Are You Targeting the Right Audience With Your Communication Plan?

It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it, and who you said it to.

Communication planning is overwhelming, because there are few guidelines or resources to simplify the process.  At the graduate level, prospective students are seeking different information as they explore academic programs.  And, many universities do not have dedicated content writers, so this overwhelming task falls into the “other duties” category for staff.

So, how do you create a communication plan that is more than a generic campaign composed of 5 emails targeting anyone and everyone that requested information?  You start with the data.

We recommend you run a few reports to understand demographic and behavioral indicators of prospective students most likely to enroll.  Evaluate key demographic and behavioral attributes of students that enrolled the past 3 years. Then, evaluate how this audience engaged in your communication plan. 

Next, evaluate prospects with attributes most like those who enrolled, but did not start or complete an application.  Identify what was different in their demographic and behavior attributes, and how their engagement in your communication plan was different than the matriculating audience. 

You may find the non-matriculating audience has behavioral trends (example, web addresses visited) suggesting they are seeking additional information on faculty research, or financial aid.  Use these indicators to inform enhancements to your communication plan.

Be mindful not to eliminate components of your communication plan that support your enrolling audiences, but rather enhance the content to drive additional action from non-matriculating audiences.  

Still overwhelmed by the data you’ll be working with?  Let’s partner to get the job done right. 

Julie Gacnik