GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 31st, 2019

Marketing approaches: Key differences in marketing executive education vs. degree programs

Marketing approaches: Key differences in marketing executive education vs. degree programsCan you use the same marketing campaign, channels and budget to market your degree programs and executive education? You can, but you may not be thrilled with the results.

The truth is, although both leverage your brand and aim to educate students, these audiences differ quite a bit and so should your approach to communicating with them. Besides the demographics, here are a few key points of differentiation that are important to consider when crafting your marketing strategy for these unique groups.


Although this seems obvious, when you are asking someone to invest $2,000 in a program vs. $100,000, you can benefit from different messaging strategies. Here’s how you can address the cost difference:

  • Executive Education: focus on the immediate benefits like sharpened skills, applicable case studies, and resume boosters
  • Degree Programs: tout the long term benefits like network, strategic vision and upward mobility

Investment of Time

A 2-3 day program or online course takes less planning for than a 1-2 year commitment. Here’s how you can address the time investment difference:

  • Executive Education: make it easy for them to come to your program, give them enough notice so they can ask their manager for a couple of days to attend a training and emphasize immediate rewards
  • Degree Programs: address the barriers to their time commitment like family and career and assure them it will pay off in the long-run

Decision Cycle

Because of the cost and time investment, the decision-making process can either be quick or something they consider for up to 5 years. Here’s how you can stay integrated into their decision cycle:

  • Executive Education: stay top-of-mind, promote your calendar, and offer thought leadership and value-added content throughout the year so that when it’s time for them to act, you’re the first choice
  • Degree Programs: depending on the program, lead cycle time can vary greatly; be sure to stay in their consideration set with these tips


What motivates a working professional to attend a short program may be completely different from the goals of someone considering a degree program. Here’s how you can address different motivation sets.

  • Executive Education: focus on the immediate need to fill a skill gap and sell the return on investment for the employee and the organization (it is often the talent manager or supervisor helping make the decision)
  • Degree Programs: emphasize the long-term benefits, career trajectory, network and the return on investment

If you’re looking for more ways to hone in on your strategy for promoting a variety of programs at your school, GPRS can help. Leverage our long-term partnerships with universities in both the degree and executive education spaces to create a solid marketing plan that can address these unique audiences.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 12th, 2019

Ways to track your marketing spend, optimize your campaigns and find an ROI for your graduate student recruitment campaigns

ROI graduate student recruitment campaignsOne of the biggest questions that universities have about their marketing is related to its effectiveness. How do you know if your marketing spend is making a difference?

If you’re not sure if your recent spike or dip in interest, leads or applicants is related to your advertising, the competition, the economy or something else, you’re not alone. Gauging peaks and valleys and determining the root causes of what’s going on in your funnel can be difficult and often cryptic. Assuming that your marketing campaign is based on a sound strategy and tied to your enrollment goals, the next most important thing you can do related to your spend is to track it carefully so you can use data to optimize your campaigns for greater success.

But what data should you be looking at to gauge ROI? Here are the key metrics that can determine if your efforts are moving the needle.

Digital advertising is measured in 3 key ways (that matter to you): Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Lead (CPL) and Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – or seated student. This translates to: how much did you spend to get someone to click on your ad, convert into a lead, and then turn into a seated student?

In higher ed digital advertising, you often can’t get a true CPA until you have your final seated class. At that point, you can do a match-back process utilizing your reporting dashboard to see how many seated students came from your marketing. But since that may happen at the end of the year, the CPC and CPL are what you should be measuring and optimizing throughout your recruiting season.

Your digital agency will know what is typical by channel (i.e. LinkedIn vs. Facebook vs. retargeting) and can advise you on whether your campaigns are working or need to be adjusted – monthly, weekly or even daily. It is typical to start with a higher CPC which will lower as your campaign becomes more efficient. This often translates to a lower CPL because the people who are clicking on your ads are more qualified leads.

If you take it a step further and use a sophisticated campaign optimization platform that ties in with your CRM and aggregates all of the data in real time, you can get even smarter with your spend. When you can track every program inquiry back to not only a specific marketing campaign, but also to a particular image, message and ad size, you can powerfully optimize your campaigns and match your enrollment data back to your marketing efforts to prove ROI at the end of the year.

If you’re looking for an agency that is well-versed in digital campaign optimizations, GPRS is your partner. Our proprietary lead optimization system, GP InsightsTM, shows your real-time campaign data and can even display industry benchmark data showing how your peers and competition are trending. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to give you a demo.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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