Uncovering Candidates’ Core Motivations Can Foster More Impactful Outreach

A new white paper outlines the findings of the GMAC Global Graduate Management Education Segmentation Study.

Dec 8, 2016

New GMAC Research

Business school students

Business schools worldwide are operating in an increasingly competitive environment as technology and globalization have given today’s candidates more options than ever before to further their business education beyond a bachelor’s degree. To maximize limited marketing and recruitment budgets, business schools need new ways to connect with and attract the right mix of candidates to build talented and diverse program cohorts that are a good fit for their institution.

In line with its commitment to advance the art and science of admissions, GMAC partnered with Ipsos, a well-known market research firm, to carry out a segmentation study designed to differentiate segments of graduate management education (GME) candidates based on what motivates them to pursue GME and what motivates them to apply to a specific business school. The data and insights generated from this study can help business schools develop motivation-based recruitment and marketing strategies, which are more likely to resonate with candidates than strategies based on demographics alone. Motivation-based messaging allows schools to connect with candidates on an emotional level, which will more likely inspire them to follow up with schools, learn more about their offerings, and apply. Motivational segmentations are also universal, avoid cultural bias, and remain stable over time.

The outcome of the study is seven well-defined, mutually exclusive global candidate segments. The insights and a Segmentation Tool generated from this GMAC study will enable schools to identify the candidate segments they currently attract to their programs by motivation, target candidate segments for greater outreach, and market to individuals with motivation-based messaging that inspires them to take action. The findings can also be leveraged beyond the admissions process to inform student-centered curriculum and program design.

The major findings and implications of this study are outlined in a new GMAC research white paper, titled Beyond Demographics: Connecting With the Core Motivations of Business School Candidates. School professionals can download the white paper, as well as view short videos on each candidate segment, at gmac.com/segments. For more information on how to apply the Segmentation Tool to your existing class and host it on your website for lead generation, contact your GMAC market development representative.