Data-Driven Marketing Strategies: Using Data to Get Your School’s Message Heard

All too often, we find ourselves up against deadlines, struggling to produce something that we can send out to accomplish a project. We work to achieve the same overarching goals of raising more money and bringing in more tuition dollars, year after year. We send out postcards, brochures, emails, and tweets so we can check off items on a task list. We take on projects because that’s our job—creating content and telling the stories of our schools.
But what if we took a different approach to marketing? Imagine what might happen if we took a step back and evaluated not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it and how effective it is for our target audiences. What if we stopped creating content just for the sake of content, and started creating content that our constituents actually wanted and worked to build momentum from year to year?
Well, then we would be creating a purposeful marketing strategy for our schools, designed to not only meet the goals of this year, but to also set ourselves up to exceed those goals next year and for many years to come. We want our work to matter, make a difference, and ensure that we will have years of successful recruiting and fundraising. Is it possible?
It is, and that is why we need to rely on the information around us to drive our marketing efforts
and keep us on track. We need to make sure that we are not just checking off tasks on a list but
also working to accomplish goals and improve our school communities: transformational work, not transactional. We need research that tells us if what we’re doing is working and worth our time and resources. We need strategic reasons for staying the course or altering our plan of action. But where do we find this information, and how will we use it?

About the Author

Stacy Jagodowski

Inspired by her own private school experiences, Stacy Jagodowski has devoted her career as a faculty member and administrator to introducing others to the private school world. Her career has focused on institutional advancement, with five years of admission experience, and more than a decade in marketing and communications. Stacy has led strategic marketing and communications teams at Cheshire Academy and Milken Community Schools; at Cheshire, her team earned award-winning recognition for their annual fund marketing programs and overall team development. She blogs for several private school organizations and has given several webinars and podcasts about private school marketing best practices. Stacy has also presented at national conferences including the NAIS Annual Conference, TABS Annual Conference, NAIS TABS Global Symposium, and Blackbaud K-12’s User Conference.

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