Debbie Jacobs

Job title: Marketing and Admissions Manager

Current place of employment: Mary Hare School & Founder at Zest Marketing

Years’ experience in education marketing: 16

How did you get into schools marketing?  


What do you feel is the biggest misconception about your role? 

That it is easy and that it is not busy!

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What do you feel has been the most significant change in your profession since you first started working as a school marketer? 

Schools’ marketing is ever more competitive.  Schools used to be behind the times with their marketing but many are now up to speed with their approach and the focus on marketing.

Your top tip for engaging stakeholders in your marketing? 

Know your audience inside out and keep it simple.

What do you think makes for a successful school marketing campaign? 

Creativity. Joined up approach. Bags of enthusiasm. Tracking results.

Preferred social media platform? 


Do you feel there’s any aspect of digital marketing that’s underrated/overrated? 

Instagram is overrated unless there is a specific audience that you are targeting. Underrated is the use of LinkedIn.

If you had endless budget, what would you implement into your school’s marketing? 

A very wonderful whole school video capturing the feeling that parents often leave with after visiting.

Moments you have been most proud of in your current role? 

An alumni campaign which has paid dividends on so many levels and a Channel 4 documentary about the school which still reaps rewards for admissions.

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What are your favourite tools to make your job easier as a school marketer?  

Photoshop for homegrown photos. A very good marketing plan. A great admissions database to segment our target audience.

How much do you rely on data to inform your strategy? 


What do you see as being the most significant change school marketers will face in the next 10 years?  

A move away from printed material and an even greater reliance on the digital world.

The dreaded ‘B’ word! Do you think Brexit will have an impact the world of marketing? If so, how?  

Not sure at the moment. Afraid I am sitting on the fence on this one!

What are your favourite professional resources (e.g. blogs, authors, books, etc.)?   

I love the AMCIS website with its amazing resources – but then I would say that as a Board Member!

What’s the best piece of career-specific advice you ever got?  

Think outside the box and do not be afraid to try things out.

What’s the one piece of advice would you give to a new school marketer?  

Don’t do something just because everyone else is.  

If you weren’t a school marketer, what would be your dream role?   


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