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2008 TeensTALK


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2008 TeensTALK

  1. 1. 2008 TeensTALK®<br />Stamats, Inc. <br />(800) 553-8878<br />
  2. 2. About Stamats<br />We are an award-winning, nationally-recognized market research, planning, and marketing communications company dedicated exclusively to higher education. Our mission is to help college and university leaders achieve their most important marketing, recruiting, and fundraising goals through the creation and execution of customized integrated marketing solutions.<br /> Research, Planning, and Consulting Services<br /><ul><li>Image and competitive positioning studies
  3. 3. Tuition price elasticity studies
  4. 4. Alumni and donor studies
  5. 5. Marketing communication audits
  6. 6. Recruiting audits
  7. 7. Campus visit audits
  8. 8. Integrated marketing plans
  9. 9. Brand clarification and communication plans
  10. 10. Recruiting plans
  11. 11. Strategy development and strategic plans
  12. 12. Board presentations
  13. 13. Project-specific consulting
  14. 14. Professional development programming
  15. 15. Offices: San Francisco and Cedar Rapids</li></ul> Creative Services<br /><ul><li>Recruiting and fundraising publications
  16. 16. Web site development
  17. 17. Virtual tours
  18. 18. Direct marketing strategies (search, annual fund)
  19. 19. Targeted e-mail marketing systems
  20. 20. Advertising
  21. 21. Creative concepting
  22. 22. Content management systems
  23. 23. Dynamic news and events calendars
  24. 24. Message boards/chats </li></ul>© 2008 Stamats – 2<br />
  25. 25. TeensTALK® Study Methodology<br /><ul><li>Telephone survey of 800 geographically dispersed college-bound high school students, completed April-May, 2008
  26. 26. 50% of respondents were high school juniors (Class of ‘09), 50% high school seniors (Class of ‘08)
  27. 27. All respondents completed core TeensTALK® questions and then were randomly assigned into one of 4 college-search specialty subjects:
  28. 28. Defining Academic Quality
  29. 29. Determining College “Fit”
  30. 30. Predicting Success After College
  31. 31. Preferred Methods of Communication</li></ul>© 2008 Stamats – 3<br />
  32. 32. TeensTALK® Respondent Demographics<br />Gender– 60% female; 40% male<br />Ethnicity – 57% White or Caucasian; 17% Black or African American; 14% Hispanic or Latino/a; 7% Asian or Pacific Islander; 3% no dominant race; &lt;1% Native American; 2% don’t wish to reveal<br />Parent’s highest level of education – 33% high school diploma or GED; 24% some college or two-year degree; 23% four-year degree; 16% graduate degree; 5% not sure<br />Class rank – 13% top 5% of class; 14% top 10%; 14% top 15%; 16% top 25%; 11% top 50%; 5% below top 50%; 27% not sure<br />SAT score – 17% 1300 or lower; 21% 1310 to 1600; 14% 1610 to 1800; 9% 1810 to 2000; 11% 2010 or higher; 18% don’t remember<br />ACT score – 15% 18 or lower; 27% 19 to 22; 25% 23 to 26; 18% 27 to 30; 5% 30 or higher; 11% don’t remember<br />© 2008 Stamats – 4<br />
  33. 33. Geographic Distribution of Respondents<br />© 2008 Stamats – 5<br />
  34. 34. The Big Picture<br />
  35. 35. Trending: Private vs. Public Attendance<br />Source: Chronicle of Education Almanac<br />
  36. 36. Private vs. Public Colleges<br /><ul><li>Despite the continued modest increase in private college enrollment rates nationally, only 36% of 2008 TeensTALK® respondents are considering a private school compared to nearly all (92%) who are considering a public
  37. 37. Now more than ever private schools must address assumptions of high cost by demonstrating value and benefits compellingly and consistently throughout the recruitment process </li></li></ul><li>Trending: Two-Year vs. Four-Year Attendance<br />Source: Chronicle of Education Almanac<br />
  38. 38. Two-Year vs. Four-Year Colleges<br /><ul><li>From a trending standpoint, we see somewhat predictable counterbalancing cycles in two- and four-year college enrollments
  39. 39. However, these findings suggest that a smaller percentage of students are admitting interest in two-year schools (29%) than the nearly 40% who will ultimately enroll in one
  40. 40. This may begin to explain the volatility of many four-year colleges’ yield experiences</li></li></ul><li>Small vs. Large Colleges<br />While longitudinal comparison data is not yet available for this new 2008 TeensTALK® question, we were interested to put the small-versus-big school question into measurable context<br />
