Parents of the millennial generation are profoundly different from the parents of five or ten years ago. For example, according to TIME magazine, 90% of millennials use social media. This generation relies on technology as a way of life. Has your school adapted to the needs of the millennial family?
Here are a few things to think about:
- Catch them early. Millennial families have young children and many are looking for Pre-K programs now or will be soon. Putting marketing and recruitment efforts behind attracting millennial families to your Pre-K or elementary grades helps to establish long-term loyalty to your school. Try placing targeted Facebook advertisements to families in your area with young children.
- Millennial moms are decision-influencers. According to PR firm Weber & Shandwick, millennial moms are more likely than moms in any other generation to provide opinions and recommendations, or advise friends about products and services. Keep this in mind when you’re interacting with prospective millennial families. Also, be sure to actively engage with the millennial moms already within your school community. If they have a good experience at your school, they’ll likely tell their friends about it.
- Technology is key. It’s a given that millennial parents have different expectations about how schools will inform them and collaborate with them. Instead of a note sent home, a millennial parent may prefer to get behavioral notes through an app. When it comes to tuition payments, consider that a millennial parent may not even own a checkbook! Millennial parents want convenience and to feel like they are a part of the education process, rather than a bystander. Mobile apps, learning management systems, and other classroom and school technology can help bridge the gap and make your school stand out.
- Increased spending power means thinking outside the box. Exponential’s whitepaper about millennial moms notes that an increase in female career-drivers/breadwinners and gender pay equality means that millennial families with working moms have deeper financial pockets. According to the whitepaper, 71% of modern mothers work outside the home. If these same mothers have been working since their child’s infancy, it’s a good guess that they have either paid or are currently paying for childcare. The concept of private school as an added expense is not as scary to these millennial families. Instead, they’ve likely been budgeting for childcare or education for some time. What does this mean for your school? Focus on what the deciding factors would be comparing your school to other local private and public schools beyond the tuition rates. Do you offer better technology in the classroom? More rigorous academics? Smaller classrooms?
- Accessibility is important. Millennial parents, and especially mothers, do the majority of their browsing, research, and purchasing on their mobile device versus a desktop or laptop computer (source). If a prospective parent can’t view your website, submit an inquiry, or apply online from their mobile device, you may be missing out on a crucial segment of your local population.
If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment!