Marketing and Enrollment Management Benchmarks 2024

By: Jesse Homan Jan 09, 2024

Marketing and Enrollment Management Benchmarks 2024

Trends in Higher Education Marketing and Student Engagement

The marketing and enrollment management landscape continuously shifts, presenting new challenges and opportunities. The evolving nature of the student journey has ushered in an era where prospective students are becoming more inclined to narrow their options. Instead of considering a broad range of schools or programs, they will likely focus on a smaller, more manageable set of choices.

In addition to being selective, prospective students are becoming more specific about how they engage with the information and resources available.

Recognizing the imperative to stay ahead of these transformative trends, EducationDynamics introduces the Marketing and Enrollment Management Benchmarks 2024 report. This report explores recent developments in higher education marketing and student engagement, offering valuable insights for colleges and universities navigating the complexities of the modern student landscape.

By examining the trends in higher education marketing and student engagement, we aim to assist you in connecting with students in the most effective ways. Here are key insights you can expect to gain from the report:

The Student Journey is Becoming More
Complex and Interconnected

The journey to finding the right college or university is a multi-channel adventure for prospective students. From scrolling through social media to attending virtual campus tours, these tech-enabled students are exploring every avenue to connect with their future school.

With such a diverse array of touchpoints, higher education leaders and marketers cannot afford to silo their channels. Siloed channels can hinder the student experience, creating friction and potentially leading prospective students to competitors with more seamless enrollment processes.

Higher education leaders and marketers must prioritize a connected journey that bridges the gap between various touchpoints. This requires a strategic approach that leverages data and analytics to understand student behavior across channels, personalize communication, and provide consistent messaging.

graph showing the year over year changes by medium. The chart shows the touchpoints now include AVOD, Mobile Web Video Network TV, mobile apps, and cable tv.
Year Over Year Spend Changes by Medium – Source: Vivvix fna Kantar Media Intelligence

Prospective students are more likely to limit their consideration set and be more selective in their
decision-making process

Prospective students are adopting a more focused and selective approach in their decision-making process, actively seeking program specifics and cost information. While many students are particularly interested in obtaining clear and transparent information about tuition fees, a significant portion, 22%, of students are specifically looking for value-focused information based on our 2023 Online College Students Survey.

Prospective students are interested in more than just basic details. They are actively seeking information that emphasizes the value they would gain from the educational experience that is aligned with their personal goals and preferences.

Ensuring that this information is readily available and easily accessible on the institution’s website is crucial to meeting the expectations of prospective students in this changing landscape.

Data Point infographic that says 22% of online college students indicate value focused information is most important to them
A graph that tells what information is important to prospective students on an institution's website. Aside from costs, students indicate that the value of their education is most important to them.

Streaming media offers an opportunity to expand reach and economically optimize marketing outcomes through incremental reach

Streaming media, primarily through new channels like connected TV and FAST services, offers a valuable opportunity to expand reach and optimize outcomes among students.

Since 2019, the average number of streaming services per household has risen from 4 to 6. But as subscription costs for traditional platforms rise, students are turning to FAST services. Awareness marketing, particularly on connected TV and FAST channels, is increasingly influential in capturing student attention and should be considered in marketing strategies.

In your pursuit of connecting with students in today’s dynamic digital landscape, it’s crucial for higher education marketers to recognize the shift towards ad-supported streaming platforms. This change reflects evolving preferences among students. Adapt your strategies to engage with them in these dynamic online spaces effectively.

an infographic showing that Americans are now adopting more ad-supported streaming services at a faster rate than non-ad-supported streaming services.

Nurturing outreach is directly impacting the likelihood that potential students will enroll

Actively engaging and guiding prospective students through the decision-making process significantly contributes to their decision to enroll. Employing a well-rounded nurturing campaign across diverse communication channels is essential, acknowledging that individuals have varied preferences for information consumption.

a data point infographic that shows that 25% students starts engaged with nurturing campaigns.
a data point infographic that shows that 25% students starts engaged with nurturing campaigns.

The goal is to reach prospective students through their preferred mediums. Integrating enrollment management and marketing strategies, including phone, email, ringless voicemail, SMS campaigns, strategic retargeting, and social media, increases the likelihood of capturing potential students’ attention and presenting information in a resonant format, ultimately influencing their decision to enroll in a program.

Strategies for Higher Education Institutions to Adapt and Thrive

To thrive in the competitive educational landscape, embrace a dynamic growth strategy that involves a holistic, full-funnel approach, prioritizing enriching student experiences and acknowledging the interconnected nature of their educational journey.

In crafting compelling narratives, uplift the broader value of higher education, emphasizing its importance and tangible outcomes.

Crafting effective messaging entails focusing on content and ensuring consistent delivery across various channels accessible to prospective students, maintaining a unified and cohesive presence for a seamless and holistic experience.

Here are a few strategies your institution can start implementing to enhance your student outreach and engagement:

Invest in Your Institution’s Website

Your website plays a critical role in marketing, enrollment, and retention. Potential and current students need ease of access to information. Invest in tools that increase your organic presence, improve user experience, and optimize overall website performance.

Apply Awareness Strategies

Awareness building efforts have a long-term impact on enrollment growth. A dynamic and adaptive strategy that integrates digital tools, community engagement, and a commitment to excellence can help your institution cultivate a positive brand image, foster a sense of belonging, and ultimately drive sustained growth in enrollment.

Manage and Leverage Data Throughout the Funnel

Understand, measure, and optimize mid-funnel and micro-conversions that most significantly impact enrollment. Concentrate on the specific actions taken by prospective students and identify the trends that are most likely to result in enrollment.

Implement a Multi-Channel Approach

Leverage technology while building relationships across multiple channels to maximize your institution’s reach and increase the chances of attracting prospective students. Each channel has its own unique strengths and can be leveraged to target specific demographics or segments of your audience.

Continuously Nurture Known Prospective Students

Continue to engage and nurture your current students through graduation. The more satisfied and successful your students are, the more likely they will be to recommend your school and attract new prospective students.

 visually appealing graphic announcing the release of the Marketing and Enrollment Management Benchmarks report. The image features vibrant design elements and prominently displays a 'Download Report' button, inviting users to access the insightful findings.

Are you prepared to elevate your marketing and enrollment management strategies? Acquire the essential insights to propel your goals forward. Access the latest findings in the Marketing and Enrollment Management Benchmarks 2024 report.