  41. 41. Intended Major(General Categories)<br />
  42. 42. Most-Important College Attributes<br />
  43. 43. Secondary Importance Attributes<br />Note that while only 14% of respondents identified “beauty and appearance of the campus” as very important, nearly 60% cited “quality of academic facilities” (previous slide) as very important<br />
  44. 44. Individuals Involved in College Decision<br />
  45. 45. Most Helpful Information Sources<br />
  46. 46. Defining Academic Quality<br />
  47. 47. Five Vectors of Academic Quality<br />
  48. 48. Five Vectors on a 5-Point Scale<br />
  49. 49. Five Vectors of Academic Quality<br />#1 Student Outcomes<br /><ul><li>Employers actively recruit from the college
  50. 50. Career placement rate
  51. 51. Average starting salaries
  52. 52. Prestige of grad schools attended
  53. 53. Grad school acceptance rate
  54. 54. Four-year graduation rate </li></li></ul><li>Five Vectors of Academic Quality<br />#2 Academic Experience<br /><ul><li>Hands-on learning
  55. 55. Faculty passionate about teaching
  56. 56. Internship opportunities
  57. 57. Expertise of faculty
  58. 58. Undergrads conduct research
  59. 59. Students work closely with faculty
  60. 60. Study abroad program</li></li></ul><li>Five Vectors of Academic Quality<br />#3 Student Quality<br /><ul><li>Average high school GPA of students
  61. 61. Average ACT/SAT scores of students</li></li></ul><li>Five Factors of Academic Quality<br />#4 College Features<br /><ul><li>New/updated academic facilities
  62. 62. Wireless campus
  63. 63. Honors program
  64. 64. Small class sizes</li></li></ul><li>Five Vectors of Academic Quality<br />#5 Prestige<br /><ul><li>College is featured in the media
  65. 65. Ranked highly
  66. 66. Nationally & regionally known
  67. 67. Highly selective
  68. 68. Professors regularly published</li></li></ul><li>Indicators of Weak Academic Programs<br />
  69. 69. Indicators of Weak Academic Programs(Verbatim Responses)<br />“An institution’s graduation rate is a good indicator of the quality of its programs. Also, how well people find jobs following graduation—if they can’t find a job, they didn’t have the right education.” <br />“I think a college where the students don’t get good jobs after graduation is an indicator it’s not a good school.”<br />“If they can’t answer my questions, they don’t have strong academic programs.”<br />“If the institution doesn’t have a lot of variety in its majors and it’s brand new, just starting off as a new college.”<br />
  70. 70. Quality of “Better” Schools<br />
  71. 71. Quality of “Better” Schools (Verbatim Responses)<br />“What makes them better to me is the majors they offer and what clubs they have—basically, its just the stuff that appeals to me.”<br />“They are hard to get into. They are established and get back to you with an answer very soon.”<br />“The time they put into students makes them a higher quality school.”<br />
  72. 72. Defining College “Fit”<br />
  73. 73. Determining “Fit”Key Campus Visit Activities<br /><ul><li>If these findings don’t make you re-think your college visit and tour programming, nothing will
  74. 74. 21st-Century consumers have been conditioned to expect personalized service; college shoppers are no exception</li></li></ul><li>Determining “Fit”Secondary Campus Visit Activities<br />.<br />Scoring slightly above the 3-point neutral mark, surprising visitors with special attention and meeting a wide array of students in real-life situations appear to be essential components of a successful campus visit<br />
  75. 75. Determining “Fit”Key Campus Features<br /><ul><li>Note that these top-priority “moments of truth” represent largely casual and generally unscripted observations
  76. 76. Don’t fall victim to naïve complacency when it comes to visiting your campus; what you take for granted as status quo may be silently negating the positive aspects of your otherwise carefully orchestrated visit “production”</li></li></ul><li>Determining “Fit”Secondary Campus Features<br /><ul><li>While visiting prospective students are scanning your campus for feelings of familiarity and comfort, they’re also clearly looking for elements of diversity and different-ness
