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008: Marketing innovative technology in education with Katherine Massey, Sherborne Girls

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

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All schools have accelerated their use of technology in delivering education since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This presents school marketers with opportunities to showcase creative uses of technology. However, it also presents challenges for schools seeking to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Sherborne Girls had started fully integrating technology into their educational philosophy and practice before the pandemic hit. They continue to innovate in delivering personalised, interactive technology-enabled education. Katherine Massey, their Director of Marketing and Development, joins us in this episode to explain how this influenced their marketing before and after lockdown.

Katherine and I also explore the future of virtual open days and the role of ‘hygiene factors’ in marketing independent education. Plus, we discuss the benefits during a recession of combining cost control with strategic investment; what’s known as ‘ambidextrous strategy’.

Episode highlights

  • Fully integrating technology into learning at Sherborne Girls before COVID-19 (2:25)

  • Adjusting their approach during the COVID-19 lockdown (9:37)

  • Marketing innovative technology as a differentiator before COVID (12:30)

  • Looking ahead to teaching and marketing after lockdown (15:35)

  • Integrating virtual open days into the buyers’ journey (18:05)

  • Virtual events for new pupils and staff (20:47)

  • New marketing tactics but with unchanged best practice fundamentals (22:25)

  • New ‘hygiene factors’ in marketing independent education (23:25)

  • The importance of schools authentically valuing diversity and environmental sustainability (25:00)

  • The benefits of ‘ambidextrous strategy’ during and after recessions (26:25)

  • The continued importance of outreach and bursaries (28:37)

References and resources

Fundraising Focus Programme: Expert fundraising advice to fit your school's budget

Sherborne Girls’ digital strategy video

Research findings on ‘ambidextrous strategy’: ‘Business Strategies and Performance during Difficult Economic Conditions’ for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), John Kitching, Robert Blackburn, David Smallbone (all Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University) and Sarah Dixon (School of Management, Bath University), 2009

Find out more about Juliet Corbett’s work with independent schools and discover a host of free resources for schools at


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