Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why prospect three times a year, when potential students are looking for degree information on a daily basis?

My past 23 years has taught me a few interesting things about Universities. First, and foremost they are "traditional" in their approach to marketing. They think that there are two key semesters per year, and one summer session (by and large). So, they market three times a year. Yet, prospects are a fickle bunch. They go on line, research for information and want to make a decision when THEY are ready, [...more] not when you advertise to them. So, the question becomes, how do we reach prospects when they are doing their immediate search, OR, as close as possible to the time when they are doing their research.

As most advertising articles will tell you, customers frequently select an item based on their last impression. What I am saying is, when presented with a number of options to buy from a given company/institution, the one that last contacted them (or, in the case of Higher Education was the first) is the one they choose. Degree program offerings, cost, location are all factors, but when you get right down to it, if you have the right program, at the right price in the right place, you will capture them as a student simply because YOU were the one to contact them.

Let's say there are 20 different institutions of higher education in your market area. Prospects are confused, curious as to which one is best for them, and yet, the one that is responsive, contacts them first, follows up with good information in a timely manner will likely win. So, how do you do that?

Change your mindset from marketing three times a year, to marketing monthly, weekly and if possible daily! Imagine one week after searching for a degree program in business, a prospect gets an e-mail from your institution offering them a free consultation (for not only the student, but their family as well), give them a counselor that is uniquely theirs to contact, invite them to visit a class, whatever you are able to offer to get them moving forward. They expressed interest in completing their degree or getting an advance degree only 4 days ago. Now your message goes out, offering to help! Kind of like setting up a school Concierge program.

We do the e-mail campaign, you get the response in a timely manner. Change how you think about marketing. Focus on what the prospect wants TODAY. A quick reply to their search. Market Mapping plus LLC can make that happen. Contact us today for a quote and to discuss how to implement a program that targets your best audience in a timely way.

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