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Recruiting Intelligence

Non-Traditional Students, Public Radio, & You

Ahhh, NPR. What can we say: we’re fans. We’re suckers for Ira Glass’s vocal fry, we still listen to re-runs of Car Talk, and Kai Ryssdal's voice on MarketPlace is always reassuring in volatile times. Yes, we own more than one telethon tote bag.

But the public radio stalwart isn’t simply a source of endless commuting distraction. For the past few months, it’s also become one of our go-to’s for insights into the non-traditional student space, a growing market we’re following closely.

Ready for a new favorite resource to stay on top of your enrollment management game?

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Entrepreneurialism & Era 2.0: The Digital Disruption

This week, Intead Director of Marketing Strategy Patricia Tozzi shares her perspective on all things digital. Fresh off her AIRC conference presentation on using Digital Marketing Tactics to Prompt Student Micro conversions and her ICEF presentation on Design Thinking. Oh, did we mention her instructional role in our full day recruitment strategy pre-conference workshop? Right, well, let's let Patricia tell it.

Insights from Our Director of Marketing Strategy

Last week, I was reading an article about blockchain and a quote caught my eye: so many things need to get built. Just do it ...That’s the entrepreneurial ethic: we see a need or opportunity and we just do it. 

The recurring theme throughout the article that resonated for me was not about blockchain or the varying perspectives around the topic, but rather a shift in outlook and attitude that could change the way we communicate and interact with the world in (what I’m calling) "Era 2.0".

As the world shifts and changes, so too does the way we experience and respond to it. If you keep your eyes and ears open to everything that happens around you, trying to spot opportunities and apply new ideas, then you are an entrepreneur at heart, like me. You are watching the world change at a faster rate than ever before, highlighting an ever-increasing dependence on technology. The question is: What does this mean for higher education and how do we leverage it?

I see this “Era 2.0” as an opportunity to improve the way we communicate with our global audience. 

Read on and I'll share my take. I think you'll find some insights worth sharing...

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Our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018: Chosen By Readers

Well, 2018 has come and gone—and here at Intead, we’re catching our breath after a busy year of developing academic recruitment plans, creating compelling marketing campaigns, helping clients assess their institutional strategies and international web presence...and, of course, dishing up blog insights week after week. 

We have a feeling you’ve all been awfully busy too—maybe even busy enough to miss some of our most popular posts of the year! So, let’s take a look back at which topics drew the most clicks in the past 12 months. Some are focused on nitty-gritty recruitment tips, some on big picture market trends, and some on finding inspiration in trying times. We are sure there will be at least a few topics in here that will make you think of a particular colleague who just might be able to use those insights. So, we've added a handy "Email this Post" button at the bottom of the page, just for those moments. Read on for links to the year’s Top 10 hits.

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Insights from AIRC & ICEF 2018

This week, we are just returning from the whirlwind Florida adventure that is the annual AIRC and ICEF conferences. This is our 9th year taking this trip, connecting with colleagues, sharing ideas, presenting new data and working together to drive innovation.

There was much discussion around emerging digial marketing techniques, assessment of our current global political situation and the students who are at the heart of it all. As with all higher ed conferences, we find ourselves loving the swirl of new ideas, invigorated, encouraged and looking to share our experience with all of you. 

I invite you to have a quick read through some of the insights from the two conferences and scroll down to enjoy a brief video we produced with several industry friends and colleagues who each have a deep and unique expertise in areas including: launching global brands, innovating, connecting people around the world and crunching data.

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Think Positive: Differentiation is Powerful

Last week, we touched briefly on the importance of differentiating your institution in the minds of international students. You may be seeing ever more doom-and-gloom sentiment among your peers on campus and colleagues in the field. The uplifting confidence that comes from a deep understanding of your differentiators is essential to your success.

This approach applies to your institution's success as much as it applies to your personal success. For this blog, we'll stick to your institution's approach and leave the rest to you.

So, your institution is not ranked in the top 50, right? And your access to a major city? How about your brand recognition in your target countries?

The reality is, most schools are in the same boat here. Not all international students are looking for the same things. There is a niche that will find your attributes just right. All international students are not all looking for the same things. But they DO need to become aware of what you have that other's don't. YOU need to help them assess and select.

International marketing is not an easy thing to do. It may seem overwhelming, confusing and, at times, impossible. It's easy for your colleagues on campus to fall into the trap of thinking, "Why would any international student want to come here?"

It's time to flip the question.

Why wouldn't they want to come to your school? You have so much to offer. Your doors wouldn't be open if you didn't. The question is: "What can your institution offer international students that no other institution can?"

Bottom Line: Creatively communicating your differentiators is essential to helping students know about and then grasp the opportunities you offer. 

Let's get into this a bit deeper...

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Developing Essential Skills Within Your Recruitment Team

This week, Ben at Patricia are in Miami at the AIRC conference, where they will be hosting a digital marketing workshop alongside Angel Ahmed, CEO of GNET, and Hillary Dostal, Director, Global Initiatives at Northeastern University. This expert team and comprehensive workshop will help international recruitment leaders develop strategic communications plans that differentiate their unique institutions. And, they will be talking about the skills needed throughout the process to achieve success. 

Plans are only as good as the team executing them. Seems obvious, right?

