Date Approved

2015

Date Posted

4-15-2015

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Jeffrey L. Bernstein

Abstract

Microtargeting efforts practiced by political parties determine what kind of information sent by what type of messengers should be sent to constituents to increase their likelihood of voting or donating. A similar perspective is used in regard to higher education institutions' marketing tactics. The college experience is malleable and different for each person. Universities are interested in recruiting students. Therefore, the way they recruit students should also be shape-shifters to better match the desired characteristics a prospective student wants out of a school. Microtargeting in university marketing campaigns can allow institutions to distribute recruitment materials at a higher level of lifestyle compatibility to make their school more desirable. This study uses a fictional school, Fraser University, to test positive feelings toward manipulations of three types of university postcards. Positive affinities toward postcard manipulations were measured through self-reported Skill and Need survey responses. In this research, subgroups show different levels of positive feelings toward image and verbiage postcard manipulations. This study provides an existence proof that targeting appeals can have differing impact upon different segments of the population, suggesting that microtargeting has the potential for improved efforts in college recruiting.

Share

COinS