How Can Marketers Adapt to the Changes in Higher Education Marketing?

It is safe to say that in recent years there have been a number of dramatic changes seen in the way in which universities look to attract students to their institutions.

It is safe to say that in recent years there have been a number of dramatic changes seen in the way in which universities look to attract students to their institutions.

When it comes to influencing the decisions of prospective students, the traditional university prospectus has lost its appeal and is now behind several other factors. The factors that have become fundamental in a university’s education marketing campaign to attract new students are things such as their website, how proactive the open days are, location, signage and building up a positive rapport with both prospective students and their parents.

It is evident that how an institution manages these factors is going to determine whether or not the institution is going to enjoy long term success. Marketers are going to be given a fantastic opportunity to showcase their value to an institution in the upcoming years.

The changing landscape

Recent research conducted by YouthSight revealed that despite the fact that there have been no major changes in decision-making, there is an increasing focus by the 2013 applicant on how likely they are to gain a return on their investment.

The argument surrounding this situation has mainly focused on the student experience on campus or the opportunities available to students after they graduate. The big question nowadays is what about before students arrive on campus, or even when they are looking at the available options? The basic principles of market economics state that as the increase in tuition fees kicks in students will not only be considering their return on investment but also the initial investment that they will have to make.

What does this mean for universities? It means that universities will need to combine the traditional methods of attracting new students with a specifically targeted and personalised communications.  Being able to improve conversion rates has always required a major international focus in most universities. For some universities that are in the middle, this will become absolutely essential in targeting domestic students.

I think it is pretty clear that most universities will need to move their efforts forward by looking to focus their marketing efforts on specific cohorts of students starting from enquiries right through to enrolment which matches up with the objectives of the university.

What’s going to happen next?

Over the last five years, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of money allocated to the marketing of the university. At the moment, approximately 0.75% to 1.5% of a university’s revenue is spent on marketing. This is widely expected to increase by over 50% of the course of the next five years.

Overall, it is clear that marketers need to focus their efforts on successfully attracting students and influencing their decision to choose their institution. The challenge is obvious but the investment is also there. So all it needs now is for marketers to seize the opportunity to show off their value and skills. For more information about how to do effective education marketing please visit:

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