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NAVIGATING THE TRANSITION TO LEARNER AS CUSTOMER KAREN ADAMS CORPORATE MARKETING DIRECTOR UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PLATTEVILLE DISTANCE LEARNING CENTER.

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Presentation on theme: "NAVIGATING THE TRANSITION TO LEARNER AS CUSTOMER KAREN ADAMS CORPORATE MARKETING DIRECTOR UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PLATTEVILLE DISTANCE LEARNING CENTER."— Presentation transcript:

1 NAVIGATING THE TRANSITION TO LEARNER AS CUSTOMER KAREN ADAMS CORPORATE MARKETING DIRECTOR UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PLATTEVILLE DISTANCE LEARNING CENTER

2 Stu·dent noun, often attributive \ ˈ stü-d ə nt, ˈ styü-, chiefly southern -d ə nt\ : a person who attends a school, college, or university : a person who studies something Cus·tom·er noun \ ˈ k ə s-t ə -m ə r\ : someone who buys goods or services from a business : a person who has a particular quality

3 SO HOW DO WE DECIDE? Are they students? Are they customers? OR, are they both?

4 LETS REWIND TO 1994 We werent Googling…….. We werent shopping on Amazon…….. And we certainly werent going to school online!

5 ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS……… of higher education students fit under the non-traditional college student umbrella 73%

6 ACCORDING TO ALLEN & SEAMAN (2013) There were approximately 21 million college students in 2011, and about 6.7 million of them were taking at least one online course

7 WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR COLLEGES OFFERING ONLINE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES? An estimated 5 million non-traditional college students are taking online courses today.

8 WHAT DO THOSE STUDENTS LOOK LIKE? Females outnumber males 62% to 38% 23% are age 24 or younger 44% are age 25-39 32% are age 40+ Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013

9 WHAT DO THOSE STUDENTS LOOK LIKE? Married/Partnered 62% to 38% single 56% have children under the age of 18 43% are first generation to attend college 56% are employed full-time Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013

10 WHAT DO THOSE STUDENTS LOOK LIKE? 19% have a THI of less than $25,000 53% have a THI of $25,000-$99,999 23% have a THI of $100,000+ Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013

11 WHAT DO THOSE STUDENTS LOOK LIKE? Most have substantial skin in the game 37% will use student loans/other financial aid only 23% will use personal funds only 20% will use personal funds AND student loans/other financial aid 8% will use personal funds and employer tuition assistance 5% will use personal funds, loans, and private scholarships The lucky ones 6% will use employer tuition assistance only Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013

12 ITS OBVIOUS THEY HAVE MANY CONCERNS/CONSIDERATIONS IN CHOOSING AN ONLINE EDUCATION PROVIDER. Flexibility is important Family commitments must be considered Many are new to the college-search process Career commitments must be considered Cost may be a deal-breaker

13 STUDENTS HAVE MORE CHOICES THAN EVER They are not simply students anymore. They are customers. And theyre shopping long before you know it. Because they have more choices than ever, learners have become very savvy shoppers.

14 STARTING THE CUSTOMER CONVERSATION Is the thought of a learner being a customer taboo at your institution? We offer an educational experience! We do not sell our diplomas!

15 CONVENIENCE HAS TAKEN ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING Of course were convenient, were online!

16 TRADITIONAL CONVENIENCE IS NOW ASSUMED Length of academic terms – shorter is preferred Scheduling flexibility Modes of coursework delivery Mobile accessibility Personal academic advisors Simplicity in the application process

17 IN FACT, THE MAJORITY OF THE TOP TEN FACTORS DEAL WITH CONVENIENCE Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013 These are important elements that should be included in your marketing efforts.

18 RESPONSIVENESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER Carol Aslanian and David Clinefelter, Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, June 2013

19 QUALITY AND PRICE WILL ALWAYS MATTER In many ways, higher learning institutions are similar to retailers. How is that possible? Consider this: we offer a product for a stated price, we have variety in our product lines, and potential customers can be influenced by their perception of value and quality.

20 WHAT KIND OF RETAILER ARE YOU? Bargain Basement inexpensive, but lower quality High-End expensive but with name brand recognition Somewhere in the middle affordable with good quality

21 WHAT KIND OF RETAILER ARE YOU? Are there potholes in your parking lot that need repair? Do your shopping carts have squeaky wheels?

22 WHAT KIND OF RETAILER ARE YOU? Do your shoppers receive a heartfelt greeting when they enter? Are your clerks respectful and responsive?

23 WHAT KIND OF RETAILER ARE YOU? Is your product line relevant to customers needs?

24 WHAT KIND OF RETAILER ARE YOU? Do you offer great service after the sale?

25 Im going to buy a big TV. This store has the quality I want. This store looks good, neat, and clean. That was nice to be greeted at the door! The clerks here are very helpful! Wow, this is exactly the kind of TV I want! They even loaded the TV into my car for me! DO YOUR CUSTOMERS STAY FOR THE ENTIRE CYCLE?

26 COMPETITION IS TOUGHER THAN EVER… The opportunity to reach potential students is also greater than ever. You need to serve customers so well that theyll never want to do business with anyone but you.

27 Karen Adams Corporate Marketing Director University of Wisconsin-Platteville Distance Learning Center adamskar@uwplatt.edu GoUWP.com Thank you!


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