What Are the Major Challenges You Face as a Marketer in The Education Sector?
We are living in a world of diminishing attention spans and multiplying marketing messages delivered through complex algorithms in an omnichannel media environment. There is too much media clutter and too many undifferentiated messages in the environment. Being a marketer, the biggest challenge is to overcome these and connect meaningfully with families as we nurture them through the conversion funnel. It is also important to constantly enhance the Total Addressable Market (TAM), thus bringing in more ‘strangers’ and ‘visitors’ into the lifecycle, building economies of scale and minimising the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
Since we have multiple campuses offering a variety of programmes from playgroup to high school, our challenge is also to enhance the customer lifetime value (CLTV) and work on brand advocacy and remarketing with strategic focus. A customer in one pipeline could very well be a prospect in another. To be aligned in our efforts across different campuses and locations and use smart tools and technology to navigate meaningfully through the silos of data is a key focus for us in the brand and marketing team.
What Are Some Of The Digital Transformation Trends in Education?
In the last 5 years, digital has exploded and the learning curve has been steep. There are millions of solutions out there for every problem. With technology, we are smarter and more efficient, but we are also exposed to the not-so-pretty side of it- fake news, ad fraud, click farms, spammy links etc. are a threat to all the good work that marketers do.
When making investment choices, one should look at solutions and implementation timelines that are relevant to the organisation. Choose ‘light house’ projects that address the most significant challenges and are meaningful to your context. It cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ solution. In our context, the investments the organisation has made in marketing automation, CRM, and AI have been particularly successful. Other trends include programmatic ad buying, big data, content management and amplification solutions.
What Do You Think Is The Future of The Education Sector?
We are living in an age where the lifespan of organisations is diminishing with time. Brands are losing control of the conversation and disruption is now mainstream. A new business idea is brewing in your neighbour’s backyard. We are seeing transitions in the expat demographics as well as changes in the local context. Affordable international schools will be the growth engine going forward as more and more young families aspire for their children to be global citizens.
Having said that, we must also recognise that we are stepping into the unknown, a future that we don’t know with jobs that do not exist today. As such, it is critical to be strategic in one’s focus and efforts and consistently nurture an innovation and growth mindset that will keep us a step ahead of our competitors.
Bipasha Chanda Minocha
Group Brand and Marketing Director,
EtonHouse International Education, Singapore