Private School Digital Marketing – What it is and is not

Private School Digital Marketing - What it is and is not

by Trevor Waddington, Founder & President, Truth Tree

Picture it. 1990.

After a trip to the Springfield Mall, I remember running in the house with a Sam Goody bag swinging at my side. Booking up to my room, I popped Vanilla Ice’s cassette single, Ice Ice Baby, into my boombox and cranked up the volume.

Then came the knock at my bedroom door.

“Turn it down!!!” my Dad yelled. He was more of a Buddy Holly guy. Vanilla Ice did not appeal to him.



If the above story doesn’t resonate with you, consult your nearest late-model Gen-Xer.

What’s the connection you ask?

  • Independent schools are like boomboxes.
  • The song(s) they play is the marketing message.
  • Word of mouth is the record/play tape deck next to the play tape deck used to make mixtapes for your friends (if you were lucky enough to have that model).
  • The volume button is digital marketing.

I share this analogy, sans the trip to the mall, with prospective school and camp partners. The goal is to illustrate what digital marketing can and cannot do for them.

Here’s a break down. Leave your CANs and CANNOTs in the comments below.

Turning the volume up will get you noticed. My Dad noticed the ‘noise’ coming from my room.

That doesn’t mean your song, even pointed at the demographic you think will love it, will indeed send it to #1 on the charts. It also doesn’t mean that your past hits will equal future success.

Before you consider turning up the volume on your song, take a look at the attention you’ll get and if it’s going to amplify a future hit or get people switching to a new station. And remember, if the boombox doesn’t work well, people will find another product to pump out their toons #CDs #iPod #HeyAlexa

To put it another way, Before you consider digital marketing…

Stop. Collaborate (with colleagues, parents, consultants, etc.) and listen (to your song(s)).

Is it something that grabs a hold of your audience tightly?

If they have a problem, will you solve it? If you can, send us the hook and let Truth Tree revolve it. ? ? ?

Identify your school’s next digital marketing move.