This spring and summer, enrollment managers need to get creative in how they are contacting and connecting with prospective students and families. From virtual tours and open houses to using the right digital tool (TikTok, anyone?) to influence student decision-makers, it’s not just a new normal for admissions offices. It’s a whole new world.
What’s not changed is using data to make the right, strategic marketing decisions.
This spring, Kalix Marketing published its white paper, “Demystifying the Millennial Parent for Independent Schools.” You can download your free copy below.
For this in-depth study of how millennial parents think about independent schools, Kalix surveyed 1,000+ parents across the U.S. with preschool- through high-school-aged children.
The insights gleaned include the communication preferences of this demographic. Now, more than ever, the data-driven preferences can help schools craft an effective marketing strategy for millennial parents and their Generation Z children.
Our experts identified three communication hallmarks for millennial parents.
First, be authentic.
Keep your messaging genuine. Avoid jargon or fluff. Millennials (and their kids) don’t like to be sold to. They aren’t focused on brand. Word of mouth and data are important to millennials, but they will validate it themselves.
Instead, focus on making an emotional connection. Tell, don’t sell.
In this age of virtual admissions, instead of pull-quote testimonials on your website that are just words (though nice words) and a name, go for a more authentic approach.
Ask current parents, students, teachers and administrators to film a quick video of themselves answering a question, such as:
- What is your favorite thing about our school?
- What makes you a [NAME OF YOUR MASCOT]? (This gets to your school’s value and culture.)
- What have you learned about yourself through our remote learning this spring?
Then use this engaging content to edit a video montage for social media; use on various website landing pages; include a video in your emails to millennial parents with a link to the full video gallery on your YouTube channel.
Next, be direct.
For millennials, direct in-person experiences are the most valued of all interactions. But right now, that can’t happen. Our research shows that, for millennials, traditional media is not as valuable to them as online resources, so make your digital presence count.
Do a quick audit of your social media and website. Is it easy for a parent who doesn’t know a lot about your school to get information? If you’ve recently done a virtual tour, is it accessible from your homepage or does someone have to dig for it? Is your Head of School doing weekly video chats? Make those easy to find. Design and format matter. A muddled, messy online experience creates frustration.
Finally, be high touch.
Make everything personal and timely. Our research indicated that email is the preferred communication vehicle for millennial parents over calls or texts. Now more than ever, make sure those emails or any communication are honest, clear and transparent.
Picking up the phone and talking to prospects bridges the gap when you can’t make an in-person connection. When possible, do a video call and make it even more personal. Especially important to millennial parents is transparency. If your Head of School has issued a communication to current parents about remote learning classes or plans for the summer, include the prospective parents. They will appreciate being “in the know.”
Be ready for lots of questions and to be held accountable. Millennial parents expect frequent communication during the admissions process and when their children enroll. In fact, our research discovered that 95% of millennial parents desire a minimum of monthly communication with 65% desiring communication at least twice a month.
To learn more about the mind of the millennial parents, download your free copy of “Demystifying The Millennial Parent for Independent Schools” here.
Donna Balinkie, co-author of the Kalix study and Kalix’s Market Strategy Lead, gives more insights and tips into how to use the data to craft a timely marketing approach right now. Read her Q&A.
If we can help you plan for “the new day” in independent school admissions, call us.