(from InsideHigherEd):

By Tim Jones

One of the most frustrating answers to the question “who is your audience?” is all too common in higher ed — “everyone.” But that answer doesn’t help anyone.

Colleges and universities do serve a wide spectrum of constituencies that spans cultures, generations and demographics. But our audience isn’t “everyone,” and not “everyone” is the same. Marketers trying to differentiate institutions in an industry full of already similar – in fact nearly identical — offerings need more clarity and specificity when defining market segments and choosing which to serve.

Identifying, understanding and reaching the right segments within the higher education market requires thinking through the most meaningful, useful ways to divide and organize various groups that comprise it. You must identify and define subsets of the market that have common characteristics, priorities, interests or needs that can be used to shape marketing strategies to target the particular segment. CONTINUE READING HERE