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Why Charter Schools Need to Fire Their Marketing Agency... Now.

Updated: Mar 5

It was 9pm on a Friday night, and I was on a call with a charter school administrator on the verge of tears. She explained that she had spent $65,000 on a contract with a marketing company for results that were questionable at best.


Marketing agencies wasting charter school funding

As anyone in the charter school world knows, charter school funding is sacred. If it isn't going directly towards helping students and faculty, it MUST bring in a positive return on investment (ROI) that can be tracked and attributed to the source.

I asked the upset charter school administrator the following questions:

  1. How many students have you gotten from your marketing campaign?

  2. How much of your marketing budget is actually spent paying for advertisements?

  3. How much is your hired agency's management fee?

Her answers, or the lack of them, confirmed my suspicions of the troubling situation. The marketing agency that her school hired couldn't answer any of those questions. That is what I like to call a red flag.

That is like a mechanic billing you for thousands of dollars of work that they claim to have done on your car without them disclosing what they actually did in your invoice.

The questions that I asked her are questions that you need to ask your marketing agency. If they don't have any answers... run.

Here are some troublesome, but unfortunately way too common, answers that we hear from bad marketing agencies:

We don't know the exact number of students that have come from our ads, but...

  • We got you __ number of clicks.

  • Your ads were seen over __ amount of times.

  • Our ads have increased your website traffic by __ percent.

We actually can't disclose how much we spent on advertising because...

  • We have special contracts and arrangements with media buyers.

  • Our management fee fluctuates based off of the market, the day, the time, if the Dodgers lose or if there is a full moon.

If your marketing agency offers any of the following excuses for the lack of transparency it is because they are either hiding poor performance or are really bad at data tracking.

It doesn't matter whether your waitlists are packed or your school is struggling below capacity, marketing is important... but it doesn't have to be a shot in the dark. There are marketing agencies, services and softwares that keep marketing efforts accountable.

At Charter Connect, win-win relationships are the only way we do business. With our enrollment software Nrollio, we can track the success of our marketing campaigns and give clear insights as to whether what we are doing is working or not.

If you're ready for transparency and a performance based relationship, contact our team today.

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