Reactive Marketing

Smart owners plan their marketing in advance. Holidays, weather changes, national and regional special days are all planned for in well in advance.

Most school owners think about marketing when they realize rent is due in a week, so they jump on Facebook and post a poorly designed ad screaming, “50% off. Hurry now! No contracts!” That kind of marketing smells desperate compared to a well planned and designed ad.

How you market your school is a reflection of where you place the value in what you offer. For instance, 50% off, hurry now places the value of your school at 50% off. Of all the things you could share about your school, that’s the best you can do?

This kind of ad presumes that there are people waiting on Facebook for a discount ad from your school so they can “hurry now!”

The truth is the less than 2% of the population in your school’s pull radius will enroll in any martial arts school. Every school in your area is fighting for that 2%. Yet, in virtually every market, the school with the highest tuition and contracts has the most students.

Your marketing plan should be at least 90-days in advance, with the offer, platform, and goals laid out in advance. Focus more on education than desperation. For instance, “Did you know that over 60% of bullied children hide it from their parents? Our program shows kids how to report bullying to you the day it happens.” This is a good headline for National Bully Prevention Month in October. Knowing that my child will report bullying to me is more important than 50% off now!


John Graden
John Graden

John Graden is widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age. He is the founder of the first successful professional association and trade journal. MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts World magazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers. Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show and many others.