A new study called “The Super Investigator Goes to College” discovered the responses of more than 2,300 students across the United States and is providing a very valuable interactive tool for college admissions and marketing professionals.
Lipman Hearne, the nation’s leading marketing and communication firm for higher education organizations, partnered with Cappex.com, a site dedicated to connecting colleges and students, to research the role of demographics in college decisions.
“Where a student chooses to attend college is highly personal, and many cultural cheap nfl jerseys norms play out in the process, explains Tom Abrahamson, chairman of Lipman Hearne. “The key for higher education enrollment management and marketing professionals is to know how to customize messages about their institution to specific student segments and choose the best channels for reaching them in a way that appeals to each grouping, while telling a consistent and appealing brand story.”
“The Super Investigator Goes to College” shows how certain marketing tactics and school characteristics influence some students more than others. Unlike most studies, which poll students prior to enrollment, respondents to this survey were college freshmen who had settled into their chosen college. This adds more credibility to the survey, say Lipman Hearne and Cappex officials, because students are actually on campus and have fully been exposed to the marketing strategies of the school.
Race: The survey showed that African-American males were less influenced by financial aid/scholarship awards than white females were. In fact, the research concluded that students of color across the country reported that college fairs and emails from the admissions offices were key information sources. Simultaneously, those sources didn’t even rank for white students.
Geotargeting: Location is another demographic with much influence. Students in the south seem to care more about “appealing college traditions,” while students in the north, specifically in New England, were more interested in “international and global experiences.”
Gender: Females with high SAT/ACT scores tend to be more focused on academics, while males with lower standardized test scores are drawn to “appealing campus traditions” and Division 1 sports. And, unlike Hispanic females, Hispanic males were more inclined to choose a school based on where a friend is going.
Many higher education marketers are finding the interactive aspect of the report, which enables users to “order up” their own queries – at no cost – to examine the exact insights they want, extremely valuable when it comes to developing marketing strategies that can reach and influence students from each demographic.
“In this time of tight budgets and increased pressure on institutions to better understand students, this is a valuable tool,” says John Pyle, Ed.D, vice president for enrollment, marketing, and strategic initiatives at Saint Mary’s University. “The research gives enrollment managers and marketers a launching off point for further exploration as to why groups are influenced.”