  77. 77. Any food service that inspires enrolled students to rave (positively) deserves the admissions office’s full praise</li></li></ul><li>Determining “Fit”Campus Features of Little Importance<br /><ul><li>In the aggregate, these features may fall into the less-important category; however, for some individual students they are deal-makers…or breakers
  78. 78. At the top of each campus visit, invest the time to build the list of campus features of greatest value to each guest</li></li></ul><li>Determining “Fit”Key Emotional Indicators<br /><ul><li>Just as the first “cut” for most prospective students depends on the availability of their major, students also place significant weight on their anticipated experiences in their departments’ classrooms
  79. 79. Demonstrate the positive energy of your campus and your community in memorable ways</li></li></ul><li>Determining “Fit”Secondary Emotional Indicators<br /><ul><li>Consider building your recruitment communications messaging and campus visit programming upon the notion of establishing relationships with faculty and enrolled students
  80. 80. While only 25% of respondents admit their parents’ enthusiasm signals a good fit, we know that relatively few final college selections are made without parents’ blessings</li></li></ul><li>Qualities Making a “Better” Fit<br />
  81. 81. Predicting Success After College<br />
  82. 82. Success After CollegeMost Important Predictors<br />
  83. 83. Success After CollegeLess Important Predictors<br />
  84. 84. Resources Needed to Help Students Succeed <br />
  85. 85. Resources Needed to Help Students Succeed <br />“A really good administration and faculty that help students succeed after graduation”<br />“I think the college needs to back you up when you are getting a job and the degree they give you has to look good to employees”<br />“The name of the college”<br />“Availability of good mentors, advisors, and job opportunities for graduating students”<br />
  86. 86. Preferred Methods of Communication<br />
  87. 87. <ul><li>Sending letters through the mail
  88. 88. Sending publications through the mail
  89. 89. Sending a personal e-mail, written specifically for you
  90. 90. Sending mass, non-personalized emails
  91. 91. Contact through Facebook or MySpace
  92. 92. Contact via instant messaging
  93. 93. Text messages to cell phone
  94. 94. Phone calls
  95. 95. Phone calls to parent(s)
  96. 96. Personal home visits</li></ul>Methods Tested<br />
  97. 97. Funnel Stages Examined<br />
  98. 98. “The first stage is early in your college decision-making process. <br />This is the time period before you have decided which colleges and universities you may be interested in, and several schools are attempting to attract your attention.”<br />Search Stage<br />
  99. 99. Search StageAcceptable Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>In spite of the miracle of modern technology, personal correspondence and publications delivered via postal mail still have a clear foothold on early-funnel contacts
  100. 100. Generally off-limits for search: mass non-personalized email, social networks, instant messaging, text messaging and home visits</li></li></ul><li>Search StagePreferred Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Respondents could select up to three and/or offer other options
  101. 101. Clearly, the standard search has become a multi-faceted exercise
  102. 102. This data may offer a temptation to curtail all travel and reallocate resources to postal and e-mail; however, “search” begins at different times for different students</li></li></ul><li>Search StageSatisfaction With Communication<br />In spite of the blur we create for prospective students, they appear to be surprisingly satisfied with the quantity of information we send their way<br />
  103. 103. Search StageImproving Communications<br />Better ways to communicate during the search stage:<br /><ul><li>More contact, contact on a regular basis (17%)
  104. 104. More specific info, more details (15%)
  105. 105. Contact me via mail (13%)
  106. 106. Contact me via phone (10%)
  107. 107. More personalized (10%)
  108. 108. Contact via e-mail (9%)</li></li></ul><li>“Now think about the schools you have initially shown interest in. <br />Perhaps you have requested more information from them through their Web site, given them your name at a college fair, or somehow indicated to colleges you are interested in learning more.”<br />Inquiry Stage<br />
