In 2007, Paskill Stapleton & Lord conducted a strategic market research study and an admissions marketing assessment with the intention of increasing enrollment at Gordon College. The market research focused on determining how the public perceived the College and how effectively it connected to its market.
Gordon College, located in a small rural town in middle Georgia, found itself in a period of transition. Although its primary mission was to serve as an access point to the University System of Georgia and higher education, the College recently gained approval to offer bachelor’s degrees as well as associate degrees. Through the market research, the College sought to make data-driven marketing decisions that would:
- Grow enrollments in both associate and bachelors degree programs
- Expand its geographic markets
- Increase its residential student population
To gain quantitative as well as qualitative feedback, focus groups and surveys were utilized to gather data. PS&L met with various groups including faculty, senior staff, admissions and financial aid staffs and current students.
A series of mail and online surveys were administered to internal and external audiences, including:
- Current students
- Guidance counselors
- High school juniors and seniors
- Parents of high school students
- Alumni of Gordon College
We delivered a comprehensive written report which included analysis and interpretation of each of the study groups, observations and findings, initial perceptions of the College for each group surveyed, and marketing goals and objectives. The report presented to the College also included:
- Observations on the surveyed audiences’ perceptions
- Proposed imaging and position statement
- Key messages
- Marketing tactics and strategies for internal and external audiences
- Recommendations of the most efficient/effective media and tactics
In an on-campus follow-up meeting with the College’s senior staff, we discussed our recommendations. In addition, we worked with the leadership team to prioritize the short and long range recommendations, enabling the College to put into effect the recommendations. With a goal of increasing enrollment in both associate and bachelor degree programs, our firm was retained for ongoing consulting to implement the findings and recommendations in the Admissions and Marketing Audit.
Located in the small, rural town of Barnesville, in middle Georgia, Gordon College is a state, residential College offering its students more than 60 programs of study. Founded in 1852, Gordon College joined the University System of Georgia in 1972 as an associate level institution with a distinctive legacy of excellence in scholarship and service. Gordon College has an enrollment of more than 3,800 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 25:1.