Heidi is the enrollment director for a community college in Pennsylvania. The enrollment for the college was approximately 900 in 2004. Their objective was to grow the number of enrolled students by 200 within four years. Heidi had been struggling with the marketing efforts and was using a mass produced, single message brochure that was proving less-than effective. She was viewing the targeted audience as one personality type within a demographic (senior high school students). To further add to the challenge, the business of recruitment has become more sophisticated and competitive.
While attending a summer workshop, one of the attendees recalled an approach that addressed the individual within a demographic audience. The program was produced by Harris Interactive Media. Heidi soon engaged the team at Harris for some innovative collaboration.
The relationship began with research of the targeted prospects to gain a better understanding of their interests and priorities. The prospects were then divided into four categories: Male/Athletic, Female/Athletic, Male/Liberal Arts, Female/Liberal Arts. Four unique approaches were crafted that included a packet of personalized material, correlative messages based on type of interest, relevant imagery and financing options. Each packet was as unique as the individual recipient.
Heidi had typically experienced a 2% response rate from her search programs. Her new, variable data, variable image campaign topped 16%. The number of qualified opportunities exceeded their expectations and advanced their objective years ahead of schedule.
Heidi is quick to point out that when an organization produces collateral they are not buying materials. They are buying responses.