Parents were also asked to identify the three most influential sources that led them to seriously consider a particular school.
- Word of mouth from family, friends and colleagues (65%)
- School open days/formal visits (61%)
- Other parents with children at the school (50%).
The “school website and social media” was identified as the next most often identified source (42% of parents) as was “family member(s) already attending the school” (23%).
One-on-one school visits were perceived as the most useful, followed by school open days, school websites, school publications and school social media.
93% of parents attend an open day or a school visit. Of the parents who undertook a school visit, 46% attended only one school open day. This suggests that for nearly one in every two parents that attend a school open day, it is the only school open day the parent will attend.
However, 81% of parents did attend at least one-on-one school visit, with nearly half of parents (48%) attending one school visit.
School websites are still important with 90% of parents visiting at least one school website in their decision-making process. A large majority (83%) of parents identified that they had accessed a school’s prospectus/brochure.
More than half (58%) did indicate they were influenced by social media to some degree.
What does this mean for your marketing?
This data is where you should focus a lot of your school marketing effort. Ensure you have effective:
- “Book a personal tour” promotions
- Organised tour promotions, and
- Registration/tracking processes in place.
Your Open Day/s need to be a feature in your marketing calendar. You need to have an up-to-date and effective website and prospectus. Your social media channel needs to be active, engaging, original and focused on a range of content appealing to your various target audiences. You need to be able to track all of this activity against marketing spend for ROI. There also needs to be a planned process of follow-ups once you have engaged with a prospective family.