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Executive MBA Market: A Digital Perspective

At Eduvantis, we study the trends driving and shaping global business school markets. We are pleased to share some important observations about the Executive MBA market, which we will be speaking about at the upcoming Executive MBA Council Conference in Los Angeles. Understanding your program visibility and how to reach your targets is the key to increasing enrollments in the digital economy.

Stabilizing Demand: Following a 30% decline in EMBA program searches from 2007 to 2012 in the United States, the number of searches has remained consistent from 2012 through 2014.

Limited Market: There are only 70,000 searches each year in the United States for Executive MBA programs, with approximately 56% of these searches being branded, i.e., people searching specifically for an institution’s Executive MBA program. This means 44% of searchers haven’t yet narrowed their list of prospective EMBA programs.

Increasing Cost: Over the past three years, the average cost-per-click for Executive MBA keywords in the United States has increased over 60%, with many advertisers paying up to $45 per click in competitive markets.

Exploring Interest in Online Delivery: There has been a 250% year-over-year increase in interest for online Executive MBA programs between 2013 and 2014.

Shifting Top US Markets: Most popular markets for EMBA programs based on total search volume are changing. The current top markets (with last year’s ranking) are as follows:

  1. San Francisco (4)
  2. New York (1)
  3. Boston (6)
  4. Washington DC (2)
  5. Houston (9)

 

Growing Top EMBA Brands: Based on percentage increase in searches, the top EMBA brands are as follows:

  1. Ohio State University Executive MBA
  2. Baylor University Executive MBA
  3. Southern Methodist University Executive MBA
  4. Yale University Executive MBA
  5. Rice University Executive MBA

 

Implications

The EMBA product category is a niche market in which a substantial percentage of searchers can be influenced in their final program decision through effective digital strategies. Understanding how the market searches and optimizing scarce marketing budgets is increasingly complex but essential given rising costs and increased competition.

About Eduvantis

At Eduvantis, our data-driven practice combines unrivaled business school expertise and leading digital strategies to increase program enrollments. We combine search engine optimization (SEO), paid media, web usability, and analytics services to help institutions increase their market visibility and grow enrollments through strategic digital marketing.

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