Before you undertake a new marketing plan for your school, it's wise to run both an internal and external situation analysis. Changes in headcount can change your choice of integrated marketing tactics just as easily as shifts in presidential vision. Likewise, federal or local government intervention can force your team towards a new tack. Taking a hard look at the market forces that affect you will go a long way to creating a complete audience centered, measurable experience.
Even if you have been running campaigns for years, assessing your people, process, goals and technology before every campaign will give you the opportunity to improve upon last year's techniques. Examining the external landscape will focus your efforts on the positions you need to take.
With that said, here is a short list of 20 questions that will give you insight into next year's objectives, strategies and tactics.
- What are your school's established goals?
- What are your department's goals?
- What are your previous year's results?
- What resources and teams do you have available?
- How are your internal teams organized?
- How will they share information?
- What is your internal marketing process?
- What technology are you using to track your results?
- How will you test, measure and report your results?
- Who are your internal audiences?
- Who is your direct competition?
- What other substitutes exist beyond the direct competitors?
- What are your competitor's messages to your target market?
- What touchpoints are your competitors using?
- What does your competition use to differentiate itself?
- Where is your competition strongest and weakest?
- What are the projected shifts in enrollment rates and demographics - nationwide and in your state?
- What are the recent changes in government regulations that will affect how you will compete?
- What are the shifts in executive perspectives across the industry?
- How can you capitalize on changes in technology?