Last night I had the opportunity to read this article from Gil Rogers. I liked it from the second I read the title: “Right Message. Right Time. Right Channel.” If you haven’t read it, the post is about ensuring that your communication strategy aligns with said title and pulls on the stats from the recently released State of College Admissions Report.
Here’s what resonated with me most from it:
"The reality is that at the end of the recruitment cycle when you report to your Vice President why you did not achieve your enrollment goals, not that many people get fired for buying more names. That’s because buying more names is the norm. It’s the traditional way of squeezing a little more water out of the rock to boost selectivity by getting a few more applications. One could argue that if you had invested your resources more wisely up front, you wouldn’t be in such a tough position come reporting time."
Gil’s right. Buying more names is the norm. And, some companies that pull those lists together are able to do a fantastic job at providing a highly targeted list that will give you a decent return. Some of those companies are also very expensive.
So how can institutions invest their resources more wisely up front? And, what are we considering when we use the term “resource?” Every fall, admissions reps hit the ground and offices allocate both human and financial capital to make this happen. Road warriors are the “up front” of admissions. Each year, strategic EM’ers map out travel plans that they believe will net them the greatest ROI.
The main events during travel season are college fairs. They offer the chance to meet some amazing prospective students (and some not-so-much, to be fair), interact with school counselors, and build relationships that will hopefully turn into applications. Aside from the conversations at the tables, after a college fair, communication with students, counselors, and families pretty much comes to a halt...for weeks…months. Data has to be brought back to the institution and manually uploaded before targeted communications actually commence. Missed opportunities doesn't even begin to sum it up.
But, what if you could upload student data immediately (virtually), avoiding the road card fiasco, and not worry about having to begin a conversation with prospects all over again. You’d simply continue the conversation. You’d leave a stronger impression. You‘d get more leads and because of enhanced efficiency in the data collection and evaluation process, end up with higher quality ones as well. What’s better is that the product that affords you higher quality communications also provides benefits to those on the other side as well—the ones who the college search process is really about. Students. We know students can't (and shouldn't) do it alone, so we're including school counselors in the mix, too.
And that’s about all I can say.
Excited to hear about your college fair experiences this Thursday at 9PM ET! And, if this post piqued your interest at all, let’s chat.