For many universities marketing to adults, online study can substantially increase student enrolment. For instance, most regional universities rely heavily on their local catchment schools to provide students. The difficulty is student school numbers vary year by year and the attraction of larger city campuses will divert young people away from you
Marketing to Adults requires a different approach to marketing to school leavers. For school leavers going to university, or to another educational institute is a normal and expected milestone, simply because they’re all 17 or 18, live at home and the road to university is engrained in their physique.
Not so for adults. For most it’s been years since they’ve gone to “school” and making a decision to further their education is not taken lightly and with considerable soul searching.
Why Adults Choose To Study
Consider the reasons adults might want to study. Improve financial security, carers returning to the workforce, older people who expected to have the security of job tenure, workers who require ongoing skills development, people looking for a more satisfying career, the under-educated older adults wanting to do so now, those wanting to establish their own business, those seeking a new job, those who face retirement but now need to continue to work, those with disabilities or special needs choosing appropriate life directions, those who’ve been made redundant, and finally employers seeking to attract and retain their best workers.
My point is none of these applies to school leavers so you must treat this cohort differently. Studies show that if you treat adults as you would teenage school leavers they will not respond.
We’re Made For Students Like You
The institutions that do best with adults are those that convey the message that they really welcome them as adult learners, and promise they’ll look after them, care for them, support them, understand them, no matter how life might get in the way. For adults, further education is a major life decision and one you’ll need patience in answering questions and managing their concerns. These people are likely to have teenagers of their own so the big mistake is to treat them like one.
One university that has learnt this lesson is the University of New England (UNE). It’s ranked #1 as Australia’s top online university and produces exceptionally high course satisfaction rates and high graduate salaries. Since 2015 UNE has been reaching out to online adult learners using the MyFutureFindera MyCareerMatch Recruit program that engages with future students matching their personalities to careers and courses offered by UNE. Over 28,000adults completed a MyFutureFinder with a further 10,000 being parents of students using the program at high school. The resulting leads provide UNE with a wealth of contacts of those wanting to further their education and study online.
Nathan Chanesman CEO MyCareerMatch Recruit firstname.lastname@example.org Contact me to discuss our Adult Recruitment Program.