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  • Christie Wade

Checklist: 6 New Ways Education Marketers are Getting Greater Value from Their Marketing Investment



1. Harness the power of reviews/testimonials 

How important are good customer reviews? The numbers speak for themselves: 95% of consumers say they read online reviews before they shop, and 58% say they’re willing to pay more for products with good reviews. Given the importance of consumer reviews, education marketers should actively seek them out — launch a campaign, offer incentives, or produce ads that feature positive testimonials.


Example:

In 2023, Stanford University chose to focus on student testimonials and released a commercial featuring students talking about their experiences.  


2. Gamification

The gamification market generated $15.43 billion (23.58 AUD) in 2024 and is projected to grow to $48.72 (74.45 AUD) billion by 2029. The fastest-growing gamification market is the Asia Pacific. Scientific research has shown that gamification is a useful tool in education and can increase student engagement. Similarly in marketing, gamification is based on several psychological principles: people like to succeed, people are competitive, people don’t like being bored, and more. When done correctly, this makes gamification an incredibly useful tool that marketers can use to attract and retain customers, grow a loyal consumer base, increase brand awareness, and more.


Example:

Duolingo, the global language learning app, is a prime example of learning through gamification. In 2022, it had 54 million active users, a sharp increase from 37 million in 2021. 


3. Events, workshops, seminars

Event marketing is a billion-dollar global industry that’s expected to grow to $36.31 (55.91 AUD) billion by 2026. It’s ideal for education brands, whose consumers are often looking for an active/interactive experience. Australian consumers are particularly interested in live events, with  an April 2023 survey showing that 31% of Australian online consumers participated in a live event at least once, and around 50% are open to taking part in a future event. Depending on the product/service, in-person events can also be effective: seminars, classes, open houses, and more are great avenues for educational institutions/brands to increase enrolment, reach new customers, and create a trusted brand name. 


Example:

Ted has established itself as a platform for movers, shakers, and thinkers across a wide range of industries. Its TedX events are consumer-driven, volunteer-led, and a brilliant way of attracting both local and global audiences while further cementing the Ted brand as a forum for innovation.


4. Email marketing 

Email marketing has one of the highest ROIs in marketing: $36 earned for every $1 spent (about 55.43 AUD earned for every 1.5 AUD spent). So while it may not be a new way to get great value, it’s one of the most tried-and-tested methods that has proven its efficacy time and time again. Email marketing can boost brand awareness, stimulate sales, and offer measurable metrics.


Example:

Grechen Huebner, co-founder of the children’s coding app Kodable, built her brand from the ground up, beginning with cold emails that blossomed into a large user base. Once the brand was established, she noted that every time the company sent an email with a product announcement, they saw a “spike in active users.”


5. OOH (out-of-home) advertising

If you think out-of-home advertising is on the way out, think again — OOH advertising is a multibillion-dollar global industry projected to reach $40.14 billion (about 61.7 billion AUD) in 2024. While the focus of so many education brands today (especially edtech companies) is on digital advertising, OOH advertising on billboards, street furniture, posters, magazines, radio, and transit is an effective medium for reaching consumers. However, OOH is not immune to the global digital transformation. Today, the most effective OOH campaigns are data driven. Education marketers in Australia should harness their data to create highly customised OOH ads for specific demographics and locations.


Example:

The “Smaller. Smarter” campaign of Texas Wesleyan University, a combination of digital ads, TV commercials, and billboards, has been going for 10 years and has received over 150 awards. The billboards are strategically placed across counties near the university.

 

6. Creativity

Creativity sits at the heart of all marketing efforts. Whether it's organising events, crafting email campaigns, running social campaigns, or investing in OOH, the impact hinges on the ability to produce content that captivates and resonates with your audience. Without creativity, these efforts fall flat.


A recent Deloitte survey of 1,015 executives revealed a clear link between creativity and business growth. Similarly, a study conducted by Marketing Week in collaboration with Kantar found that 80% of the marketers surveyed ranked creativity as a key driver in the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Even in industries that may be traditionally viewed as a “square” sector, such as education, the need for imaginative marketing strategies is undeniable to stand out and engage effectively.

 

Example:

When COVID hit, the regular television programming of the Indian education platform Mind Wars was not able to continue. To maintain its consumer base, Mind Wars came up with a new State Battle Campaign, run on social media, that kept parents and students engaged for four months straight.

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