Situation/Objective: A community college (enrollment 13,000) has experienced strong growth but has reached a crossroads: courses of study that have been its strength are at capacity; it is not sure what its ‘customers’ think of its long-running advertising campaign; and the formula for its funding from the state is changing. In addition, it needs help developing a strategy for its online programs.
Action: PMI develops methodologies appropriate for each of its many audiences:
– Focus groups to talk to prospective students, current students, graduates, and high school counselors (who, like doctors, influence students school choice decision)
– Online bulletin boards for online students
– One-on-one interviews for students who have dropped out
– An online quantitative survey after the qualitative has been completed
Results: The school has clear feedback on its advertising campaign, which is changed to reach specific audiences with new messages that resonate. New programs with academic strength, capacity, and profit potential are now emphasized, including online. Awareness is increased of the many resources available to students to help them succeed (to address retention). The school develops a new marketing plan, supported by a new budget and execution timetable, with buy-in from internal stakeholders.