DemandEngine Releases New Research on Adult Learner Communication Preferences
Enrollment marketers should build a foundation on email and search before moving into new channels
(Tampa, Fl – February 12, 2010) -- DemandEngine, a leading provider of enrollment marketing consulting and services for higher education, released new research on adult learner communication preferences at the UCEA Marketing Seminar in Tampa, Florida. Adult learners prefer using search engines, email, and direct mail to learn about colleges and universities, over social technologies such as Twitter and Facebook. The survey, conducted in October 2009, generated some 3,700 responses from adult learners ages 22 – 50 across the country.
“With an ever expanding communication tool set, enrollment marketers are challenged to manage an increasing level of complexity in reaching students,” said Tim Copeland, General Manager, DemandEngine. “With ten research partners, colleges and universities offering professional and continuing education across the country, we sought to identify how adult learners desire to learn about educational opportunities and to discover the behaviors they currently engage in online.”
Tim Copeland, and Stacy Snow, University of Missouri, presented the results in a session entitled “Direct Mail, Email, Facebook, or Twitter? How Adult Learners Want to Be Contacted.” To download a research summary, go here (2.8 MB).
The survey asked adult learners to evaluate seven one-to-one channels at the prospect, inquiry, and applicant/registrant phase of their decision process. These channels included: social networks, phone calls, direct mail, email, search engines, text messages, and Twitter.
“Enrollment marketers are resource-constrained and must choose carefully from a number of available marketing initiatives,” Copeland commented. “Yet despite the available tool set students are telling us they want more relevant dialogue from the colleges and universities they are considering, rather than more volume.”
Respondents were also asked to evaluate their participation in a range of online behaviors. “By focusing on behaviors, enrollment marketers can develop strategies that are independent of the latest technology,” Copeland continued.
Social networks have a place in enrollment marketing, if marketers change their approach, according to Copeland. “Social networks are an ideal space to convey what it’s like to be a student at your institution. However, as in any personal network, it has to be nurtured. Start with a strategy first, before selecting the tools.”
Research partners provided their own lists of current inquiries, applicants, registrants, and recently enrolled students. Partners included: Ball State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, High Point University, Louisiana State University, St. John’s University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Washington. In all, 50,000 students were invited to participate in the survey.
DemandEngine is an enrollment marketing consulting and services company dedicated to higher education. Combining talent, strategy, and technology, the firm helps colleges and universities uncover demand and connect with their students, influencers, and other constituents to reach desired objectives. DemandEngine professional services include Interactive Enrollment Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Marketing, Social Strategy, Touchpoint Management and Email Marketing programs. For more information, please call 912.354.8007 or visit http://www.demandengine.com.