Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | December 21st, 2021

Focus your marketing on the student, not your school

Focus your marketing on the student, not your schoolWhen you are developing a marketing strategy, there are several steps you might take before arriving at a fully-fleshed out and integrated plan. Of course, finding your unique selling proposition (USP), determining your competitive advantages, outlining the accomplishments of your faculty, and highlighting your distinguished alumni are all important. But how do you avoid this blatant boasting, or listing your accomplishments in the hopes of impressing your leads? Start by focusing your go-to-market strategy on the student, not your school. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, it can make a difference in the way your leads interact with your admissions process.

Start with your student in mind

Where are they at in their journey? What barriers do they have in their decision-making process? How long is their consideration cycle? What do they value? These kinds of questions can serve as a jumping-off point for creating valuable personas for your prospective students. They can help you focus your marketing messages and even determine where to place your media. Additionally, using keywords and phrases that relate to the questions students may be asking themselves during the research and application process can improve your website’s SEO capabilities and make your school more searchable.

Merge features and benefits

Can you find a way to connect your program or university’s unique features to benefits for the student? Doing this could be the difference in converting a lead. It’s one thing to list all of the great offerings of your school, but directly tying them to benefits to the student can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are some examples:

  • Features-only statement: Our Executive MBA program offers hybrid learning.
  • Features-benefit statement: Our Executive MBA program offers a hybrid learning model that allows busy professionals convenient class times so they can maintain their career momentum.
  • Features-only statement: Our MBA faculty are nationally recognized in their fields.
  • Features-benefit statement: Our MBA faculty are nationally recognized in operations and give our students unique insights into career fields that focus on supply chain, logistics, process management and product design.

Use alumni success stories to create a connection

While high-profile alumni showcase your impressive network, keep in mind that success can look different for different people. While some prospects may be pursuing an MBA to solidify a path to the C-suite, others may be focused on creating their own business or shifting their career completely. Be sure that any alumni success you highlight is aimed at a personal and relatable story. Also, aim to include a wide variety of industries, paths, and demographics. Prospects need to be able to see themselves in the stories you tell — and focusing on personal connection can go a long way.

If you need more ideas on marketing strategy, selecting the right digital advertising channels to reach your target market, or personalizing communications for your prospects, contact GPRS today. We can help you develop a plan to fit within your strategy and budget.