Attracting New Students, Satisfying Current Students, and Creating Fans of an Educational Institution
Markteffect, a full-service market research company, investigated potential students’ orientation processes, how to increase current students’ happiness with their schools, and how schools can make fans and ambassadors of their current students and alumni. Multiple studies were conducted with research techniques like interviews, group discussions, and quantitative surveys among thousands of potential and current college and university students. Results show that current students’ experiences are especially important in potential students’ orientation processes and that social media can play an important role in creating a realistic impression of a school—especially its atmosphere, which is the strongest determinant of school choice. Good lecturers and clear communications regarding job possibilities also attract new students and enhance current students’ satisfaction. A strong connection with the school and fellow students creates alumni who are fans and who will play a role in attracting new students through word-of-mouth. Social networking sites, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, can help the school maintain contact with such fans. The study’s results can help schools optimize their recruiting strategies and digital marketing strategies to attract new students and to distinguish themselves from other schools.