The 2012 Interacting Marketing Preferences of Adult Learners

For Professional and Continuing Education Leaders

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We updated our 2009 study of adult learner interactive marketing preferences and behavior and found exactly that. Adult learners value email, search engines, and direct mail as preferred sources of college and university information above social media. Their online behavior matches their words, with 92% using email daily and 78% using search engines daily. Our research indicates little change in communication preferences and online behavior from 2009 to 2011.

While the focus is often on what channel to use to reach adult learners, our survey respondents indicate that what you have to say is as important as the marketing channels used to deliver your brand message. Interactive marketing may best be defined as a philosophy of intelligent engagement with the audience that is most important to you.

Professional, graduate, and continuing education marketers interested in improving performance will focus on choosing objectives that support the student decision process first, investigate channel participation and preferences, validate relevant strategies, identify success metrics, and leverage technologies to enable a well-conceived plan. In this research report, discover recommendations from adult learners, the patterns of interactive channels, and what we say when “it is time to be C.I.V.I.L.”.


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