Case Study: Personas in Higher Ed Alumni

Campbell Rinker launched a multi-client study to gain a broad-based and marketable understanding of alumni personalities across institutions in the United States. This wide-ranging study of alumni attitudes and engagement with their alma mater involved developing and marketing a low-cost study to institutions across the North American educational spectrum.  Alumni from eight institutions (public and private, large and small) each responded to a thorough research survey. Through interviews with thousands of alumni from the participating institutions, Campbell Rinker was able to model, identify and profile four primary alumni personalities, which we call Rallyers, Reconnecters, Reminiscers and Resisters.  In some cases (e.g. as with honor societies) there may also exist a segment of Recognition-seekers.  Asking new graduates and other alumni these eight questions at any point can help a university trim costs by connecting less with unresponsive audiences and boost response by talking with responsive groups using the most effective language.  These personality types can be identified in an alumnus through responses to a list of eight innocuous questions about their activities, interests, and friends, using a handful of questions we call the R4 Matrix.  A university may pursue stronger engagement from each personality type by using messages which are appropriate for each one, e.g. telling Reconnecters about alumni gatherings, and Reminiscers about the restoration of the campus’ clock tower.

How do you identify any of these alumni types in your database? Campbell Rinker has developed a survey-based model to help you categorize alumni into each of the R4 Matrix alumni segments. If you conduct an alumni survey, be sure to include the handful of questions that can be used to classify your alumni.

Methodology: Online Survey, Modeling