A Descriptive Study of the Marketing Mix Strategies Utilized by North American Christian Schools

David D. Horner Jr., Liberty University

Document Type Article


Educators often misunderstand marketing. Frequently it is viewed as simply advertising or selling. Marketing is far more encompassing. A closer look at the components of marketing reveals an involvement in virtually all aspects of private school operations. Other than miracles or providential guidance, a solid business plan, based on the “marketing mix,” might contribute most to the overall growth and customer satisfaction within a Christian school. This dissertation is a qualitative study designed to research the marketing mix strategies of private, Christian schools throughout America and Canada. This research effort was designed to collect both descriptive and historical data. A key emphasis of this study investigated Christian school awareness and usage of marketing mix strategies. The data gathered from interviews, questionnaires, and published reports provided the basis for determining: (1) That the eight marketing mix components and strategies highlighted within the study were evident in the operations of Christian schools. (2) That only 15% of the Christian schools involved in this study operated with written marketing plans. (3) The individuals responsible for developing Christian school marketing plans were primarily administrative staff. (4) Successful marketing operations were identified and word of mouth advertising efforts were found to be the most successful among respondents. (5) Christian school marketing strategies were also identified where efforts faltered. In addition (6) Christian schools rarely utilized internal marketing strategies to reach or influence their own students