My advice on implementing change at an independent school

HubGem's new Director of Customer Experience gives first-hand advice, as a former Marketing Manager of an independent school, about the common issues faced when implementing new processes.

Hey, I'm Lizzie and I'm the new Director of Customer Experience at HubGem. I have previously worked as Marketing Manager at an independent co-ed day and boarding school and therefore would like to share some advice on how to overcome common issues faced when implementing new processes.

Having worked with HubGem in my previous role, I have seen first-hand the benefit of using HubSpot in education and working with the brilliant team at HubGem. Following the successful implementation of HubSpot, the team guided me through the process of importing our existing enquiry data. We then optimised the website for lead generation and created workflows to nurture new leads into enquiries. We also created an entirely new event process using digital marketing to achieve record-high numbers of open day registrations.

I am excited to be able to share this knowledge and experience with others in the sector to help education organisations grow better! 

During my time working within an independent school, I faced a lot of the same obstacles that we hear from our clients when looking to change their processes. Here are some of the ones that we hear most often, and some advice on how to overcome them. 

“But we’ve always done it this way” 

One of the trickiest obstacles to overcome in an education setting is encouraging colleagues and stakeholders to embrace change and a new way of thinking. Just because a marketing and admission process has always been done a certain way, this absolutely doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement! Marketing and the way consumers work is ever-changing, and it is important to stay up to date with the latest techniques to avoid falling behind competitors. Carrying out competitor research is an easy way to demonstrate the importance of keeping up to date with new marketing techniques.  

I remember a quote from an industry event I attended a little while ago where a speaker said: “If you’re not moving forwards, you are falling behind.” Remember, your competitors aren’t standing still so neither should you! 

Other tasks taking priority 

From my experience working in a marketing team at an independent school, sometimes other stakeholders or activities taking place at the school can get in the way of setting time aside to implement a new system or manage reporting. This could be arranging an open day, touring the school with prospective parents or producing a last-minute video for social media. School marketing teams are never short of tasks to deliver so prioritisation is key! Although implementing a new CRM system can be daunting, at HubGem we offer a range of onboarding options to suit your team’s capacity and skill sets. Once set up correctly, HubSpot’s range of features will save your team time, and support you to work more efficiently whilst improving your KPIs. 

Misalignment of marketing and admissions teams 

Marketing and Admissions teams often have different priorities and perspectives when it comes to the education buyer’s journey. Marketing teams are often focused on numbers and achieving targets for enquiries and enrolments. Admissions teams are often more focused on providing prospective parents with excellent service and support, and actioning processes to enrol new students. It is important before any major projects including a CRM implementation that both departments are aligned on the challenges each other faces, and the solutions. This will enable a seamless customer journey from enquiry to enrolment. 

The need to demonstrate value to justify spend 

As marketers, it can be easy to see the value that implementing in a new system such as HubSpot could bring to a business. However, other stakeholders in particular Bursars can sometimes need a little more convincing! It is important to try and demonstrate value using projected figures and KPIs.  

We also have a range of cases studies from our clients that can be used to share real-life examples of the positive impact that HubSpot, and working with HubGem, has had on our clients. It is also important to remember that HubSpot has a range of pricing options making it fully scalable. 

At HubGem, most of our team have experience working for or within independent schools and/or non-profit businesses making us the experts in providing marketing solutions for these companies. If you want to speak to one of our team about how we can help you, book an exploratory call today. 

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Lizzie Jeffery

Lizzie Jeffery

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