Webinar Download: High Profile Programs and Supporting Their Success


More than 300 attendees from 43 states, Canada, and the Caribbean registered for a co-presented panel discussion on high-demand academic programs and how to market them. Bob Atkins, CEO and founder of Gray Associates, and Jim Paskill, President of Paskill Stapleton & Lord (PS&L), led the webinar that addressed trends in student demand; how schools are seeing improved enrollment outcomes by adjusting media budgets based on the cost of student acquisition; and other best practices in developing media mix models for successful recruiting.

Gray Associates, a data analytics, software, and strategy consulting firm focused on higher education, has developed the science to find in-demand programs that attract prospective students. Managing a program portfolio, Atkins says, is something to be looked at frequently. “Many schools have well over 50 programs,” Atkins points out. “That’s why we automate the data so our clients can look often and see everything in one place.”  Gray Associates has developed industry-leading databases on market demand for academic programs, a software platform to calculate and track program economics, and a program planning tool to model the impact of academic program decisions on an institution’s future.

A poll taken during the webinar prompted attendees to share how their paid media marketing budget is established, through historic budgets, goal based, or student acquisition costs. The majority, 63%, indicated that their budgets have been inherited and aren’t based on the current higher education environment. Jim Paskill wasn’t surprised as he says most marketing offices at colleges and universities are saddled with a budget they didn’t establish and are not built on converting prospective students.

PS&L, which has partnered with more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide on a range of enrollment strategies, customizes marketing enrollment campaigns based on personas, geography, and a sophisticated and successful algorithm to determine realistic budgets. “With too broad a persona there can be a lot of media waste,” Paskill explains. PS&L clients have seen dramatic results by reallocating funds to spend the right amount in the right place.

The full recording with slides is downloadable in the link below, here is a link to a PDF of the slides only: PSL GRAY WEBINAR

Download Webinar Recording: High Profile Programs and Supporting Their Success
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Cathy Donovan,

A higher education professional with more than a decade serving in various communications roles at a Big 10 university, including most recently as assistant dean. At PS&L, Cathy is busy implementing a marketing plan to promote the agency’s visibility and various services through email marketing, digital strategy, conferences, direct mail, and webinars. Cathy also manages psandl.com, social media efforts, and agency publications, and assists with agency RFP responses. She can be reached at [email protected]