Segmenting Students Using Psychographics to Improve Higher Education Enrollment: What to Consider

Melissa Vangsness Jul 20, 2021 Melissa Vangsness VP, Strategy Persona The Independent and Resilient Contender

Psychographics are not a new phenomenon in communications and marketing, but they’re relatively unknown to the higher education enrollment and marketing space. With the ground shifting under us, we all must do what we can to emerge victoriously from changing demographics in a post-pandemic world, and I believe psychographics (the measurement of personality, attitudes, and beliefs) are the way to do that.

Where do I start with psychographics?

So you want to segment via psychographics? First things first: pat yourself on the back for starting this journey. It’s easy to talk about changing the traditional “this is how we’ve always done it” model but harder to actually put that change into practice. In a field where demographics have dominated the higher education ecosystem, we now must think about the person on the other end of our email and their unique tendencies.

One of the first things to consider is the time frame and resources you must devote to making the psychographic shift. If you need to immediately impact your current communication and marketing strategies, thinking broadly about students attracted to your university may be the way to go. For instance, the Carnegie Motivator model offers three ready-made student profiles you can use to start segmenting almost immediately. Developed from a national study, our system unlocks the key motivations of your prospective students and what will drive their decision-making in their college search process. Then you adhere this data to your student records to deliver segmented content, aligning the student’s Motivator to a matching authentic message from your university.

Hyper-customization is achievable

Do you have an enrollment marketing and communications team that is sophisticated in its capabilities and is ready to take on the next challenge? Do you want to know the intricacies of your university’s students and what specifically attracts them to your university? Then Carnegie Darts are in line with your goals. Darts are qualitative and quantitatively tested with your prospective and current students to create specific and unique profiles that you can utilize in your communications and marketing to draw very clear connections between what your university offers and what a prospective student is seeking.

Construct, implement, evaluate, refine, repeat

Emails, visit days, digital marketing, and website content are just a few ways to use Carnegie Motivator and Darts to ensure you are customizing your content and experiences to the unique individuals in your prospective student pool. However, these aren’t set-it-and-forget-it methods. Once your psychographic segmentation is in motion, the fun begins with evaluating what’s working, what can be modified, and how you can continue to refine your strategies to ensure you are meeting your goals.

Need a decision tree?

Here’s how you can decide which service you need.

  • Have time and want psychographics hyper-personalized to your university? Choose Carnegie Darts!
  • Need to impact your communications and marketing ASAP and want to start with generalized profiles? Choose Carnegie Motivators!

Contact us today to start optimizing your enrollment strategy.

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