Just the other day, I came across one of my old childhood albums. Though I’ve seen it countless times in the past, I couldn’t resist the urge to sift through the glossy sheets once again. I genuinely adore how my parents have preserved some of the cutest and most embarrassing clicks so well. Amidst the hundred-something photographs in different poses and colorful outfits, there was one- my first day of school. Though I don’t remember the picture being clicked, I surely recount how I used to cry when being dropped off.
But that’s where gratitude also stems in. Education helped me grow into the independent and successful individual that I am today. However, do you think it’s just because of the relentless history, geography, and mathematics lessons? Nah, I don’t think so. It strongly revolves around my behavior, development on a personal level, and how I was inspired to be unique, be myself and that’s what educators need to focus, implement and market.
Let’s take a closer look at marketing in education and what impresses me in this dynamic, ever-evolving field.
How is education different from other domains?
By now, I understand marketing to be a part of me. Each day, I study so many ad campaigns and delve deeper into connecting with the masses- the consumers. Honestly, marketing is so different in various domains that it’s foolish to compare them. It’s literally like comparing English cake to desi street food.
I love to explore places- be it the cold mountains or the tranquil sea. Come vacation season, and my bags are packed. I’ve learned that how earlier marketing in the many travel sector was more focused on the property than the experience. In this regard, I love the Incredible India ads because they want to convey a message- focusing on what a traveler in India will experience. On the other hand, product-focused domains simply market the USP and discount rates.
But that’s where the story ends- we travel or buy the product once, and our need is fulfilled. Whereas, Sector of Education is an ongoing process- lifelong learning no one can stop.
The focus on marketing in education
My father has been one of the closest persons to me. He always emphasizes how important it is to be a good human. I remember having a phase where I would lose my cool too quickly or react to situations impulsively. So one day, he sat me down and asked me a fundamental question- is this what education has taught you after all these years? And that stuck with me. It was such a revelation that education is not limited to schools but a way of life. The relationship we share with people around us, our communication standards, distinct personality traits, and much beyond- all cover the scope of education.
I feel marketing in education is not about highlighting the USP’s like facilities, amenities and school property but how the child can use it to nurture. My big school building had a massive playground with strong swings, animated slides, and court games. As soon as the recess bell would ring, we would run outside to see who gets the swing first. You see, we didn’t care about the area in numbers- as long as we got to play together. I would return home and tell my mother about the fun I had, and she would listen silently, smile along, nodding her head.
The perfect education ad campaign
When we think of ads related to the education domain, one of the first to come to mind is the Classmate ad that taught us to be the best version of ourselves. I still vibe with the jingle because my father encouraged me to be unique and compete with myself. I guess that’s what we all need to do- think out of the box. If you ask me for one life advice- “Don’t be the next Priyanka Gosain. Be the first you.”
Another fond childhood memory I have is eating Parle-G biscuits with milk. Yeah, you can joke all about it, but I used to love giving it to the local dogs that would gather around our house in the evenings. Some time back, Parle-G came with such an interesting tagline, ‘Curiosity se badi koi teacher nahi.’ (Curiosity is the most prominent teacher). Yes! Lifetime is all about exploring avenues and grasping opportunities. Let’s take the risk and see what eventually happens.
Marketing in education focuses on everyday aspects of life and aims to make the viewer a more mentally evolved human. It does not focus on running after money- it focuses on running after excellence. It’s like that smile of a child packaged with sunshine and rainbows. Recently, I was watching The Sky Is Pink, a 2019 movie. And one chord that stayed on with me even after the film ended was the protagonist explaining to her little daughter that if she wants to color her drawings with a pink sky, it is not wrong. Even if the teacher says that it needs to be blue, the child has the freedom to paint her sky any color because it is hers. #StopFittingIn
What are some education marketers missing out?
Some leading brand campaigns are missing essentials of marketing in education- the focus. The focus needs to be the child and his life, instead of the lavish offerings and discounts. Every university talks about high placement scores and number 1 ranking, yet the country’s unemployment rates are skyrocketing- thus, there has to be a lag somewhere. The pass marks are 40 at the higher secondary level, yet the university cut-offs are 99. What irony, what joke!
How about highlighting a smile on a child’s face, no matter the circumstances, or a strong parent-child relationship diminishing in the present-day technology-driven world? Education is not just limited to schools. As my father used to say, it is an eternal process at home. The secret to a complete and well-rounded education system? A handful of innovation and a dash of acceptance for every imperfection.
To wrap up, I used to dislike mathematics to the core. But then one of my tuition teachers showed me how to love numbers if I approached them differently. I think that was the best marketing in education for me.