Unlocking the Power of Marketing Segmentation

Unlocking the Power of Marketing Segmentation

For those of us in education marketing, the first thing we think of when talking about segmentation is demographics. But if you stop there, you’ll miss the real power behind marketing segmentation.

In the vast amounts of material available today on education marketing, you’ll almost always come across a word about segmentation. There’s good reason for that.

The most effective marketing messages are the ones that zero-in tightly on your target audiences.

Yelling into the town square won’t get my attention. But just mention my name and you’ll have my ear.

I think we all understand this instinctively. So today, instead of showing you why you should be segmenting your audiences, I want to show you how to tap into the real power of segmentation.

The real power of segmentation kicks in when you understand the various levels of segmentation and leverage them all to create the most useful and irresistible content possible for them.

Too many education marketers dive into segmentation by dividing up their audience by one or two segmentation methods. But the most successful marketers have mastered the art of using all three levels of segmentation to craft their school marketing content.

Segmentation 101: Demographics

Almost every marketer begins their segmentation process with the simplest type of information: demographics. Data to begin your segmentation at this level is basic:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Physical Address
  • Ethnicity
  • Household income
  • Homeownership
  • Education
  • Number of Children
  • Marital status

You can get this information from a variety of sources—list brokers, wealth analytic models, etc. But the best way to get this information is from your audience themselves.

When your audience tells you about themselves through marketing surveys or by giving you their contact info in order to download your latest resource, it’s free and highly accurate. In contrast, you’ll pay through the nose for data brokers, and even then, they can only promise so much accuracy.

But no matter how you acquire your demographics, this is only the beginning level of segmentation. To experience phenomenal results in your education marketing, you have to go to the next level.

Segmentation 201: Psychographics

Psychographics is a big, fancy term that just means knowing how a group of people view the world and themselves.

It’s the story that they’re telling themselves about themselves and the world in which they live. In other words, when your audience thinks or talks about your area of education…

  • What do they want more than anything else?
  • What do they worry most about?
  • What angers them?
  • What makes them happy?
  • What experiences do they remember?
  • What makes them proud?

For me, this is the most helpful way for you as an education marketer to determine the psychographics of your audience:

What questions are they asking that my school is uniquely positioned to answer?

How do I choose a career? Is my child really going to do better in life if I invest in a private school education? Does it make any difference if I choose a rural or urban campus?

Questions like these show you what your audience cares about, worries about, and hopes for.

This level is so effective, if you stayed here, you’d see a tremendous increase in your marketing results. But, to unlock the full power of segmentation, there’s one more level you need to reach.

Segmentation: 301: Engagement

Engagement is where reality meets theory, where strategy meets the real world. No matter what your preliminary research, interviews, and focus groups might tell you, you need to collect engagement data and refine your audience segments based on what you learn.

Some examples of engagement data are:

  • Email opens
  • Click thrus
  • Number of visits to your website
  • Time spent on your website
  • Signed up for event like campus visit, alumni reunion, etc.
  • Downloaded your viewbook
  • Subscribed to your alumni newsletter

The beauty of analyzing engagement data is that now you’re not just talking to your audience—you’re listening to them!

For example, when you see high traffic on a blog post, you know that topic is resonating with your audience. You can then repurpose that content in other channels like print or a video.

When you begin understanding your audience through the lens of all three levels of segmentation, you’ll discover the true power of segmentation.

We’re here to help!

Of course, using all three levels of segmentation takes time and an experienced hand.

We’d be happy to help you and your team unlock the benefits of segmentation and inbound marketing for your school, college, or university.

Get ahold of us today to find out how we can help you achieve the results you know your school deserves.

