Pop up restaurants — all the rage a few years ago — allowed people to break the usual dining mold by eating in homes, temporary storefronts and other non-traditional dining spaces. This concept has now been extended to education in the form of pop up schools, which offer a cheap, easily replicable model for learning in non-traditional spaces. It’s a trendy idea — and a potential challenge for those involved in technical college marketing.
How do traditional technical colleges compete with the innovative trend of pop up learning? Let’s take a closer look.
Pop up schools explained
The idea for pop-up schools was borne of the difficulty in ensuring access to affordable educational services across the globe. The cost of education has risen significantly in recent years, and barriers to education (particularly in the developing world) have risen.
Pop-ups such as Bridge International seek to introduce a new, highly replicable model that promises affordable education — a model that is in some ways based on the idea of fast food franchising. Bridge International, for example, hoped to scale up to 3,000 schools in Africa alone by using a franchise model, enrolling as many as 25 million students by 2025.
The pop-up model has influential backers (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others) and plenty of market opportunity, positioning it as a potential competitor for the traditional technical school model.
All of that raises an important question: How can technical college marketing benefit your school and help you stand out?
How smart technical college marketing offers a competitive edge
The idea of pop up education is an attractive one — at first glance. However, it’s not a model that would currently serve the needs of most technical college students. Virtually all pop-up schools are pure profit-making ventures; curriculums are rote, inflexible and uniform across each school. Salaries for instructors are kept very low to manage costs and there is very little focus on specific trade or technical skills. Pop up schools instead are more broadly focused.
Still, it’s an innovative model and one that could soon find more traction in other educational markets, as politicians and other leaders are always looking for cost-competitive solutions.
In order to fend off this kind of competition, the value proposition offered by technical schools should be reflected in its marketing content.
Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Developing sophisticated buyer/student personas
- Creation of compelling, multi-channel marketing content that reflects the interests of those personas
- Developing materials that emphasize the benefits of the technical college model (shorter, less expensive, real-world skill development, etc.)
- Developing materials that emphasize the proven and durable nature of the technical school model — the pop-up model is new and unproven, and no student wants to attend a school that may not exist in five or ten years
- Use of social media platforms and advanced data analytics to support marketing efforts
Partnering with the right agency
The tips outlined above may seem fairly straightforward, but executing them at the highest level is no small task. Many smaller schools do not have the resources or the expertise to create a sophisticated modern marketing campaign.
At BIGEYE, we help schools stand out from the competition by creating deeply resonant and highly targeted marketing campaigns. If your school could benefit from working with a top Florida advertising agency, we urge you to contact us today.