Commentaries Medium- English

How do you market school? (The Sphere, Hodgepodge column March 2005 Issue)

I was amazed by how Dr. Ned Roberto and Andy Roberto of Marketing Rx (Philippine Daily Inquirer) answered an inquiry from an association of private schools.

They were asked, “We are all experiencing a decline I our college enrollment. How can marketing help us stop it?”

According to the Roberto’s, they should treat their curricula as a manufacturing process– the students are materials and the employers are their target market.

The students play three distinctive roles: (1) as purchases at the recruitment and enrollment stage; (2) as goods in process during their residency and as (3) as the school’s finished products after graduation.

They also stress, “Let your byproducts- your students do the marketing.”

Schools should not only focus on their curricula and on their amenities as main attraction for prospective enrollees.  The quality of the graduates should tacitly speak for what the prospective enrollees can get from the school.

Marketing success is a matter of repeat purchase, not first or trial success.  If employers were satisfied with the quality of graduates they hired from a certain school and believed that they were good because of what they have learned and earned during their processing stage, they would do at least two things.  One, they will continue recruiting managers and future managers from that school.  Two, they will talk to others about the graduates.

The Roberto’s give another tip, “We ought to make the school’s placement office (in charge of marketing the curriculum to the potential employers) more important than the admission office (in charge of marketing the curricula to the potential enrollees).”

In short, it is the quality of the graduates that should be given much attention.  A mere piece of parchment paper earned after four or more years is void if obtained through hollow schooling.

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