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Understanding Student Motivations

With the abundance of education opportunities today, understanding the key differentiators student prospects are looking for is crucial to best targeting potential prospects for specific programs. And with the flood of communications on various programs, from online, to weekend, to part time, understanding your target is key to creating a message that will resonate with them and uniquely identify that program’s benefits.

But in order to deliver personalized, relevant content, marketers need to overcome the general lack understanding about what motivates student prospects to decide which program is best suited for their goals. Until you know more about that thought process, it will be difficult to decide how and what information needs to be disseminated. To aid in this, use a student motivation model that helps map out the decision-making process.

Over the past couple of years, we have developed such a model that is based on first-hand student experience, supported by Deloitte research. The model is not complicated and is based upon two continuums:

1)   A student’s knowledge and involvement with their own goals

  • Unclear Vision of Goals Vs. Clear Vision of Goals

2)   How a student viscerally responds when making decisions

  • Doing Whatever It Takes vs. What Is Comfortable and Familiar

The model breaks into four quadrants and provides four motivations to decision-making.

Student Motivational Model

Student Motivation Model

This model helps us understand how student prospects think and approach their decision making process. Understanding the different “types” of prospects can help ensure communication strategies and tactics are best aligned to connect prospects with programs that fit their mentality.

Take some time to define where your program might fit on the matrix and discover if you’re tapping into the right target mindsets. What does that mean for your communication strategies? What will you start, stop or change?

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