by Matt Mattson
I’m not going to suggest this is the only way, or maybe even the best way to solve these BIG Greek problems… But it’s a real, tangible, actionable, affordable, realistic approach to addressing them. Read on.
We Got Problems.
Hazing, Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Assault, Racism, Drug Use, Ensconsed and Unjust Exclusivity… you get the idea. Greek Life has problems.
Can marketing help?
The answer to that question depends on your definition of marketing for Greek Life. If you think that’s about better brochures, a prettier website, louder social media presence, or flashier videos… the answer is NO.
If, on the other hand, when you think about marketing for Greek Life you think about strategic storytelling to very specific audiences, data-driven leads generation and leads qualification, slowly cultivating a deep value proposition in high school students’ (and parents’) minds, etc…. the answer is a resounding YES.
Fraternities and sororities are made of members. The existing and predictable pool from which these members are “chosen” is often where many fraternity/sorority marketing and recruitment efforts are focused. But if that pool was improved (with your definition of “higher quality”/”lower risk” prospects), that’s where we can start to make an impact on the make-up of our organizations. Sure there are a lot of entrenched cultural barriers within fraternity/sorority-land that need to be disassembled and re-imagined, but something within our power right now – as caring Greek leaders and professionals – is to make sure we’re helping by improving the quality of the pool.
- Let’s do direct marketing to students with a statistically lower probability of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Let’s build a long-term pipeline of prospects from youth/high school groups that are more likely to produce the members we desire.
- Let’s blatantly say who we DON’T want in our marketing.
- Let’s warn people who want the stuff we don’t want that we don’t want them.
- Let’s stop spending our money and energy talking to the people who are already going to show up and join, and reinvest in aiming at a much different/better/more desirable audience.
There’s a lot of reasons to get frustrated as a fraternity/sorority life leader and/or professional. Our problems often seem insurmountable. But there are ways to make an impact that are within our control – marketing is a great example.