Using Demographics Data to Boost Your Admissions Strategy

May 12, 2020

At Digistorm, we're big fans of using prospective family data to increase enrollment applications at your school. Each piece of data works together to tell you about prospective parents' motivations when considering your school for their child. Demographics information, when gathered and analyzed correctly, can serve to further boost your marketing efforts and drive enrollments. In this post, we'll define demographics data, look at a few ways schools are gathering this information, and then finish up with some practical applications for this information. Here we go!


What is demographics data?

Broadly, demographics data is the statistical study of a group of people. A demographic study will usually provide a breakdown of common figures, including the population's age, gender, location, marital status, children and finances. One of the biggest collectors of demographics data (aside from the government) is the TV industry. In order to remain competitive, they need to have a keen understanding of who is watching their programs, when they are watching and what kinds of advertising will resonate with particular demographics. Similarly, schools need to have a good understanding of their demographics to ensure they understand the unique makeup of prospective families within their community. You never know! Your average family may look very different to what you'd expect.




How do marketers capture demographics data?

Some demographics data will be self-reported, or captured directly from families in your area. Schools usually gather this information from forms, such as an expression of interest on your website, a check-in form at your tour or open day or an enrollment application. Schools might also gather this information from conversations that they have with prospective families, over the phone or in person. Self-reported data is usually more reliable, however it's often harder to collect, and will only represent the segment of parents who have interacted with your school.

To bridge this gap, you can also collect demographics information from third party sources, such as your social media accounts, and your web analytics platform. For privacy reasons, this data is usually aggregated, meaning it won't represent accurate numbers and should therefore only be used as a rough guide to your demographics. If you are using Google Analytics as your web analytics provider, it's important to note that you will need to set up additional tracking in order to capture demographic information. You can find out more about that in Google's helpful guide here


Set your school up for tracking success. Read our guide,

Why School Marketers Need To Understand Google Analytics


Finally, publicly available census and demographic data can also be a huge aid to understanding the demographics of families within the suburbs surrounding your school. 


Demographics data in your admissions strategy

1. Check your personas

Most marketers will agree that personas are a great way to personalize and tailor your messages to your audience. Personas are fictional character profiles that marketers use to represent different audience segments within your community (for example, Grandpa George or Alumnus Amy). Demographics data can provide extra context and information to your existing audience personas, and can help you to understand which personas are engaging with different areas of your website, or different marketing campaigns.


2. Find new audience segments 

Could it be possible you are overlooking some audience segments in your marketing strategy? Demographics data can help you to discover new locations, age groups and more who may be interested in your offering. 


3. Tailor offerings to specific groups

Now that you have data-driven information about your personas, you can use it to segment your marketing campaigns. Segmentation allows you to tailor your campaigns to different groups. When you are marketing to prospective families, different personas will have different roadblocks and motivations when it comes to enrolling their child in your school. By providing marketing content that addresses their individual needs, you greatly increase the likelihood that they will continue to engage with your school.


And that's it! Does your school use demographic data in your admissions strategy? Reach out and let us know! Want more information about using data in your admissions strategy? Check out these resources: