The decision to start or go back to school is not one that a student enters into lightly – it involves significant timing, lifestyle and financial considerations. It is therefore imperative that we as marketers take these factors into account and keep student needs and goals top of mind when it comes to the messaging, creative and delivery of a campaign.
We need to be mindful of not only the way we communicate with prospective students, but more importantly that the information put out clearly reflects the offering at hand. The Education Marketing Council (EMC), an affiliate of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), has released its Best Practices Code, which I think speaks volumes to the need for standards in student marketing.
To promote ethical marketing practices that are in the best interest of students, the EMC specifies the following:
- Honesty and Clarity of Advertisement
- Clarity of Representations
- Prohibition of Disparagement
- Accurate Portrayal of Photographs and Art Work
- Disclosure of Sponsor and Intent
As one of the founding sponsors and an active member of the EMC, I believe that this proactive approach will help shape the future of student marketing, giving schools the opportunity to more effectively market to students, and ensuring students receive the kind of information and support necessary to make a life changing decision. At Datamark, we have always held ourselves to the highest principles in the way we reach, engage and motivate students.
The EMC is a valuable resource for educational marketers, and I encourage schools to join – not only can you benefit from the knowledge and findings of the group, but your insight and perspective will be invaluable.