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>In reading Seth Godin’s blog on “Raising Expectations (and then dashing them), I am reminded of the popular Wendy’s ad of “Where’s the Beef?” The commercial showed a group of women surrounding a huge hamburger bun, taking the top off of it and peering down at this little tiny piece of meat. One older woman exclaims “where’s the beef?” and begins repeating this mantra over and over. The slogan quickly becomes an iconic phrase to mean “where’s the value?”

Over the years, 50% of Catholic schools have closed. Catholic education used to be inexpensive compared to private schools as the teaching force mainly consisted of nuns who required little to no pay. Now, that is no longer the situation. One solution has been to focus on how to step up the marketing to attract parents and students. Marketing without creating true value is not effective. Customers in this case, families and students, will quickly reply “where’s the beef?”

Same lies true today with colleges and universities who spend enormous sums of money attracting new students, while providing little attention to the students they already have. The true solution lies in looking through the lens of your customer and creating a culture and experience that delights, develops and delivers on the product that was promised.

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