Using Data Science to Target Prime Market Segments

Using Data Science to Target Prime Market Segments
Using Data Science to Target Prime Market Segments

Enrollment Management//

July 10, 2022

By Dr. Harry Bloom, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, Measuring Success

(This is part two of a series to help you define your school’s prime prospects.)

In part one of this series, we discussed the data science of using Lookalike Analysis to identify a school’s prime enrollment prospects. In this article, we will discuss the strategy of market segment targeting which represents the second, complementary method of recruitment prospecting.

Because word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful way to market a school, defining and strengthening it in the most promising segments is arguably the most powerful tool in your recruitment toolkit.

Prioritizing Explicit Market Segments

market-segments3Prioritizing explicit market segments begins with the analysis of your parents’ relevant social networks: feeder schools, employers, neighborhood associations, clubs, and children’s sports and cultural programs. These are the key breeding grounds for school-related discussions leading to school investigation and selection.

By quantifying their enrollment potential, you strengthen them—including the enthusiasm and commitment of your current parent and student advocates. Additionally, you’re strengthening your ability to influence their members and enable their prioritization. This helps consciously devote the needed management resources to create active growth engines for your school.

Establishing Penetration Goals

percentage-2As the late management expert Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets managed.”

Once you have prioritized your school’s particular market segments, you can then establish quantifiable penetration goals. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What is our current share of potential families or students?
  • What are our one-year, three-year, and five-year goals?

Building to Achieve Your Goals

There are three key components to market segment penetration growth. These are the 3M’s: message, marketing, and measurement.

First, define your message. Create the case for enrolling in your school from the segments’ perspective.

  • What outcomes (academic, leadership, co-curricular, social, awards) have segment members achieved at your school?
  • What unique features do you offer segment members that have delivered those outcomes?

Second, build your marketing channel.

Lay the foundation for segment-related parent, student, faculty, and Board ambassadorial programs.

  • Recruit, support, motivate, and manage these potent networks so they build your segment presence and impact on an ongoing basis. Each segment can represent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in tuition potential. They are worth time and attention! Target segment members via special website content and landing pages, social media, and other relevant media including PR.

Third, continually measure the impact of your programs on the achievement of your segment penetration goals, such as segment-related inquiries, visits, applications, and matriculations. Celebrate successes and take corrective action when necessary.

The programmatic application of this rigorous market segment management has reliably helped many schools increase their enrollment. It can do so for yours.

To learn more about how to put market segment management to work for your school, email


Measuring Success

Never engage in generic marketing again. Rely on the expertise of ISM and Measuring Success to better understand your school’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. We’ll identify families in your area who are most likely to enroll and build a brand-new list for your marketing efforts. Contact us to learn more.



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