Economic Recovery Brings Challenges to Education Marketers

Since 1990, the United States has experienced three major recessions, and during each of these tumultuous periods, higher education marketers have found a unique silver lining – student inquiries have sprouted easily and school enrollments have grown.

As economic recovery has turned the corner and unemployed prospects have found new job opportunities, the bounty of inquiries has withered. In the past, the emergence of new media has softened the blow. During the 1991 recovery, cable and satellite channels provided a new prospect generation medium to offset the decrease in inquiries and enrollments. And in 2001, as the desktop Internet became more commonplace, schools were able to tap into web browsers and adapt to a less fertile landscape.

Lead Growth
When a new medium channel emerges, it goes through a period of growth followed by maturation. After it matures, it reaches a core period of mass adoption. Only then can it be effectively leveraged as a part of your base marketing strategy.

The New Era of Economic Recovery

As the current economy begins to recover, education marketers won’t find the next new medium squarely in place. Although the mobile web is growing rapidly, it’s not expected to mature until 2013. And unlike cable and desktop Internet, it doesn’t represent an entirely new medium. Instead, it’s a “replacement channel” that will trump older digital mediums.

Digital natives, who see their phones as part of their identity, understand this is an increasingly noisy medium, fragmented with a multitude of new devices, mobile platforms, and technologies. With their ravenous appetite for all things mobile, they will be the force that breaks down mobile cost and coverage barriers, and quickly makes the mobile web ubiquitous for all of your students and prospects.

Steve Winchester

Steve is the CMO at Helix Education. He has been an advertising account executive for more than 20 years. Steve received his BS from the University of Utah.