We were delighted to have run another Study Day for CISC on Wednesday 18th November. St Columba’s College in St Albans kindly hosted the event which was attended by nearly 30 delegates.
These came from independent Catholic schools across the country and most of them were responsible for the marketing function in their schools.
The theme for the day was the Customer Journey. We know that the term ‘customer’ is not widely used in the independent schools sector and is a term that often makes Heads feel uncomfortable. We pointed out early in the proceedings that the outlay by parents who choose to educate their child in an independent day school from the age of 3 to 18 could now amount to around £250,000. This makes independent education a ‘big ticket’ item – up there with the purchase of luxury holidays and cars over an equivalent period. When customers make an investment or purchase of this magnitude they expect outstanding customer service of a personalised nature. To be in a position to provide this type and level of customer service, an organisation needs to knows its customers. This was our premise for the day. We showed the delegates how this worked in other sectors using the examples of Virgin, First Direct, Sainsbury’s and Apple. We ran a section on the importance of insight – doing research and gathering data – and how this can be used to improve the offering to customers.
We were most fortunate to have Catherine Walsh, Head of Development and Marketing at The Marist Schools with us. Catherine told the audience about her experience of marketing in the automotive industry and how she has been able to use this in the education sector. She was honest and open about her successes and failures, about what she loves about working in the education sector and also what she finds frustrating.
By the end of the day, I think we had convinced most of the delegates that the term ‘customer’ was an appropriate one for their families. Hopefully they will refresh and will feel empowered to review and improve the ‘Customer Journeys’ their parents take to ensure that they are appropriate and fitting to the financial investment parents and grandparents are making in their particular schools.
If you are interested in having Reed Brand run a bespoke Marketing Workshop contact me, Katie Cardona on firstname.lastname@example.org