Traditional marketing has a bad reputation, and for good reason. At it's best it's interruptive. At it's worst it's downright coercive. No matter how you shake it, traditional marketing seeks to capture the attention of unsuspecting "consumers" and convince them to trade their money for whatever the marketer is peddling.
In short, it's unethical.
It's no wonder so many schools shy away from adopting a marketing campaign even as a last resort. When it comes to traditional marketing, the ends just don't justify the means for schools dedicated to high-standard interactions.
Am I right?
Fortunately, traditional marketing is far from the only option anymore. There's a wide range of ethical marketing tools and solutions schools like yours can leverage to get the word out about your school and fill classrooms in a positive, purposeful way.
You know all about that. (If you don't, learn all about it here.) So, what makes ethical marketing ethical?
Marketing your school ethically starts with intent. For traditional marketers, the intent is to capture attention and turn unsuspecting viewers into buyers whether their product is right for the customer or not.
Your intent is different. You want to teach parents everything they need to know about what their child needs. And then you want to prepare that child for a life of success and purpose.
But, like we said, the ends simply do not justify the means.
Once you've established your intent to help parents identify their pain points and make empowered decisions regarding their child's best interest, you'll need to build a strategy around your intentions using strong marketing tools in an ethical way.
Here's what we mean.
Traditional marketers focus on their needs, and therefore create content that never goes beyond telling potential customers what they want. Traditional marketers use content to coerce.
On the other hand, the ethical marketer sets out with the intention of empowering prospective parents with information. When creating content, you want to put yourself in the parent's shoes.
What's troubling them?
What do they need?
Most important, how do they understand their needs?
As an ethical marketer you want to create content that helps parents identify their pain points and empowers them to make educated decisions regarding their child's educational needs.
Conversation is the seed of a relationship. The biggest difference between traditional marketing and ethical marketing is the ethical marketer's commitment to building meaningful relationships.
A conversation has two notable components, time and context.
Your conversations should take place on your prospective parent's timeline. That can be difficult; you never really know when a parent will find their way to your website or a juicy piece of content you've created for them. But there are tools you can use to help guide your visitors to the right information any time they're looking for it, and prepare them for a personal conversation with you at a time when it's right for you both.
Context comes from understanding your prospective parent's needs and speaking to that need with professionalism and empathy.