New White Paper Reveals How Teens Feel About Enrollment Marketing Tactics
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New White Paper Reveals How Teens Feel About Enrollment Marketing Tactics

Feb 27, 2018By Michael Stoner

How do teens feel about the tactics college and universities use to market to them during their college search and choice?

That’s the key question we set out to answer in the third and final study in our Mythbusting research series. And, as in previous studies, we also wanted to find out how much college and university marketers knew about what teens like and don’t like about the marketing and communication tactics institutions use to reach and engage them.

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Our survey, in partnership with NRCCUA® (National Research Center for College & University Admissions), explored topics ranging from teens use of college rankings to how they responded to various outreach channels, to how they want to be contacted during their admission journey, and by whom.

Key findings from Mythbusting Enrollment Marketing include:

  • Seven out of 10 teens report they do not consult mainstream college rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. However, nearly all professionals we surveyed believe teens rely on rankings when researching colleges.
  • Seventy-eight percent of teens say they are most influenced by a campus visit; 62 percent say they’re most influenced by a college’s website.
  • Two-thirds of teens (67 percent) recall seeing digital ads from a college. However, retargeting ads have little to no impact on perception for 57 percent of teens.
  • A majority (56 percent) of teens said that receiving a text from a college representative would positively impact their view of the institution, yet 82 percent of teens have never received texts from colleges.

Surprises In The Results

As in previous years, there are always surprises in the responses from both teens and professionals.

Teens are more open to receiving texts by college representatives than in previous studies. I won’t get into some of the finer points about enrollment marketing texting strategy, but before you fire up a spam text campaign, I urge you to read the column I wrote about this for Inside Higher Ed.

Another takeaway is that higher ed enrollment managers and marketers seem to have a pretty good understanding of what teens want — and don’t want — as far as enrollment marketing is concerned. However, they tend to overestimate the impact social media has on their recruitment efforts while under-emphasizing the value of face-to-face communications.

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The resulting white paper explores where teen’s and professional’s perspectives converge — and differ — and how marketers can leverage this knowledge. We uncover the best channels for boosting visibility among prospective teen students and identify what encourages them to apply to your institution.

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  • Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?