The non-traditional student can be anyone. To have one definition of a non-traditional learner would limit what we’re trying to achieve. And trying to reach all of them is essentially like trying to boil the ocean. – Hillary Dostal, former director of global marketing, recruitment, and enrollment initiatives at Northeastern University
A 26-year-old who has just been laid off and seeks to complete a credential program and a 45-year-old stay-at-home mom thinking about a return to the workforce will respond to different messages communicated in different ways. These two prospects will be intrigued by selling points that speak to their own interests. They will prefer messaging written in different tones. They get their information through different channels. At their core, they have different wants, needs, concerns, and aspirations.
Still, both are terrific prospects for your institution.
So, what to do? Get to know your individual audiences. Speak directly to them on their terms. This is how you convey truly compelling messaging. It doesn’t require separate marketing initiatives per se, but it does require audience segmentation and very specific targeted messaging and execution.
Importantly, before you dive into the engagement piece, you’ll want to be sure that what you have on offer will help these prospective students succeed.
This is a very insightful ebook. It underscores the importance of differentiating non-traditional students from traditional students throughout the pipeline–from marketing to student success and engagement. The section on conducting an effective marketing audit is a good conversation starter for strategic development conversations. The real-world insights make the book a unique and valuable resource. ~ Santhana Naidu, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Done well, market segmentation enables you to create better-targeted content and helps ensure that you are spending your resources on initiatives that are the best fit for your institution. This marketing work is simply the organization of your potential students into groups by demographic, psychological, and behavioral characteristics. Segmentation allows you to decide which group represents the biggest opportunity for your institution. And by opportunity, we mean they will find success and their investment of time and money will pay off for them.
Make that group your target audience and create an offer that will appeal to them specifically.
Ready to learn how? Read on.Read More