Understanding the Consideration Phase of the Family Journey

After a parent is aware of your school, the next phase of the Family Journey is Consideration. This is the second phase in the Family Journey model developed by Andy Lynch, President and CEO of North Star Marketing.

Let’s take a look at how a parent considers your school as this builds on the Awareness Phase:

As the parent considers your school, the awareness generated through word-of-mouth conversations and online research in the first phase will be significant to determine their next step. The parent will consider what they have heard and seen, and then will ask if they are interested enough to take the next step.

This is where the parent will take action when they determine that your school is a possibility for their child. It is also the phase where they may decide to not follow-through.

Understanding the Consideration Phase of the Family Journey

In this phase, a parent will assess their alignment with your school. This alignment is the process of determining if your school will meet their families’ educational needs. This assessment will include issues around your school’s location, programs, cost and more.

In the Consideration Phase, the parent will find a way to reach out to your school. This is where they will potentially take action on their awareness. Parents will ask some of the following key questions to guide them in their consideration of your school?

  • Has the word-of-mouth been strong enough to influence me to take the next step?
  • Is the online presence informative and engaging to persuade me to take the next step?
  • Does the school’s website bring your school to life through compelling stories? Will my family fit in?
  • Does the school seem to match the educational needs and interests of my family?
  • Is there content that resonates with me and the targeted entry point of my child?

These are just some of the questions that will influence a parent to consider a school during this phase.

The goal then is to encourage the parent to take the next step as they consider your school. Your role in admissions and marketing should be to guide the parent through this Consideration Phase.

Therefore, this step could include one or more of the following intentional strategies to generate this activity:

1—Online Paid Search Ad – An online paid search ad will not only create awareness, but it should generate a response. Your primary goal is to convert the parent from awareness to consideration by creating a lead. If you are paying for online ads, the real ROI is in the leads generated.

2—Downloadable Content – An effective lead magnet can take the parent further in their journey. An e-Book or downloadable admissions overview brochure can be utilized to help the parent consider your school. This should be the goal of an online ad or when the parent lands on your school’s website.

3—Nudge from a Friend – Word-of-mouth, while part of the Awareness Phase, is also a key ingredient for the Consideration Phase. A parent can be encouraged through a nudge from a friend to take the next step—to visit campus—based on the influence of their own experience.

4—Contact the Admissions Office – A phone call, completed inquiry form, email, text message or online chat can help the parent continue their investigation into your school. This is where you can build the relationship with the parent and guide them through the Consideration Phase.

5—Visit Campus – The ultimate conversion strategy in this phase is to encourage the parent to visit campus. This is where the parent can see your school in action and determine their fit. This is also the best opportunity for you to sell the parent on your school.

6—Affordability Messaging – The tuition cost is one of the most significant barriers to break through in this Phase. You need to do more than simply list your tuition rates on your website, you must help the parent understand how this school is worth the cost and it can be affordable for their consideration.

While there is much more to this phase in the Family Journey, you can understand that this is a key part of the process. The Consideration Phase is a critical step in the Family Journey. It is essential for you to implement effective strategies to convert the parent’s interest from awareness to consideration in their journey.

During our upcoming Enrollment Marketing Geeks Workshop, we will unpack this phase of the family journey and the consideration strategies that can be implemented. (as well as the other phases). These strategies will be foundational to your school’s enrollment marketing effort. Plan to join us on November 30 in sunny Orlando and make sure you take advantage of our early-nerd discount – gotr – to receive a $100 discount when you register by October 14.