  109. 109. Inquiry StageAcceptable Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Once interest has been established, the door is open for phone calls
  110. 110. Off-limits during inquiry stage: mass non-personalized email, social networks, instant messaging, text messaging, home visits</li></li></ul><li>Inquiry StagePreferred Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Respondents could select up to three and/or offer other options
  111. 111. Appreciation for phone calls increases at inquiry (versus search stage), as postal mail drops and email remains steady</li></li></ul><li>Inquiry StageSatisfaction with Communication<br />Surprisingly, inquiries tell us they would actually appreciate more communication from the schools in which they expressed interest<br />
  112. 112. Inquiry StageImproving Communication<br />Better ways to communicate during the inquiry stage: (n=116)<br /><ul><li>Contact me via mail (16%)
  113. 113. Contact me via phone (16%)
  114. 114. Contact me via e-mail (11%)
  115. 115. More contact, contact on a regular basis (10%)
  116. 116. More personalized (10%)
  117. 117. Provided more/better information (10%)
  118. 118. More specific information, more details (10%)</li></li></ul><li>“Now consider how a school may communicate with you after you have submitted an application.”<br />Applicant Stage<br />
  119. 119. Applicant StageAcceptable Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>The role of publications and postal mail correspondence is clearly not being upstaged by email
  120. 120. Note the increasing appreciation for phone calls
  121. 121. Still off-limits: mass non-personalized email, social networks, instant messaging, text messaging</li></li></ul><li>Applicant StagePreferred Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Respondents could select up to three and/or offer other options
  122. 122. At application—arguably the first “personal space” along the college-choice funnel—email steps into the #1 preferred position</li></li></ul><li>Applicant StageSatisfaction With Communication<br />With 8 of 10 respondents generally satisfied with the amount of information they received at the application stage, the real question becomes, “Are they receiving it through the channels they prefer?”<br />
  123. 123. Applicant StageImproving Communication<br />Better ways to communicate during the applicant stage: (n=85)<br /><ul><li>More contact, contact ona regular basis (17%)
  124. 124. Contact via e-mail (15%)
  125. 125. More specific information,more details (12%)
  126. 126. Good customer service,be responsive (8%)
  127. 127. Contact me via mail (7%)</li></li></ul><li>“Now consider how the schools that have accepted you communicate with you.” <br />Admitted Student Stage<br />
  128. 128. Admitted StudentAcceptable Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Surprisingly, social networks, instant messaging and text messaging still don’t make the list
  129. 129. This is cause for pause for schools who are aggressively integrating these permission-based (or opt-in) channels to their rosters of recruitment communications tactics</li></li></ul><li>Admitted StudentPreferred Forms of Communication<br /><ul><li>Respondents could select up to three and/or offer other options
  130. 130. Email and phone calls eclipse traditional postal mail at the admitted student stage: does your recruitment process map respect these student preferences?</li></li></ul><li>Admitted StudentSatisfaction With Communication<br />
  131. 131. Admitted StudentImproving Communication<br />Better ways to communicate during the admitted student stage: (n=85)<br /><ul><li>More contact, contact on a regular basis (9%)
  132. 132. Contact me via mail (8%)
  133. 133. Provide status updates (8%)
  134. 134. More specific information, more details (7%)
  135. 135. Contact me via e-mail (7%)
  136. 136. Good customer service, be responsive (7%)</li></li></ul><li>Communication Satisfaction Summary<br />
  137. 137. Text Messaging<br />Facebook & MySpace<br />Instant Messaging<br /><ul><li>Keep in mind that prospective students have demonstrated interest (by way of opt-ins) to college-sponsored groups on Facebook and MySpace
  138. 138. Even personal home visits were scored as less intrusive!</li></ul>No Trespassing: Off-Limits Methods<br />
  139. 139. What surprised you most?<br />
  140. 140. What begs further study?<br />
  141. 141. Thank you!<br />