Under the direction of Northern Essex Community College’s Marketing Communications department, the college devotes significant resources (both budget and manpower) towards marketing and promoting the institution within our service territory. The objective of this annual plan is to insure that our current marketing strategy and our scheduled marketing activities are in alignment with the college’s overall strategic vision.
The college communicates both externally and internally to many different audiences (prospects, parents, community leaders, business leaders, current students, employees, etc.) via many different channels (broadcast media, online, in print, events, etc.), so the need to have clear marketing communication objectives is critical. It is also imperative that our marketing communication activities are coordinated in a way that maximizes our return on investment.
Two areas of significant focus for the upcoming fiscal year will be market research and ROI efficiency. In order to make effective strategic decisions about where to devote our limited resources, we first need to insure we have reliable data to guide/drive the decision-making process. We also need to analyze the results of our efforts in a way that will help us eliminate activities that don’t deliver sufficient results and focus more resources on those with the highest ROI.
What we need are clear answers to some key student and prospect “behavioral” questions. Knowing why retaining our current students is continuing to be such a significant challenge is mission critical information we need to have available to us as we make key strategic decisions. While at the same time, understanding what truly motivates our prospects to take action will drive how, when, and where we reach out to them.
- Why do students choose to attend NECC in particular (or any community college in general)?
- When students do choose NECC, did they have any other higher education options available to them?
- Why are students choosing not to stay?
- How many of our applicants/students take the SAT exam?
- Which is bigger competition for us…prospects considering other schools vs. a prospect attitude that they can’t attend college at all (for whatever the reason…cost, time, family/work commitments, past academic performance, etc.)?
- Do we have any potential target audiences or untapped markets that we are not connecting with effectively?
- Are the people in our service territory aware of NECC (or are we the “best kept secret in the Merrimack Valley”)?
- Is our institutional awareness level different than that of our sister schools?
- How do our various target audiences access (or search for) information about higher education options?
- And more questions as well…
Read the full NECC Marketing Plan (PDF)