Podcast: How To Use Data To Create Custom Personas with Dana Nelson-Isaacs

Today’s guest today is Dana Nelson-Isaacs, who is the Founder and President of DNI Consulting. Dana is a former school marketer who went out on her own five years ago. Dana says that she is the product of independent schools and started in admissions right out of college. She is committed to making an independent school education available to as many students as possible, so this is a “soul” job for her. She worked in enrollment and marketing for 15 years and then five years ago started her own consulting company. As part of her work, Dana is the coordinator of the Bay Area Directors of Admission Group, which is a consortium of 75 schools in the San Francisco area. She understands that enrollment managers are typically overwhelmed, so her company focuses on helping enrollment teams create data-driven strategies.

In today’s episode, we talk about using data in your admission office. Specifically, we discuss using demographic and psychographic data to form personas and audience targets. You can also use data to create targeted messages to attract the people to your school that you need and want to attract.

Today’s topic came out of two questions that were submitted in the SchneiderB Media University Facebook Group. The questions were:

  • Do you think data science has big impacts on new student recruitment?
  • How do you apply data science in the admission office?

In this episode here’s what we’ll cover

  • The difference between demographics and psychographics
  • How demographics and psychographics can help schools create specific, nuanced, targeted strategy to attract the most mission-appropriate families
  • How to apply qualitative data to quantitative data to augment the data
  • How to hone your messages to attract targeted audiences
  • How data can add to existing markets as well as open up new markets, which is so exciting!
  • Ways to reach out to specific targeted audiences (i.e., events, applications)
  • The value of focusing on a deep, specific strategy as opposed to a broad strategy
  • The positive impact of using data to inform marketing strategy (i.e., PPC advertising costs are reduced)
  • How to source free and paid-for demographic and psychographic data
  • How to use demographic and psychographic data to create personas
  • Risks involved in doing this yourself
  • How a professional can help you identify the right strategy and message
  • One thing a school can do to get started if you’re not ready to hire a professional
  • How to use data for planning purposes such as staffing changes, tuition assistance messaging, cost-size planning, etc.
  • Results Dana has seen from investing in this process
  • Positions besides Admission Officers that find Dana’s work useful
  • Where you can hear more about this topic (hint: Dana will be presenting at Vircon6)

Items mentioned in this episode include

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Originally published at SchneiderB Media.