How to Market Your Language School: Basic Market Research – Check out the Competition

It is worthwhile to check out the web sites and marketing materials of other language programs. That way you can find out what it is about their sites that you like and why. Then, see how you can incorporate similar aspects or qualities into your own materials (without copying, of course!)

For example, if you find yourself spending more time on a particular web site because you find it easy to navigate, assess the organization of the site and incorporate elements of its organization into your own site.

If you like the photos in another school’s brochure or on their website, ask yourself what it is about them you like. Do they have more close-ups? Excellent gender balance? More group shots? Compare those photos with photos of your own program and see what improvements you can make.

Examining the marketing materials of other schools will also give you an idea how much they charge and what they offer. You will be able to see if your prices are in line with other programs that are similar to yours. This can help you price your program powerfully. (See Idea # 7 Price your program powerfully.)

Sometimes we think that just because we know that our competitors exist, we therefore know all about their prices and their marketing. Pricing and marketing tactics can change. Take the time to examine and assess your competitors’ marketing materials and price structure.  I recommend reviewing your competition’s marketing materials annually. Schools grow and change focus on a regular basis. If you are aware of what is going on around you, you will be better prepared to market your own program successfully.


This post is adapted from “Idea # 15: Check out the competition ” in 101 Ways to Market Your Language Program


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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