School Heads Unprepared For Competitive Onslaught


image“Most school Heads are unprepared for the new competitive environment they find themselves in today.” That’s the diagnosis of imageseven’s Managing Director Brad Entwistle.

The last decade has seen a number of fundamental changes in how parents select the best school for their children. The rise of the internet and the commoditisation of education has led to a scenario where parents are very informed, and ready to exercise their ability to select, and swap, schools.

The team at imageseven have been assisting schools with their marketing strategy and its execution for over 25 years. “The expectations of school Boards have completely changed in that time,” says Mr Entwistle. “Once it was enough to be a competent ‘people person’ and represent the school well. Now school Heads need to be experts in a whole suite of marketing and communication skills that didn’t even exist just a few years ago.”

Most school Heads are responsible for managing a small marketing team and making strategic decisions they have never had any professional exposure to. “It’s learn on the job and hope that you are learning the right skills and leading your marketing team effectively,” said Mr Entwistle.

Watching Heads struggle to come to terms with this new competitive environment prompted Brad to lead the imageseven team on an 18 month development of a system that captured the firm’s school marketing expertise in a way that would be intensely practical to Heads and their marketing team/personnel on a day-to-day basis.

The School Marketing Institute is a marketing system designed specifically for schools.

“The School Marketing Institute is the result of over 25 years of frustration, development and ultimately an unshakable conviction that schools can do better, deserve to do better and need to do better to survive and thrive,” says Mr Entwistle.

The School Marketing Institute (SMI) provides the tools, systems, services, training and ongoing mentoring support to enable schools to take their marketing to the next level. In a nutshell, it is the best way for schools to keep up with the advances in marketing and then apply them to their school.

Marketing has changed over the last 25 years and imageseven knows that it is impossible for schools to keep up.

“They’re professional educators, not marketers, which leaves them at a big disadvantage. On top of all that, schools are usually chronically under resourced when it comes to marketing. That is why we developed SMI,” said Mr Entwistle.

SMI is membership based, so schools will need to go through a brief application interview to ensure that it will be a good fit for the school. A key feature of SMI is the one-on-one mentoring with one of imageseven’s practising school marketers, which means the school marketer will receive a personalised service that many would not normally be able to afford.

To learn more about the School Marketing Institute you can contact Laura Sheahan directly on +353 (0) 86 451 8715 at or register online at for more information.


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