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Information Search

The concepts in this article will be further discussed in an enroll ml webinar on Tuesday, April 25, at 3:00 (eastern). 

By now, we’ve all had someone tell us to look for #collegemail on any social media thread.  The implication always seems to be: students aren’t reading your brochures, print is dead; invest in digital marketing instead.

But if you consider McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey, it makes sense that students would get inundated with college mail.

Step two – information search


The reason is that after they have made it to the first stop, problem recognition, they now enter the information search phase.  As admissions leaders know, this is a time in the student cycle when they are most open to being introduced to new colleges, new concepts, and new value propositions.

It’s when they are willing to move beyond a college list that includes “sweater colleges” – the name-brand institutions everyone knows about during March Madness – and local institutions that are nearby and have local name recognition.

So, although it may be an unpopular take, once you accept McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey, you’re left with no choice but to embrace the avalanche of print, email, and digital marketing that gets sent to students.  

Admissions directors who aren’t already doing so can evaluate their communication plans and make sure they line up correctly.  When students are most likely to be exploring new colleges, be sure your materials and messages remain an introduction.  Jump ahead to making a comparison (indirectly or otherwise), and you’ve gone too far, too fast, and are likely to lose some students.

The enroll ml webinar on April 25 (recording available afterward) will provide additional insights.

Teege Mettille
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