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Despite all the cultural and technology changes in the past ten years, today’s enrollment marketing professionals are still largely relegated to email blasts, while the one-to-one interactions are the domain of their colleagues in recruitment. It is now time for marketing and recruitment teams that previously worked in silo — with separate revenue goals and success metrics assigned to each — to be much more closely aligned. And delivering on that promise means coordinating the technologies used by each department.

Marketing teams used to be responsible for creating leads, which would then be passed along to the recruitment team for follow up. But advances in online analytics and other tools now allow marketing professionals to gain far greater insights into what prospects are doing online. Combining web analytics with landing pages, email and link tracking tools and other tools that aggregate social media activity has clarified the pattern of individual online activity. In other words, marketing professionals can clearly define the digital footprint of a single prospect.

As these our capabilities have been sharpened, the pressure has mounted on marketing teams not just to create leads but to sort through them, rate them and hand off the most meaningful ones to recruitment, while marketing continues to nurture and (hopefully) strengthen budding relationships with less likely prospects.

The term “qualified leads” is fairly common in the corporate world but is rarely heard in higher education. While its definition varies, in education it implies individuals who are displaying both the intent and the capacity to make an enrollment decision in a reasonable timeframe.

Institutions with sophisticated enrollment marketing efforts have an agreement between marketing and recruitment as to what the exact requirements of a qualified lead are, and those leads are sent to recruiters for further outreach and the one-to-one interactions that are the hallmark of recruitment.

The most successful institutions have also made solid choices in customer relationship management systems. While not every CRM has moved quickly enough to offer effective toolsets in education (in fact, some of the most popular ones haven’t!), there are other CRMs that work beautifully in our world. Salesforce, for example, combined with simple add-ons like Marketo and Hubspot, offers everything required for this new world.

Thanks to these new tools, enrollment marketing teams can track individual behavior and trends, predicting their tendency to enroll or willingness to talk to a recruiter with increasing accuracy. From a recruiter’s perspective, leads are no longer guessing game. This is the new world of technology-driven enrollment marketing.

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