Clients with limited budgets often ask me, “Which programs should we focus our enrollment marketing efforts on?” The answer, I tell them, lies in the four Ps.
People are at the core of any successful graduate and adult program. Engaged students require an engaged faculty. All successful programs have dynamic faculty and always have a program champion. The best program champions carry the torch on all academic and enrollment marketing efforts.
Products are the items that satisfy a student’s needs or wants. You must determine how your product – your degree offerings, for example – is unique to the market and who is most likely to want what you’re offering. A great example of this is one of our clients, Concordia University in Irvine, CA, which was the first to market eight years ago with a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration. Today the program enrolls over 500 students online across the nation.
Performance is based on the outcomes or stories that prove your product’s worth in a powerful way. All great stories clearly illustrate the programs unique value. It needs to highlight the differentiating value of your program. The outcomes, or the “what does this degree do for me?” part of the story, needs to be concrete and quantifiable. Marketers have known for years that stories are a powerful tool for persuading people. That’s partly because stories (unlike statistics) are easy to understand. Storytelling is in our blood, as is listening to stories and relating to them. Storytelling is the most powerful structure you can possibly use to build any enrollment marketing argument. It’s the perfect way to demonstrate performance.
Passion or being passionate about servicing students is the last P universities must have in order to maintain and promote a successful program. Observing passionate faculty and staff is uplifting and exciting, even for a consultant like me. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very passionate individuals, and have first-hand information for you. They are driven by goals, are result-oriented, and they don’t let anything stop them. They have a “find a way” attitude. They don’t take no for an answer. If you need a job done with excellence, find the passionate individuals.
So, the next time you’re wondering which of your programs are worthy of your extra attention, look for these four Ps. They’ll point you in the right direction.