Is your team aligned on your strategic enrollment plan? Do you have a comprehensive marketing plan to work from? Are there gaps in the skill sets? We bet there are at least a few areas that could use improvement, right?

This week we want to walk you through our strategic marketing workshop format and a series of corresponding worksheets available via Intead Plus to guide your marketing and enrollment teams. Ready? Let's check it out. 

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The Essential Guide to Implementing a University CRM

Is there anything more annoying than trying to accomplish a task without the proper equipment? Whether it’s trying to cook up dinner in a too-small pan or charge your phone with that slightly-defective cord that only stays plugged in if propped up in one specific way (argh!). 

Working with tools that are not quite right can drive you up a wall.

The more important the task, the more frustrating it is to have a tool that isn’t helping you succeed. So, it’s no surprise that many universities, high schools, and language schools feel incredibly irritated by customer relationship management (CRM) systems that don't meet their needs.

If that sounds familiar—and if you wish you had more guidance on how to set up a system that will actually workkeep on reading.

The Intead team is gearing up to present our AIRC full-day workshop on December 5 followed by some great learning and networking at all the conference sessions. If you are going, please be in touch (info@intead.com). We'll be at ICEF the following week in Miami and welcome a meeting there as well.

Now about those CRM systems...why is everyone switching to Technolution's #Slate, anyway?

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New Open Doors Data: What Does It Really Tell Us?

NPR Marketplace fans may have heard a familiar voice on last Tuesday’s episode. Ben was happy to join the show’s ever-engaging economic reporters as they quickly reviewed the latest numbers from IIE’s Open Doors data and considered the issues at play.

Those of us working in international student enrollment in the U.S. have monitored enrollment data even more carefully than usual over the past few years. In a time of political upheaval in the U.S. and globally, the impact on enrollment has been a nail-biter. How have anti-immigrant rhetoric, changes in visa policies, and rising violence affected enrollment? How will these trends affect us in the future? And how can universities counteract the negative messages and perceptions with positive ones?

This is complicated work, and one that regular readers of our blog engage with vigor. And not for nuthin, but our market research with FPPEDUMedia predicted this turn of events eight months prior to the 2016 election. Our blog subscribers saw the storm clouds coming and had our tips and reports in hand. 

But even those who follow these issues closely would be forgiven for scratching their heads about the latest headlines about the new 2017/2018 Open Doors numbers.

“Number of International Students in United States Reaches New High of 1.09 Million” says IIE’s own announcement. “New International Enrollments Decline Again” says Inside Higher Ed.

Huh?

If you plan to be in Florida for AIRC or ICEF next month, reach out so that we can connect in person. Ben and Patricia will be there presenting workshops, sessions and generally sharing our research and strategic marketing approach with anyone willing to listen ;-)

Now, Let’s break down the latest data... 

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Higher Education is Changing. Are You Keeping Up?

Today on the Recruiting Intelligence blog, we’re excited to broaden the enrollment conversation.

You may have read our guest post a few weeks ago from Dr. David Di Maria about the commonalities between international and non-traditional students.

Most Wednesdays, we cover topics related to international student recruitment. As our readers know, effective international student outreach requires an understanding of two fundamental concepts:

  • The first idea is cheesy, but true: no matter where we’re from, we’re all people with common core desires, fears, and drives. The desire for a safe and enriching environment, fear of isolation or failure, and the drive to succeed in our chosen field are pretty universal.
  • The second concept is the hard part: While we all share the same broad needs, our background does shape the best ways to capture our attention, meet our desires, assuage our anxieties, and encourage our dreams.

Understanding that duality is the key to effectively reaching international students and prompting them to take action (read that as "prompting them to apply"). It’s also the key to reaching another, increasingly important group of students. We’ve been thinking about these learners a lot lately, and we’re jazzed about discussing them here today: “non-traditional students.”

Non-traditional students are the future of education—both international and domestic. This is a group of students that clients are asking about more and more, and a market segment none of us can afford to ignore it.

We’re so certain of this, in fact, that we wrote a whole book about the subject. 

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Selecting a Marketing Agency: What Makes an Effective Team?

You know your organization needs to do a better job of recruiting in key markets, but how do you find the "right" marketing team? This is a complex question, but from our experience, there is one clear answer. 

Exploring an array of works by strategic thought-leaders including Brene Brown, Jocko Willink, Reid Hoffman, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, comparing and contrasting a range of theories and approaches, strategic and tactical advice about creating effective teams – a pattern begins to emerge.

The answer: When you are evaluating vendors, consider team culture carefully. With global marketing, there’s a lot that can go sideways quickly, and you want the right group of people by your side to launch effectively and adjust when needed.

Will your agency adapt to change with grace and thoughtful expertise, and still deliver results given the new reality on the ground? Will they have the global network that identifies the need to change and share it with you on the spot? Or will it become apparent later, after the campaign funds are long gone?

The "right" team is hard to find. We know that truth from experience. Read on for a bit of wisdom from one of our clients about choosing the team that will move your institution forward. 

But before you click on: Last Chance for a free pass to today's Intead Plus webinar, "What's A Muslim Student to Think?" with my guest, Wajahat Ali, Journalist, CNN Talking Head, NYT Op Ed Contributor and all around thoughtful, analytical, humorous guy. Starts at 11AM DST. You won't be disappointed.

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Know Your Neighborhood - Fall 2017
Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions