Prospective Undergrad Buyer's Journey

Goals and Challenges

Chris Cobb is a stellar student who wants to choose the college that will provide him with the greatest opportunities for success in life. But he is very busy, and other colleges are bombarding him with marketing communications.

Learn more about this student's background, demographics, and interests: Prospective Undergraduate Persona

What Questions Does He Have?


Asks questions about what they are looking for in a college or university.

  1. Which colleges rank for the academic program I am looking for, or one I might be interested in?
  2. Which colleges have successful alumni doing things I'm interested in?
  3. Which research universities conduct applied research?
  4. Which cities are known as technology hubs?
  5. Which cities have strong tech-focused job markets?
  6. Which colleges have strong entrepreneurship programs?
  7. Which colleges are the right balance of location, size, and cost?


Identifies the aspects that they are interested in and applies, or requests proposal.

  1. What majors does the college offer?
  2. What kinds of internships and co-ops are available?
  3. What kinds of companies and jobs do students end up in?
  4. Where will I get research experience?
  5. What study abroad options are available?
  6. Is there life outside of the classroom?
  7. What are the students like?
  8. What does it feel like to be on campus?
  9. How good are the professors, and what are classes like?
  10. How much is tuition, and what financial aid is available?


  1. Compares offers and financial options, and ultimately chooses where to enroll.
  2. Am I qualified to get in?
  3. How likely is my academic success as a student?
  4. How much are tuition and fees?
  5. How do I apply?
  6. When is everything due?
  7. What financial aid and scholarships are being offered?
  8. What do I need to know about next steps?

How Does He Find Answers?


  1. Searches the web using Google.
  2. Talks to parents, family, and friends.
  3. Investigates jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees.
  4. Reviews college direct mail materials.
  5. Talks to high school counselor.
  6. Reviews rankings information, especially U.S. News & World Report.
  7. Attends college fairs.


  1. Visits college websites.
  2. Visits campus.
  3. Goes to official and personal college social media accounts.
  4. Visits college bio pages.
  5. Goes to college's LinkedIn page.
  6. Reads emails and other communications from admission counselors.
  7. Talks to peers, family, and influencers.


  1. Explores admission website.
  2. Subscribes to applicant e-newsletter.
  3. Engages with official and personal college social media accounts.
  4. Investigates financial aid and scholarship requirements.
  5. Investigates housing options.
  6. Gets in touch with incoming classmates.
  7. Attends an event.
  8. Revisits campus.

What Do We Want Him to Think?


  1. Georgia Tech is a well-known, prestigious college with top-ranked academic programs.
  2. Georgia Tech is a leading research institute that uses science and technology to make the world a better place.
  3. Georgia Tech is a public college with a more affordable tuition than an Ivy League school.
  4. Georgia Tech has several notable alumni who are successful in my areas of interest.
  5. Atlanta is a thriving global city with a strong technology-focused job market.
  6. Georgia Tech's Midtown neighborhood is also home to major corporations and startups.


  1. Georgia Tech has the major I'm interested in with a technology-focused curriculum.
  2. Georgia Tech's students are just like me.
  3. Georgia Tech offers a welcoming and supportive environment.
  4. Georgia Tech provides many resources to help me succeed academically and professionally.
  5. Georgia Tech's strong network of alumni, corporate, and government partners will benefit me.
  6. Atlanta is a city with a strong technology-focused job market.


  1. I can see myself as a Georgia Tech student and would be proud to be a Georgia Tech alumnus or alumna.
  2. Georgia Tech's communications about Next Steps are clear.
  3. I'm confident that I am in good hands.

Sources: Georgia Tech prospective undergraduate students and parents survey 2016, mStoner 2016, undergraduate content survey October 2016, Armchair Media 2016.


Mapping Content to the Buying Cycle

What types of content will be most useful at each stage?

Prospective Undergraduate Content Map