Creating a Marketing Strategy for a New Economy

Has your institution found the recent fluxes in the economy challenging? Know that you’re not alone. Many schools are struggling to achieve recruitment goals with today’s focus on retention and improved graduation rates.

What’s the solution?
Develop a multi-faceted marketing strategy to stay ahead of the curve and better target qualified potential students who may be interested in your school’s program offerings.

What is the best marketing strategy for your school? It’s called Gravity—the power of attraction. Gravity helps you get found and engage with the right student prospects, at the right time. The right mix of earned media—utilizing your existing resources and assets—and paid media—purchasing placement to get in front of a new prospective student—offers the best solution. Gravity helps to integrate both and provides insight into which strategies are successful and where adjustments may be needed for optimization.

What is earned media?

  • Organic: traffic that comes to your site via keyword searches in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
  • Referral: traffic driven from other sites that list your company on their site.
  • Direct: traffic that directly enters your URL or utilizes a bookmark of your site.
  • Social Media: your social media channels, such as Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, or traffic coming from these networks.
  • Email Nurturing: broadcasting to your existing prospect database to drive awareness and serve as a touch point with relevant messaging.
  • Public Relations: creating and distributing articles about upcoming new program offerings, campus events and other news to the media.
  • Offers: enhancing your outreach strategy by creating and distributing top-, middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel promotions throughout the student decision journey—from awareness to enrollment.


Early offers should be educational/value driven—eBooks, white papers, videos and guides. Middle should be relationship building, establishing trust—webinars, special events, alumni guest speakers, and program or course catalogs. Late offers should tip the decision in your favor. These include face-to-face interviews, campus tours and enrollment registration fee waivers.

What is paid media?

  • Media: investigating, building and placing multi-faceted campaigns in publications and on sites where your prospective students are expected to be, such as online advertising, print advertising, radio and television.
  • Paid Search: pay-per-click advertising usually targeted to Google or Bing/Yahoo searchers.
  • Email Promotion: broadcasting to new/purchased lists that include offers or special events.
  • Event Sponsorships: participating in educational events, such as college fairs, or other paid event sponsorships.


Uncovering the perfect mix of earned and paid isn’t easy. Gravity can analyze the different types of conversion metrics to determine which of your marketing efforts are attracting the right student prospects.
Want to learn more about Gravity and what Comply can offer you? Request Information.


About the Author

KELLY O'BRIEN—President and founding partner responsible for account management and all management activities within Comply pertaining to resources, finance, operations, production and technology.

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