Image by NJ via Adobe Stock

This post was originally published at: https://www.caylor-solutions.com/unlocking-power-segmentation/



2025: Imagining the Future of Mobile Apps in Higher Education

2025: Imagining the Future of Mobile Apps in Higher Education Students are Likely to Have an Unprecedented Level of Flexibility and Functionality in the Mobile-Enabled Higher Ed World of Tomorrow The folks at Anagram Interactive have partenered with Radar.io to…

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Digital Technologies and Education Tweet Recap, w/e 02-17-18

Digital Technologies and Education Tweet Recap, w/e 02-17-18 Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets posted on Twitter over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers. This week in the wrap, we start off with an…

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10 Components of a Successful Education Marketing Plan – Part II

10 Components of a Successful Education Marketing Plan – Part II

Marketing is a disciplined approach to corporate communications that increases your organization’s bottom line, expands the scope of your influence, and broadens your impact.

Marketing isn’t gambling. Marketing is not magic. So why do some schools’ marketing efforts work and others do not?

Well, because successful marketing is a discipline. It’s work… work that pays off when done well.

Education marketing that fills recruitment pipelines and builds donor pyramids requires specialized skills and knowledge. But the one thing that ties it all together for you and your team is your education marketing plan.

Last week, I showed you the first five must-have components of a successful education marketing plan. Today, let’s dive into the final five.

6. Competition (Price) Research

The sixth component of a successful education marketing plan is that it documents the advantages and offers of other schools like yours. Limit your research to the top 3 or 4 competitors who’re reaching out to the same target audiences you are or who have similar distinctives.

Key Questions to Ask

  • How much do my competitors charge?
  • What do they do better than we do?
  • What do we do better than they do?

7. Content Strategy

In today’s world, content is king. With more ways to consume information, and more devices to access content, prospective students and their families look for corporate brands (like your college, university, or school) to produce informative and entertaining content as if they were media companies.

Thankfully, content marketing isn’t new. Major brands like John Deere have built their empires on it. And now that methods and equipment for media creation have become more cost-effective, even schools on tight budgets can create and distribute irresistible content for their target audiences.

Key Questions to Ask

  • What content channels (blogs, videos, infographics, print, etc.) are we best equipped to create?
  • What content channels are most effective to reach our target audiences?
  • What content channels fit within our budgetary restrictions?
  • What content channels can we best measure to know our return on investment?
  • What are the questions our audiences are asking?
  • What content could we create to answer their questions?

8. Distribution Plan

If content is your “product,” then you need a way to get it to your “customers.” You need a distribution section for your education marketing plan.

Here is where you line up the various platforms that you’ll use to announce your newly published content. By using well-written headers, banners, images, popups, social media posts, and more, you will be able to drive traffic to your content.

In this section, you’ll write out the various requirements you have for those managing each platform. For example, if you’re posting to Instagram, you may specify that every post must have stunning imagery, or hashtags, or other specifications to assure the successful use of your distribution channels.

Probably the most important reason to include this section in your plan is that it will focus your messaging in places where your audience hangs out. By creating a distribution plan, you’ll avoid wasting your efforts, resources, and time on distributing content on platforms that fail to catch your audience’s attention.

9. Editorial Calendar

Please, please, please… don’t forget your editorial calendar! Your editorial calendar is where the rubber meets the road.

Your calendar tells you and your team what content will be created, for whom, and by when.

The editorial calendar is your accountability tool that keeps content production up to speed and running like a factory. Without it, you’ll get slowed down or lost in the process.

10. Marketing Budget

At last, we come to the end of our list. But although it’s last on my list today, a successful education marketing plan will be written with the budget in mind from start to finish.

However, it’s a good idea to include the marketing budget within your plan for quick reference. You’ll also want to have it there to see how well you stayed on budget. This information will prove helpful when you rework your marketing plan in the future.

Besides serving as a quick reference to your larger marketing budget, the budget you put into your marketing plan should also connect each activity within your plan to the more general numbers of your departmental budget.

Most marketing budgets are rather high-level. So for your education marketing plan, you’ll want to take the broader categories of your marketing budget and drill down to tactical levels like…

Education Marketing Plan Service

At Caylor Solutions, we absolutely love helping schools like yours identify their greatest areas of opportunity and plan for marketing success. We’re here to help you take the mystery out of successful education marketing!

Get ahold of us today. The call is free, and there’s no obligation.

Image by AVAVA via Adobe Stock

This post was originally published at:  https://www.caylor-solutions.com/10-components-education-marketing-plan-2/