6 questions today’s admissions and marketing should be asking

New consumer study analyzes prospective students’ online-based research habits and how these habits can inform admissions and marketing practices.

With so many options for how prospective students can find and gather information on colleges and universities today, it may seem overwhelming to try and determine exactly what practices admissions and marketing should implement.

To help today’s higher education admissions and marketing teams develop successful, efficient enrollment strategies, Jornaya (a sales insight data startup and formerly known as LeadiD) recently conducted a cross-industry analysis of over 40,000 consumers from a third-party generation channel, including those in the higher education market (prospective students), that converted to customers. Jornaya then traced those consumers back in time to understand their online behavior across several key factors leading up to their decision to convert.

The study dedicates a large amount of research on the enrollment journey, which could be helpful for institutions looking to maximize marketing ROI and meet enrollment goals; specifically, the research highlights six questions admissions and marketing should be asking today based on the study’s findings:

1. How much effort should you put into your school site’s mobile friendliness? Mobile use is common for consumer products purchases, but how does that translate for high consideration purchases like an education? How many prospective students use mobile exclusively when in the journey to find the right school to attend? What percent of prospects submit an inquiry from a mobile device?

According to Jornaya’s research, most prospective students begin their search for a suitable institution on mobile devices. Desktop devices were also used during later research on specific colleges and universities. Mobile device searches were also used toward the end of the decision-making process.

2. Do prospective students get most of their information from the school’s own web site? Or do they use third party education sites for information about school programs? Should you be investing any marketing spend with third party sites?

The study overwhelmingly showed that when looking at just third-party site visits—excluding any touch points directly on the brand’s own site—over 80 percent of consumers had more than one visit to a third-party site. Also, more than 50 percent had at least 4 third-party site visits, and 20 percent of consumers had more than 8 third-party site visits along their journey.

(Next page: Admissions and marketing question 3-6)