"If you build it, he will come"…or not

Field of Dreams is a great movie, and in the last 10 years colleges and universities have experienced similar stressors felt by Kevin Costner from his role in the movie as Ray Kinsella.  As you may recall, Ray Kinsella built an amazing ball diamond on his farm, and expected people to show to watch a ballgame.  It made perfect sense to him, and so he worked tirelessly to create the perfect environment for the fan and player experience.  There was only 1 problem, no one showed early on…in fact, he almost lost the farm.  

Academic planning is often treated in a similar fashion in higher education.  Fueled by passion from educators, and a need to increase revenue, a new academic program is proposed, designed and approved.  Then, there is a handoff to marketing and enrollment staff to market, recruit, and enroll  (heck, let’s say 20+ new students) within 6 months to help meet revenue goals. The common result is a missed enrollment goal.  So, it’s safe to say the popular line from the movie, “if you build it, he will come” isn’t true in either situation unless proper planning is in place.

To improve your academic program planning, marketing, and enrollment efforts, we recommend you consider the following:

  • Integrate marketing and enrollment staff in the design and implementation, or enhancement, process of new or existing programs.
  • Utilize data to inform the relevancy of academic groups to labor market demands.  This will allow you to better understand workforce opportunities and possible interest for the academic program in itself
  • Utilize data to inform marketing efforts…think about the key terms individuals are searching to find relevant programs, think about trending markets with qualified prospects, think about competitors, etc.

We realize most universities have limited resources focused on data insights to inform their efforts. That’s why PEAK focuses on delivering market research to ease the stress involved in optimally marketing and recruiting students.  

Need new, or improved data? Let’s connect.


“Sometimes, when you believe the impossible, the incredible comes true.” Field of Dreams

Julie GacnikComment