Ralph Cochran is a fifteen-year veteran of implementing marketing and development growth strategies for Christian Schools and businesses. He is President of Schola, an inbound marketing agency committed to helping Christian schools grow enrollment. Schola is a strategic partner with Advance Christian Schools helping schools thrive. Due to his vast experience, Ralph has a reputation of correctly assessing a client’s situation and bringing an effective solution to the table. His fresh and practical ideas have increased enrollment and retention while growing revenue and fundraising at Christian Schools. So whether it is a, retention plan, enrollment marketing plan, capital campaign, or annual fund. Ralph has tried and used the most effective strategies to obtain results. He is passionate about helping schools overcome the “gap” in their budget through strategically growing enrollment in order that a school can become financially sustainable.
After graduating from Grove City College in 1995, Ralph started his business career selling networking equipment and internet data services in the New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia region with AT&T and Lucent Technologies during the internet boom of the mid and late 1990s. Although he enjoyed selling high-tech products and working in the business world, his heart was in helping young people to see the world through a Christian worldview and better make an impact for Christ in our culture. This passion led him to co-found and grow a Christian school in New Jersey which he voluntarily served as board president for thirteen years. In addition to establishing and helping Christian schools, Ralph has started a commercial real estate investment company, served as advancement director at a Christian School, and has run several other businesses over the years.
Ralph has firsthand experience with traditional “outbound” marketing methods that schools have used to market themselves. Through being in the marketing trenches while finding what works and what does not, he has a unique perspective on how to best invest a marketing dollar for measurable results. He understands the value of grass root level, word of mouth marketing in the growth of schools and how it can be amplified through the use of the internet by implementing an inbound marketing strategy to compliment a traditional outbound strategy.
Due to his business development background, Ralph knows how to use the power of the internet to broaden a school’s sales funnel and leverage limited funds for maximum impact. With the recent rise of digital marketing he knows how to guide a school to implement an “inbound marketing strategy” through the use of social media, paid search, and content creation tactics. He helps schools use the internet to provide this leverage by enhancing word of mouth marketing by reaching prospects earlier in the admission process.
He currently assists a number of businesses as a retained consultant with their marketing, sales, and strategic planning for growth and sustained profitability. Ralph is also an avid speaker and loves listening to others’ views and experiences. He understands that marketing is not about creating pretty brochures, clever sounding radio ads, or expensive billboards. When properly implemented, a sound marketing strategy is about attracting the right students to a school by re-positioning the school’s brand as a thought leader in the community. Ultimately attracting the right students is about fulfilling the School’s mission and getting children the best Christian education to build a legacy of Christian leaders to influence our country, churches, and families. And advancing toward this goal all begins with growing awareness of these schools and marketing their unique appeal to mission appropriate parents and students.