Increasing school admissions


Successful independent school marketing demands strong, differentiated brand positioning and consistent and effective execution.

Delivering success also requires alignment between Marketing and Admissions functions. Teams need to plan together, leverage a shared view of the admissions pipeline, and share a common understanding of how existing activities – across both teams – help propel enrolment performance. These points become even more critical when schools face stiff competition or lack the perceived brand prestige of neighbouring institutions.

Eyes on growth ahead of the storm

Independent schools are not immune to the forces of economic pressure. Inflationary pressures impacting Schools and parents alike are more pronounced than ever.  When one of Australia’s most prestigious independent girls’ schools engaged Emmet Consulting to develop a sustainable and transparent approach to Marketing, Admissions and Enrolment activity, we made it our mission to align marketing strategy with admissions processes to outperform competitors – setting a course for significant, long-term growth.

Here’s how Emmet turned the opportunity into success, building the foundations for a sustainable future.

Deep-diving the data

Before stepping too deeply into planning, we ensured that all available data and insights were explored and understood. With fresh eyes and objectivity, we analysed dozens of files and thousands of data points, mapping the performance of existing marketing and enrolment activity. We identified opportunities for improvement and laid the groundwork for a clear-eyed approach to re-planning, including reallocating historical budgets to address changing channel preferences across the target market.

Enhanced visibility

With historical performance data in play, the next step was to improve visibility and—from there—engagement through the customer decision-making process. Partnering with Digistorm, we implemented their ‘Funnel’ CRM platform to provide visibility of prospective families’ progress through the admissions pipeline. Integrating Digistorm with the school’s website enabled rapid actioning of new enquiries while automating simple functions, which freed up time for admissions team members to focus on higher-value work.

Beautiful, creative, beautifully executed

With data, a new CRM and enhanced visibility of the admissions pipeline, we turned to brand, communications and messaging, reviewing all communications and marketing activity across every existing touchpoint. Great brands, regardless of their sector, are consistent. So, rather than change the creative completely, we elevated existing work to emphasise points of difference and create a significant uplift in engagement for this independent school brand.

With solid foundations in place, interest and demand for enrolments at this independent school grew rapidly—as they do to this day. Critically, the school’s board and executive leadership team are also well prepared for whatever may lie ahead, with a clear understanding of their admissions data and accurate visibility of future enrolments framing a five-year strategic horizon.