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By Elizabeth Foley

In the last few years, one of the biggest trends among communications and marketing professionals has been to predict the rapid growth of university and college marketing.  For example, University Business published an article five years ago highlighting the importance for college marketers to measure the success of their future marketing campaigns.  At Melior, higher education market research has been one of the fastest growing segments of our business in recent years.

So, now that marketing research is an established industry practice in higher education, we think it’s time to take another look at common research techniques.  Traditionally, top-of-mind awareness is used as a metric of success to understand where various colleges rank in the minds of prospective students and parents.

However, in a market where there’s so much noise and colleges are really stepping up their marketing initiatives, we realized that the traditional measures can no longer tell the whole story.  There are other measures that colleges need to pay more attention to when creating their marketing strategies, including:

• Likelihood to visit

• Interest in applying

• Likelihood to recommend

• Web/social media activities

• Alumni giving/engagement

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