Managing your Marketing

Our research shows that schools could spend anything upwards of £50,000 a year on marketing media, print costs, videos and open days. That does not include salaries and benefits for the marketing team.

Whether these amounts are a cost or an investment is an interesting point, of course. There are about four different successful business magnates who, about 100 years ago, are credited with saying:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted;

The trouble is
I don’t know which half

Just substitute ‘marketing’ for ‘advertising’ and it raises the obvious question – ‘Assuming that’s true, how do I find out?’, swiftly  followed by: ‘ How do I know what it should be?’

£30/40/50K plus is a lot of money, and it makes sense to see what works for you and where you might make some changes. Three basic KPIs will give you a good start on the information you need:

  1. Cost per enquiry – annual spend is £40,000 – you get 240 enquiries so cost per enquiry is £167. A top line measurement of overall marketing cost effectiveness.
  2. Commitments to Enquiry will show how well you manage the sales process. 240 enquiries provide 80 commitments, so that’s a 33% conversion rate,
  3. Cost per Commitment is £40,000/ 80 commitments = £500 per new pupil.

So now you will have information that can be used to help you to manage the budget more effectively. KPIs are good because they give you numbers that can be managed to achieve improvements and provide accurate comparisons for you to see where your efforts should get the best results.

If that has created an appetite, you can load your data into our free KPI tool, Prospero, on  for some fast first steps.

So far so good but you will be asking:

  • What areas of my marketing work and which are not so good?
  • How can I improve my conversion rate?
  • Am I losing pupils that I should be keeping and why?

Get the answers to some of these questions and you will know which half of your budget is wasted and better still, you will be able to fix it.

You will also be ahead of Henry Ford and Lord Leverhulme!

Best wishes



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