Research consists in seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what no one else has thought.
– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
A survey by The Parthenon Group of prospective and current college students across different age groups identified among them six audience segments, based on their motivations for enrolling in college and what they hope their bachelor’s degrees will enable them to do.
The study implies that audience targeting on the simple basis of traditional vs. non-traditional students is “no longer sufficient in providing college leaders with the understanding of what drives the enrollment decisions of prospective students, and developing the right product and offering to meet their needs with the resources of the university.”
Check out the infographic of the six audience segments and see how closely the proportions in your institution’s target market correspond with the national norms. Many colleges have a culture of only thinking in terms of one primary target market: traditional residential students. The times, they are a-changin.’ Higher education marketers have to change their thinking too.
Jeff Selingo, a contributing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education who is a past Summer Seminar speaker on “The Value Gap” and interviewee in The Lawlor Review on “Higher Ed, Post-Disruption,” co-authored the report.