With the tough economy, we’ve seen some new approaches to advertising. Everyone is trying to reach more people for less money and using storefronts at the mall is proving to be an effective way to do just that. While we have seen local businesses and retailers taking advantage of ad space at the mall, schools are now looking to do the same to boost enrollment.
According to an article in the Arizona Republic, a charter school called Legacy Elementary rented space at a local mall to set up shop and target prospective students and, more importantly, their parents. By all accounts, the administrators are calling it a success.
The cost for a three month rental at the Superstition Springs Center was about $5500 less than the typical budget they have had in the past, when their marketing efforts were concentrated on placing signs on neighborhood doorknobs or buying traditional ads. The elementary school has signed up about 60 new students in the first month of the mall campaign.
Feedback from a prospective parent cited the convenience of having all her questions answered at once by the representatives of the school, which makes sense from an advertising perspective. The information center offered an immediate opportunity to distribute follow-up information and a call to action from the customer. Paperwork can be distributed on site and human interaction leaves a more permanent impression than a simple flier ever could.
With the sad state of the economy and the continuing struggle of filling retail space, malls are subscribing to the “something is better than nothing” philosophy and offering short term leasing opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. This opens the door for many smaller organizations to advertise and market themselves for a fraction of the cost of traditional ad campaigns.
We know that the mall offers a social environment for a diverse demographic beyond just shopping. Now we are learning more and more that the mall is a standout for advertising on a budget. Surely this should be on the radar for any group or organization looking to advertise, especially when an in-person presence is appropriate or would add value. As Legacy Elementary has shown, the mall can serve a truly broad spectrum of entities. What will you see on your next shopping trip to the mall?