Reaching Search and Shop Students

Breakthrough Practices for Creating Differentiated Value for Prospects and Building Lifelong Learner Relationships

Topics: Customer Relationship Management, Information Technology, Enrollment Management, Marketing and Branding, Admissions

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Executive Summary

Just as higher education has reached threshold proficiency with first-generation online marketing disciplines like SEO and PPC, student behavior has profoundly changed.

Today’s student is comfortable with and skilled at finding and comparing educational options—and they're willing to look for programs that match their educational and career advancement objectives. As a result, the appeal of mass web advertising and conventional prospecting funnels has decreased—evidenced by for-profits’ splashy investments in high-touch recruiting interfaces.

Based on more than 200 interviews with higher education innovators and private sector experts, our research examines:

  • How progressive institutions are adding value in the search process by creating differentiated messages and services for recruiting career changers
  • What kinds of exclusive benefits and career maps are proving most effective at fostering repeat purchase behavior
  • How schools are rewarding word-of-mouth referrals by incentivizing current and former students to pass quality leads
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The Challenge