Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | November 16th, 2021

Tailoring your messaging to your prospects’ career goals

Tailor your marketing to your prospects’ career goalsIn a recent GMAC research survey, prospective students outlined their top reasons for pursuing an MBA. Not surprisingly, getting a raise and advancing in title showed up at the top of the list. Among other goals for prospects were obtaining management experience and a global business mindset. So how — as a marketer — do you find ways to connect the dots between their aspirations and what your program offers? Saying it is one thing but showing it may be even more powerful. Read on for some tips to address common outcomes prospects are seeking.

Top 3 Career goals for MBA students
Image source: Prospective Students Survey. Data collected between Jan-Jun, 2021

Management experience

While your curriculum and course summaries may be listed online, schools can win big by showcasing the type of management experience students will gain by giving real examples. This can be done by highlighting:

  • Client projects where students will function as a leader on a cross-functional team
  • Presentations to entrepreneurs, business leaders and classmates
  • Case studies evaluating and solving real business challenges
  • Competitions among student groups aimed at creating business plans or launching a company
  • Clubs that allow students to lead in an arena of their own interest

Getting a raise

When students are evaluating their career trajectory, they may start by looking at the salary they’d like to make. Some may be seeking a steady increase in salary with a gradual and more traditional climb up the corporate ladder, while others may desire a large jump with an accompanying industry or functional role jump. For schools, outcomes data is often trended over a longer period of time. And although you may not be able to promise an immediate salary jump, it’s important to show upward trends. You can do this through:

  • Including salary reporting data on your website and in communications
  • Reporting on how your school compares to peer schools or national trends
  • Highlighting the ROI story and how quickly students recouped their investment in their advanced degree

Obtaining a promotion or management role

Whether prospects’ goals are to move up the corporate ladder in their chosen field, or to switch industries altogether, they may see an MBA as the key that can open up their next set of doors. Finding a way to position your program as their partner along the journey to a rewarding promotion or management role is key. You can show the value of your program through the lens of career growth by:

  • Sharing alumni testimonials that highlight career movement
  • Reinforcing that an MBA offers a crash course in speaking the “language of business”
  • Showing how broadening your perspective can gain you a seat at the table where decisions are being made
  • Including promotion data on your website and in communications

Global immersion

Whether it’s working outside the country or collaborating across borders, prospects who aspire to a global career are looking for valuable and unique experiences that immerse them in different cultures. It’s important to outline what your global curriculum looks like to help prospects make decisions during the admissions process. To differentiate your program in a sea of programs offering a global mindset, try:

  • Highlighting the student experience through photo galleries and videos
  • Profiling what a diverse work group looks like from a geographic and industry view
  • Detailing what an international immersion might look like through a “day in the life”
  • Outlining what a global work study or exchange program might look like
  • Showcasing trips and explaining what will happen on each one

As you are developing your communications plan, it’s important to consider the key outcomes your prospects are seeking. Focusing on what success looks like for them will help you craft a message that is actionable and relatable, ultimately encouraging inquiry. Having a trusted partner by your side can help you develop a targeted communications plan. GPRS has worked with many schools to create, deploy and optimize their marketing and recruiting campaigns. Start the conversation today.