”
What does your market value most?
Education entrepreneurs must learn what their market values most. This may seem like a question better suited for the retail marketplace, but cultural qualms will not protect the establishment from the new rules of this emerging trend. To understand what the public wants, companies must understand what consumers value. It is no different in education.
What are you best equipped to provide?
Torossian says this question is one that far too few companies ask of themselves. They try to be all things so when they get in touch their students, they are not even doing well what they could otherwise do amazingly well. Your inherent uniqueness may not only set you apart, it may create a niche that all but guarantees you an opportunity for marketplace success. But, only if you take the time to determine what you are best able to provide, and how to go about marketing it.
How will your customers measure results?
While some consumers
are concerned first, most, and always, with test scores, and college entrance positioning, others are looking for a “well rounded” education, a thirst for learning, or the development of social skills. If you do not understand how your customers will measure results, you will never know if you are achieving success with them. All the intentions in the world will not save you if you cannot manage your reputation.
If your company intends to succeed in today’s changing educational marketplace, then you must begin by thoroughly answering these questions. How your customers measure success will always be your primary concern in a consumer culture, but do not get caught up in policy debates, and forget to answer these other vital educational success questions.