One of the main values we add to our clients is to help them make sense of multitude of marketing strategies and dizzying channel options. Here is one framework to view all your marketing strategies:
1. Know Thyself
It was Shakespeare who said “To thine own self be true”. All higher education marketing strategies begin with self-knowledge; brand exercises help crystallize this essence. A healthy college’s self keeps changing over its life – expanding, growing, succeeding at some things and failing at others. So every once is a while, a college has to redefine itself and its brand. It’s healthy.
How a college gets the right-fit prospects to find it using search, display, social, PR2.0 and traditional media. The best sources of building awareness of your college brand are satisfied alumni, ranking and rating agencies, an army of talented faculty/staff, and community action (sports, medical schools, centers of excellence, community events). Analytics packages help a college marketer decide what’s working and what’s not, and how to allocate precious marketing dollars.
How college marketers apply persuasion paradigms on interactive and tactile touch points to convert the best-fit prospects into enrolled students. Beautiful/Usable websites, friendly counselors, memorable tours, and individual consultations with students/faculty are all part of the conversion fabric. CRM systems let enrollment team manage the prospect journey down the admissions funnel.
How a college delivers a rewarding academic experience so students become brand ambassadors and potential donors and referral source for future students. This solely depends on the talented faculty, facilities, services and the events that a college provides – in sum, the college experience.
4. Build Reputation
The best way for a college to build reputation is to deliver an amazing experience. Ranking/Rating agencies keep score. Alumni talk. Editors sniff stories and write. Some alumni gain prominence raising the college flag, others prosper and eventually become trustees and major donors, while the rest becomes the army of small donors and goodwill ambassadors. Not leaving anything to chance, alumni magazine storytellers sniff out the best stories and feed it back into the college ecosystem.
The best of higher education marketing strategies don’t amount to much if a college doesn’t know itself, fails to attract the right-fit students or fails to deliver an amazing college experience. Promises made and promises delivered are the moments of truth for a college.