8 great reasons to use an education marketing consultant

students on campus

Why use an education marketing consultant? Education marketing is rapidly changing, with new marketing techniques evolving on a regular basis. Whether your school, college or university has an in-house marketing team or not, it can be a challenge to keep up to date with everything. An education marketing consultant brings a number of benefits to your organisation. So much so, you may wonder how you ever delivered results without their help.

1. Senior education marketing consultant expertise

Few educational organisations are large enough to justify having a large marketing team. A senior marketing role is therefore fairly rare, and that presents certain challenges.

Developing a marketing strategy for your organisation or new project may be beyond the skill set of your current team, or may be too large a project for them to take on alongside the day-to-day running of marketing campaign activity.

An education marketing consultant can support you by developing a marketing strategy for your organisation or for a specific project, working in conjunction with your in-house marketing team and your senior stakeholders.

This approach really benefits everyone as it provides existing staff with the opportunity to learn from a more experienced marketer whilst you receive a strategy delivered by an experienced senior consultant.

Once the strategy is agreed the education marketing consultant will hand over to your in-house marketing and communications team to deliver the strategy through agreed marketing activity.

2. Specialist in education marketing

What sets an education marketing consultant apart from other marketing agencies is their knowledge of the sector. Education is a complicated sector to operate in, with different funding arrangements, recruitment schedules and diverse target markets.

A marketer with specialist knowledge of the education sector will be able to hit the ground running, without the need to spend time getting up to speed on the broad context of your marketing challenges. They’ll spend time understanding the brief and your specific business needs but will be fully versed on the education sector and it’s challenges.

3. Specialist marketing expertise

Marketing is an increasingly complex discipline, with specialist knowledge needed about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click (PPC). Then there’s video marketing, email marketing, print and broadcast to get to grips with. Let’s not forget the legal and regulatory needs of your sector and marketing in general – GDPR to name but one such issue.

Unless you have a large internal team it is unlikely that you will have all of the knowledge in-house to produce integrated marketing campaigns across the necessary disciplines. A marketing consultant can compliment your team with specialist knowledge and skills to implement effective and measurable campaigns across digital and traditional media using the best tools available on the market.

education marketing consultant project management4. Breadth of consultancy experience

By using an external marketing consultant you will benefit from the combined experience of all the companies they have previously worked for. Imagine having a member of staff who has had project experience with your competitors and other best-in-class companies?

Your marketing consultant will bring all this knowledge to the table. They will know what has worked, and hasn’t worked at other organisations, what effective processes and successful models look like. Whilst your consultant won’t divulge any confidential information you can expect to gain from their bank of knowledge which means that your project will benefit from their experience.

5. Objectivity and impartiality

Do you have stakeholders with vested interests? Do you want to evaluate the effectiveness of past marketing activity? An external marketing consultant will approach your project with objectivity and impartiality, without the baggage of internal politics or hidden agendas. They will expertly manage your stakeholders to obtain buy-in to the project outcomes, and will provide you with an honest appraisal which cannot be achieved by using in-house resource.

A fresh pair of eyes is also invaluable when your organisation is struggling with a challenge that your team hasn’t managed to resolve. Has your team run out of ideas or enthusiasm for a particular issue? Now’s the ideal time to bring in an external marketing consultant to bring fresh energy to your project and an entirely new perspective at the same time.

6. Dedicated project resource

Education marketing is a busy sector to work in. There is never a quiet period in the year, far from it. It’s likely that your marketing team are working on multiple intakes at any one time. With the constant eye on applicant numbers it can be difficult to find the time necessary to pick up extra projects.

An education marketing consultant will compliment your existing resource by providing much needed resource to focus on the specific project brief. Whilst your stakeholders will be involved in the project you will have the benefit of dedicated resource committed to your project.

Your marketing project will be delivered to an agreed schedule by your consultant, which won’t be competing with other internal pressures and deadlines. Simply put, you’ll have a dedicated specialist delivering your project to a high standard on time and on budget.

Do more with a marketing consultant7. Flexible marketing resource

Education marketing has few ‘quiet times’ due to the nature of the recruitment cycles, however there will be times that extra resource is needed – a new course launch, a rebrand, prospectus season or during peaks in the recruitment cycle such as Clearing.

A trusted marketing consultant can be an extension to your in-house marketing and communications team, picking up the workload which would push your team over the edge. By using a consultant that knows education marketing you are adding experience and flexibility to your marketing capability.

8. Value for money

How can using extra resource be value for money? Consider the alternatives of employing an extra member of staff on a temporary contract, or the ‘do nothing’ scenario. The former option adds employment expenses such as pension and National Insurance contributions, an induction programme and management time to get them up to speed. Contractor UK lists many more costs of permanent staff that could easily be overlooked. The ‘do nothing’ scenario means the opportunity to boost your marketing has been lost and cannot be regained.

The value of investing in the flexible, experienced resource of an education marketing consultant outweighs either of the above options, particularly when you consider the other points above.

If you’d like to find out more about working with an education marketing consultant just get in touch for a chat. We can help you with student recruitment, marketing strategy, optimising your digital experience and much more besides.

Graduate studentFeatured image credit Flikr

Also published on Medium.

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Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), specialising in education and services marketing. A Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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