Student Recruitment/Know Your Audience

Today in the Chronicle of Higher Education there was an excellent article about student recruitment.  One paragraph in particular spoke to me…..

Maybe that sounds ridiculous. Or maybe colleges are generally bad at listening.  Most students Longmire surveyed said colleges cared more about touting their offerings than understanding potential matriculants.  “That’s a damning indictment of where colleges place their focus in recruiting”,  says Bob Longmire, the company’s president.  “If all someone did on a date was talk about themselves, you probably wouldn’t go on a second date.”

I found this particular paragraph interesting because I think it demonstrates what many of us have discussed regarding Nebraska Extension’s marketing materials.  Our best marketing comes from writing/delivery methods that focus on the end clientele….not necessarily how awesome we are….even though we are awesome!  🙂

The researchers in this article go on to say that the best marketing advice comes from listening…that through listening intently, we can create a very valuable feedback loop.  Through that feedback loop we can develop strategies to reach out to and that speak to potential matriculants.

I believe that this same marketing concept is very applicable to Nebraska Extension.  If we focus our marketing on what participants have to gain by involving themselves, vs. marketing the number of years we’ve been around, or that we’ve reached thousands (which the end clientele either immediately will feel part of a group, or feel excluded), then I believe we have moved toward developing a concept of individualized marketing plans….or as Chuck would say “the Amazon experience”.


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