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Running a School: They Won’t Come to You

By all accounts, we all see around 5,000 adverts each day, in almost every waking minute, in every place we visit. The only time we are not exposed to advertising is when we are asleep – we can’t even escape the labels on the bottles in the bath.

 

It is a busy, busy space and a difficult place to get noticed.

 

History tells us of so many fantastic advertising campaigns that have changed the world. A radio ad for the Queensboro Corporation of New York cost $50 in 1922 and netted $227,000 in sales. They were selling apartments in Jackson Heights, present-day Queens. They also changed radio completely. Until then it had been largely run by volunteers, universities and government, broadcasting on education, the arts, sports and religion.

 

The Internet was initially heralded as a means of free information exchange. It still does this, of course, but haven’t you noticed all the adverts as you browse through notes on the collections of the great artists and inventors?

 

Advertising has change dramatically in the 20 years I’ve been doing it. From ¥1,000 per line in free classified magazines, to Facebook pixels, cookies, pull marketing and click-through rates. I wouldn’t have understood any of those phrases 20 years ago. It’s all I can do to grasp them now.

 

Advertising can be very difficult.

 

One of our former franchisees failed as, against our advice, he thought he could get noticed right in the middle of downtown. We told him the letterboxes in the area are stuffed daily full of flyers, signs and neon dominate, and it is a very difficult space to compete. He was confident he could do it.

 

He didn’t get the sign-ups he wanted. I was surprised when visiting one evening to find him sitting in the school, reading a book, within eyeline of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people crossing a busy street. He could have been out distributing flyers. He said as much in a later email: “I know sitting in the school won’t get me students.”

 

Don’t put yourself in this position. They will not come to you. However you do it, you have to go out and get them.

 

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