5 Steps For Admissions to Think Like Marketers

In our May 21 webinar, 5 Steps for Admissions to Think Like Marketers, we explored some of the most successful practices used by marketers and how they can be applied within the context of college admissions—to highly effective ends. Here’s a recap:

Step 1: Develop a Laser Focus

Marketing to teens is all about capturing attention quickly. Kate Dunn, Director of the Business Development Group at Infotrends, advised admissions professionals to have a razor-sharp idea of student segments and develop personas–hypothetical student profiles representing those segments in order to talk to them more authentically. Identify student populations and subpopulations clearly, and speak to them on their terms.

Step 2: Relevancy Reigns

Dunn also urged admissions staff to “…forget what you want to tell them and focus on what they want to know.” By matching aspects of your programs to individual needs, your admissions team will have greater success capturing the right person with the right message at the right time through the right channels. Liaison’s Suzanne Sharp shared several examples of colleges currently using high-complexity personalization in their marketing (variable content and image blocks based on student information, right down to a student’s pet’s name) and the resulting increases in enrollment for those schools.

Step 3: Create a Great Experience

According to The Rain Group’s Your Guide to Insight Selling Success, 53% of customer loyalty is a result of not what you sell but how you sell it. Additionally, buyers are 3 times more loyal to sellers who actively bring opportunities to their attention. Applied to college admissions, the co-presenters framed a ‘great experience’ as one that is relevant, engaging, interactive, and helpful–and arrives to students on their preferred medium. Schools using a highly personalized, cross-media marketing mix that promotes personalized incentives to each recipient performed best in admissions recruitment, with mobile and variable print being key channels. They explored how some schools broaden mobile engagement to include QR codes, mobile messaging, and even Augmented Reality (AR).

Step 4: Don’t Drop the Ball

Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour. The best admissions marketers beat their competitors in response time for every inquiry and are prepared to talk to students—and parents—using relevant information gathered in the first touch.

Step 5: Automate the Process

Rather than increase staff, increase your automation. Automating execution tasks, data collection, lead scoring, and other similar tasks gives your team back the time they need to deliver an excellent customer experience. The human element and the ability to make connections is paramount for admissions success, so automate anything that gets in the way of your inquiries getting the best personal response they can.

Take a few minutes to view the free webinar and see what you might want to apply to your own strategy. And, we invite you to attend our next webinar: Maximizing Your Admissions Team Using a CRM. Find details about that and other upcoming webinars at EduWebinarSeries.com.