Happy New Year!
I’m not sure if your halls are bustling with student activity yet, but our team has returned from holiday break and are already planning campus visits, meet-ups, student events and other initiatives to engage with you and candidates in the region. Our goals are still centered around building the candidate pipeline and adding value to schools. Now that we are back to full staff, you can expect to see us a bit more in the field.
Although I am certainly excited about 2017, I wanted to use this piece to remind you of some of the highlights from 2016. It is longer than I would have liked, but I wanted you to have easy access to relevant resources in one place.
In Q1 of 2016, I wrote you about Invest in Yourself, a program in our pipeline growth strategy that targets undergraduate students. In addition to marketing (print, digital and peer to peer) designed to build the category of graduate management education, Invest in Yourself also offers discounted GMAT pricing ($150) to encourage undergrads to test now and “bank their scores” until they are ready to attend b-school. The program has been successful on a number of campuses and we have been asked to extend the discounted pricing for an additional semester. If we are on your campus, PLEASE encourage your students to take advantage of this discount. Pipeline building is a partnership.
In the Spring, we partnered with Forte and a number of schools to launch a digital media campaign aimed to inform women about the importance of business careers, the MBA, and the GMAT exam. Take the Test generated 58 million impressions, 133,000 landing page visits and more than 11,000 additional actions. After evaluating the results, Forte conducted focus groups to inform the 2nd phase of the campaign. We were also a part of this work and were delighted by the launch of “Be the Boss” this past November.
To ensure that you are able to leverage the learnings we have gleaned from years of research on female candidates, students and alumni, our Research Services group published Minding the Gap: Tapping the Potential of Women to Transform Business.
We share your struggle in finding ways to increase the percentage of underrepresented populations in the pipeline, but we continue to explore initiatives to identify the right message, messenger and channel to reach this segment. To aid our work (and yours), we engaged globalsojourn, a marketing strategy and research firm to gain insights into the dynamics of URP perceptions, interest and pursuit of graduate management education. We published a whitepaper reflecting their findings in the Fall. GMAC’s research team also published a whitepaper that looked at URP data from the prospective students survey. Both papers offer recommended strategies for business school professionals to broaden their attraction within these cultural segments.
If you have not yet downloaded the Segmentation whitepaper, introducing you to the seven segments pursuing GME, I encourage you to do so. This segmentation study is based on motivations versus demographics as the marketing that can be developed based on motivations resonates more with customers than marketing that is developed based on demographics alone. Motivational segmentations are also universal, avoid cultural bias, and remain stable over time. Our research team also conducted a Segmentation webinar this fall. If you’d like access to the archived file, please contact your GMAC rep.
Engaging with You
Last year we connected with approximately 250 of you through GMAC 101 and Regional Meet-ups. Although we met with many more industry colleagues at Leadership, Annual Conference and AINP, GMAC 101 and Regional Meet-ups are complimentary to you and your teams. As a reminder GMAC 101 is a series of 20 minute monthly webinars that introduce everything from School Finder to GMASS to the research surveys and interactive tools.
Regional Meet-ups are half day interactive sessions designed to foster learning, sharing, and networking among industry colleagues in the same region. If you have staff who might benefit from the camaraderie and learnings that GMAC events foster (especially if they can’t attend Annual Conference) encourage them to attend a Meet-up. (The 2017 schedule is being developed and should be published in the next few weeks.)
Americas School Engagement team
Kailin Burns joined the Americas team on January 3rd to support schools on the west coast and in the Mid-Atlantic region. Kailin comes to us from Bryant University with a background in marketing and admissions. Her contact information, as well as that of other members of the team, is on the right. Please feel free to reach out to your rep to discuss any of the initiatives I’ve mentioned (and the ones I have failed to because of the length of this piece), any products or resources we offer, or any ideas you have on ways we can assist you and/or partner to address industry challenges.
Here’s to a great year!
Sabrina White, Vice-President, Market Development
Americas & Europe