Where is the next Steve Jobs? How do I get him to apply to my school?

Ninety-three percent.  That is the percentage of teenagers who browse the web at least once a day (www.pewresearch.org ). With all of the technological advancements and major tech brands becoming household names, the human population’s behaviors, habits and decision making have evolved.  As higher education marketers, we need to evolve with the rest of the world too, when developing marketing strategies and plans.  We need to understand the thinking and behavior patterns of a 17 year-old who lives across oceans while evaluating which continent, country, state and university and degree that they would like to pursue. While there are many uncontrollable factors such as family heritage and cost that would prevent an prospective international student from choosing your college/university there are many controllable factors that we can develop to get the attention of a 17- year old. During this information age, the question on  every higher education marketers mind should be, “How do I attract the best students to apply to my school, regardless of whether they live in the same zip code or oceans away?” The fact of the matter is, those who you are trying to recruit have already made the decision of attending college. Therefore it is up to you to decide if you are going to recruit or if you are going to let your competitor recruit the next Steve Jobs.

As shown on the map below, there are thousands of students each year migrating to the United States seeking higher education.  During their selection process, unlike traditional students, only a handful of international students visit the campus before applying. Typically, move-in day is the first time they are seeing the University. Therefore the information needed to make the decision is gathered via the university website, social media and networking.  The material and information presented on the web carries the most weight in the decision making process. Thus all or the majority of your resources and energy should be put into creating a strategy with online marketing.  There are two things that I would like you to take away from this reading that I would like you to remember during your next strategy meeting.  One, ninety-three percent is the percent of teenagers who browse the web at least once a day. Two, the internet is the only place that connects all people without borders. This should be enough information to effectively implement your strategic marketing plan to recruit the next Steve Jobs.

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