Kaleen Goodeill Celebrates 3 Years at NSM!

Kaleen Goodeill is our veteran marketing manager in the K-12 school industry, one of several core markets North Star Marketing serves. Today she marks her three-year workiversary on our team, and we caught up with her for an interview to hear what’s new and developing in the K-12 space. We also asked her to reflect on what she has learned in the last year as she keeps growing her skills for serving this dynamic market.

First of all, thanks for all your work, Kaleen! You do an amazing job of leading our team and so many of our school clients. Maybe start us off by sharing something you enjoyed working on in the last year.

One of the most surprising and fun things I’ve been able to do this year is step in with Micah Fox to support our sales team. As he meets with prospective school partners to discuss marketing solutions and strategy, I’ve been able to join in those calls to support him directly and share my role with those schools. [Laughs] I don’t think of myself as a salesperson, and I didn’t even expect to enjoy the sales process, but I have enjoyed this because it has tied in really closely with the thing I love most about my job.

And what is that?

I love getting to help our school clients take off one of the many hats they are inevitably wearing. School marketing and communication teams are almost always small, dedicated teams trying to do the work of large teams with many positions. In the sales process, I’ve been able to help them see the value in partnering with me and North Star — letting us take on some of those critical roles they are currently trying to manage themselves.

I’ve seen work photos of you in social feeds and know you’ve traveled quite a bit with your role at NSM this year. Where did you go?

Yes! This year I’ve also been glad to get out there and represent NSM at conferences around the country. Recently I attended the Southeast Christian School Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and that was a fantastic event for us as we were able to speak at four different workshops and have many conversations with schools in that region. This past spring I attended the ACSI NW Leadership Conference in Seaside, Oregon, and had a chance to speak at a joint session with Rick Newberry that we called “Too Many Hats, Too Little Time: Setting Strategic Marketing Priorities for Maximum Impact.”

Rick has a great, long-term relationship with the North Star team — he knows us well and sees the value we provide to schools, and we love to support his work with Enrollment Catalyst, too. Getting to co-lead a session and later a webinar on the same topic with him was great, and I expect we’ll do more of that in the future. Folks loved the material because it is practical advice about ways schools can grow enrollment.

What else have you been working on in the last year? Any highlights?

Well, NSM has always done this, but I was able to bring some renewed focus and development to the ways we implement online marketing strategy into website builds for our clients. Marketing managers like me are playing more and more of a role in the strategy that goes into the website design and build and it has been so fun to be a part of that process For instance, we are currently building a new site for Florence Christian School (stay tuned for an update with their new site one day in the near future!), and I was able to work on an evaluation of their old site, develop new site navigation and user funnels, wireframing, and things like that. I love getting to present work like this to our clients and show them how current online marketing best practices translate into design and content choices for their websites.

Talk to us about the K-12 market. What are the important issues and ideas for these clients right now?

One of the biggest impacts we’re seeing and efforts we’re recommending, is developing targeted age-and-stage-focused content. This is a shift for a lot of schools. School-centric pieces definitely have their place, but speaking to a very specific audience, such as Preschool moms, and creating lead funnels and assets just for them has really made a positive difference for lead generation with many of our K-12 school clients.

Traditionally, schools just haven’t had the time, money, or incentive to develop content that’s this targeted. Often, it feels like a stretch to just produce one overarching content asset for all audiences and grade levels. However, more schools are seeing the value in this investment, and we’re turning out great content and lead nurturing campaigns. One of the keys to these pieces is balance. You’ve got to produce a genuinely helpful guide with targeted information and tips, and not overload the content asset with information about the school.

You mentioned that you love helping coach or work closely with folks in the marketing departments at the schools you work with — what kinds of things do you cover?

Surprisingly, I still find myself needing to help many schools make the paradigm shift in how they fundamentally think about their website. Some school leaders still don’t conceptualize it as their primary marketing tool for prospective families and students. They fight to cram in all kinds of other content for current students, faculty and staff, and other constituents. I help them to see the difference and pare out the clutter so they are converting website traffic to leads with CTAs and information that creates a clear path to enrollment. So, that’s one thing.

I’ve also worked closely with Lee Fowks, the NSM mastermind behind our paid search campaigns this year. Together we are coaching schools through the process for developing lead nurturing sequences that really pay off. Everybody wants lead generation, but you’ve got to be able to follow up when the leads come in. So, how do you do that in a timely, effective fashion? We’re working hard to keep that piece of the puzzle front and center for our clients so they really maximize their investment in these campaigns. And we’re seeing some strong results for many of our clients, which is so cool.

What about home life? I’ve seen some completely adorable family photos in my Facebook feed, too.

Oh, yes! Our son, Owen, just turned two, so I’m busy chasing a toddler around. My husband, Teigen, is in year two (of five) of his medical residency, and that’s all going very well. We’re both from Washington State, so we’re loving life in Corvallis and getting to explore Oregon. We decided to get a puppy this year, too, so we welcomed Margot, a labradoodle, into the mix. She’s a year old; still so crazy. We love to travel as much as we can and have a goal to go somewhere new each year, so we’re busy scheming about where we might go in 2020.

Thanks for taking a bit to chat, Kaleen. I know everyone loves working alongside you and we all value the huge contributions you make in our Online Marketing Team and for so many of our K-12 clients. Any last thoughts?

Well, I feel like we’ve grown a lot this year as a team and we see that in our client base, too. That has been a fun challenge to face. And I can’t talk about the last year without talking about Laura [Eisenga]. Hiring her this year to work with our growing number of K-12 school clients was HUGE. I’ve loved working with her and training her as she gets off and running with our team. She’s been wonderful, and it’s a bonus for me to have a teammate in my time zone! She’s instrumental and just fun to work alongside.

North Star has built deep expertise in this market segment over the years, so it’s great to see growth like this. It’s also great to see that the fundamental way we serve our clients hasn’t changed, though, even with the growth. We’ve been true to that, and our leadership team just keeps prioritizing that continuity, which I think is so valuable. It makes me even more hopeful about the years ahead.

Happy Workiversary, Kaleen!

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