When you speak in a language that is familiar to your prospects, you are instantly compensated with their attentions.
Just before you continue: This article is a continuation of last week’s blog where we introduced the concept of parent persona and how to create one for your school. It may be helpful to read it before this one if you miss it last week.
Photo credit: belleafricana
When I was young, I used to excitedly follow my mum into the local markets to do some shopping. In the midst of thousands of people, any time she hears ‘Mama Yomi’ (meaning Yomi’s mum) or her name, ”come and buy this, buy that,” she is bound to turn her head and look the way of the caller. Dogmatically, I followed suit.
It is an undeniable fact that when you speak in a language that is familiar to your prospects, you are instantly compensated with their attention. Even if you have never met before.
Understanding your prospective and current parents through Parent Persona is an integral part of your marketing success and school growth. Failure to do so is subjecting yourself to be ‘fooled by randomness’ which cannot be sustained in the midst of a highly competitive private school market.
If you take a look at your Parent Persona, you will discover some interesting patterns you never thought of before now. For example, if a good number of your parents work in the banking sector, it is an indication that there are things you do in your school that attract bankers. Once this is established, this is a good place to start, just take these 3 steps:
- Look at individual parent persona in this category of bankers to find out what exactly it is. You may find out that your after-school service fits in into their busy schedules.
- The next thing is to get your marketing team to craft messages that may be themed like this ‘We appreciate your busy schedule and help you keep your kids busy till you are ready to leave for the day’. You may even be generous enough to add ‘at no extra cost’ if you really mean it. This is called empathy in its simplest terms.
- Lastly, look out for where bankers hang out- it could be a group of bankers on Facebook or WhatsApp. You can even walk into banking halls to reach out to more of them with your message.
Depending on the peculiarity of your school, you may discover trends like most parents in your school are celebrities, politicians, IT gurus, entrepreneurs, civil servant, live in a particular location, are within certain age range, like to play a particular game, are of same tribe or religion (if they are Christians, find out their churches Pentecostals, Protestants, Orthodox etc), marital status etc. If you need to call them or send a survey in order to probe further, please do!
It is important to note that these patterns can come in different shapes and sizes. It may even look as trivial as most of them play a chess game. If this is the case, STEM could be your own joker to woo prospective parents because chess is an analytical game. As long as it works for you: it is legitimate and okay.
You will observe a packet of patterns for you to work with if your parent persona is done thoroughly (guess game is not allowed). Once this is observed, just follow the steps listed above.
One a final note, I will share my personal experience of how parent persona worked for me. Just recently, I was invited to speak to parents of final year pupils of Standard Bearers Schools Lekki Lagos alongside with representatives of some top schools in Nigeria.
In order not to be seeing as competing with schools there present, I offered to be the last speaker. When it was my turn to speak, the first thing I did was to tell my audience that I am also a parent and I also have a 10 years old daughter looking to gain admission into secondary school. This provided a strong bond between us.
Photo credit: Standard Bearers School, LekkiS Musical Recitals
What is your ideal school?
The next thing I did was to ask them this simple question: ‘what is your ideal school?’ Out of all the inspiring answers, one of them particularly caught my attention most: she said her son likes music and she will like to support him to become a DJ in the future. Her ideal school is the school that shows a strong interest in music as part of its extracurricular activities. All the schools that spoke lost the chance to address this woman’s pain points even if they have such facility in place.
For questions and follow up or if you need help creating a parent personal for your school, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment