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Recruiting Intelligence

Ben Waxman

Click Here to See Your Future

The future is digital. We’ve heard that in so many ways that we don’t really hear it any more.

Well, here’s a reminder: the future is digital.

We now hold so much computing power in the palm of our hand. Here’s an indicator: if you used a time machine and took one of today’s mobile devices back to 2010, just 10 years ago when the first iPad came out, and showed the development team what you could do with it, what and how you can connect with others around the world, most would be wowed.

Yet, a few would respond with, “That’s it?”

Leaders saw all of this coming and took the steps to usher it into reality.

Last week we discussed the increasing number of university and college closings. These institutions had a very hard time being even slightly nimble. Their leadership teams somehow misread economic trends and the difficulties we are all grappling with became insurmountable.

If you're seeing the warning signs we mentioned last week, our global research is a great resource to tap into and we're always here to help. This week we launched a new, highly affordable Intead Plus subscription option. Check out what the new Intead Plus Bookshelf Membership has to offer and get back to us. 

What we all need are more visionaries to help us navigate to the future. We need the folks who are thinking far ahead, envisioning future opportunities and then developing the executable plan to get us there.

Are you up for it?

Read on for some tips on maintaining a future focus for long-term growth.

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New Global Research: 2019 Edition


Intead’s Research Advisory Board has been guiding our latest work to help inform you of your next student recruiting moves. You can thank them as you pass them in the Nafsa convention hall this week. Meet them HERE.

The data, the infographics, the student insights…so much to consider, evaluate. Our ultimate goal: figure out how it all informs the marketing and recruiting plans of our clients.

I was just in New York City with Unibuddy (Nafsa booth 433) for their well-attended mini-summit. This peer-to-peer student conversation platform is really taking off and proving itself valuable as a recruiting tool. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a report on our findings from an analysis of 200,000 student conversations. Great insights about powerful messaging by region.

For those of you here at Nafsa this week, I’ll be presenting alongside Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University at 2:30 on Wed, 5/29 in WCC Room 207A. Seen the promo video? It will bring you a smile in just 45 seconds…

 

Below, we share our insights on what kind of market research we think is most valuable at this point in global recruiting, given all of the many headwinds impacting our work. Intead Plus members have access to all of it.

With budget cycles coming to a close for 2019 and just firing up for 2020, now might be a good time to consider the value of the investment in Intead Plus.

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EdTech: Coursera’s Role in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Move over, American Inventor Eli Whitney, we’ve come a long way since the cotton gin. We are in the midst of the booming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Just in case it has been a while since you’ve been in a history classroom, here’s a tiny refresher:

  • First Industrial Revolution—mechanization
  • Second Industrial Revolution—mass production
  • Third Industrial Revolution—automation
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution—cyber systems and networks

If you need to brush up on your history, there’s a course for that on Coursera—the newest EdTech unicorn in the revolution.

Valuable Side Note: boosting conversion rates & measuring communications effectiveness. Our NAFSA session is coming up and we'll be discussing how to improve your digital connections with international prospects. Intead and NEU offer up best practices. Check it out our fun 49 second promo...

Join Intead Plus


But why is Coursera such a big deal in this modern revolution? Read on...

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Chinese EdTech Growth Is an Opportunity for You

Beijing is famous for many things: roast duck, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, and most recently, EdTech.

Beijing has the highest concentration of EdTech startups in the world, with a whopping 3,000 companies. Not only is there a staggering number of these businesses, but many have a remarkable earning capability, contributing to a multi-billion-dollar national industry.

Chinese EdTech is something to think about as we head toward the international event that is Nafsa in DC this year. If you are going, please let us know (info@intead.com). We have some brand new industry research about student-to-student counseling to share and it is pretty significant. Be in touch and you'll be the first to know! 

And come to our Nafsa session on digital marketing best practices (we're talking about micro-conversions with one of our favorite stars Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University - see below). With Ben and Hillary presenting, there's always a great mix of practical information and entertainment value. This will not be a snoozer ppt-show. 

So why is Chinese EdTech important to you? Seems distant and inaccessible, right?

The swift rise of Chinese EdTech could serve as a blueprint for growing global digital learning, but there are some unique secrets to China’s success. And there are some university promotion and recruiting opportunities that only the savvy will leverage. Interested? Read on...

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Getting Ahead of the Boom: Collegiate Virtual Reality

Last February, we talked about the intense and growing competition within the EdTech industry and new ways of delivering educational content, like the immersive learning experiences of augmented reality and virtual reality. These simulative experiences as of 2017 garnered $3.1 billion in investments, and those numbers are set to grow.

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Begin With Assessment

You are tasked with so many competing priorities. When do you take the time to step back and confirm your plans are aligned with your goals? When do you take the time to develop new plans to achieve new goals?

Sure, you carve out something you are calling a "retreat" to address these ideas with your colleagues, but if you are like most, you go into those retreats feeling a bit less prepared than you'd like to be. And do you have the data to back up the decisions you need to make?

Important note: You're going to want to share this one with your team. Great tips follow.

Begin with Assessment

We understand. And Intead is often called in to wrangle a bunch of data to the ground and identify the insights that are right there waiting for you, if you had time to analyze and reflect.

Each institution we work with is data challenged. You are not alone. However, there is a lot that your institution collects, though it is probably kept in different silos.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that all pulled together, reviewed by knowledgeable experts and have the hard-hitting report that filters out the noise, focuses on the opportunities, and helps you make smart decisions…backed by data?

Read on...

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Going It Alone? You’ll Want A Library

Budget year is wrapping up and once again, you’ve been informed that you won’t get the level of funding you said you needed to truly move the needle. We get it. We’ve been there. Resources are always scarce. And yes, it can be extremely frustrating.

But you are a professional and you know how this goes. You do your moment of Zen and break out your trusty strategic planning process that you keep tucked away in that part of your brain. What are your true priorities? Where can you use your limited resources to push hard and fast? The goal! Keep the real business goal in mind.

And don’t forget to bring the positive energy to your team along with the plan. We all need that spirited lift that brings the team together and makes everyone feel the common purpose.

And there’s one more thing you’re going to want to have with you: a deep and powerful resource library that guides your strategy and execution when the inevitable obstacles arise along the way.

We got you covered. Read on...

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The Power of List Segmentation Part III: So You Want More Student Applications, Right?

Audience segmentation and digital marketing, this is our third post of our three-part series. Our faithful readers dug into Part I (segmentation and parameters) and Part II (audience motivations) with relish. Today: messengers and lead scoring. Hold onto your hats, right?

This stuff is important— so while our blog series on the topic may end today, we hope you'll keep digging into the topic of audience segmentation. We're here to help. Drop us a line at info@intead.com, or connect with us in-person at the TABS Global Symposium on April 28-30 in Newport, RI.  We'd love to talk with you about how you can use segmentation to up your enrollment game.

One other near-term, valuable opportunity to learn with us: Artificial Intelligence for Higher Ed Explained. An Intead Plus exclusive webinar with Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect. 

This is a great opportunity. We will help you navigate the complex waters of AI and help you stay focused on your long-term goals. We're Intead, so we'll have some really cool data to share about online behavior, tech trends, case studies and the many faces of AI that can improve your student recruitment and engagement.

Register for the Webinar HERE

Here's the bottom line on audience segmentation. Yes, the process can feel daunting. You have a lot to consider: Which regions do you want to reach? What motivations drive your prospective students? Which messages will be most compelling, and to whom?

There is a ton of strategy to consider and content to develop. Nevertheless, this process is how you get more applications and boost your student yield. We imagine there is some internal pressure to achieve these goals, yes?

Different markets require different approaches. Ignore this reality at your own peril. For example, many institutions simply dump all prospective “international students” into a marketing bucket called “INTERNATIONAL.” We hear it all the time (“Let us show you our ‘international’ recruitment brochure!”) and it still makes us wince.

In today's competitive market, a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn't cut it. Take the time to segment your audience and implement a marketing plan (message, content, dissemination channel) to each group you are targeting, and success will follow.

Part of doing audience segmentation well is choosing the best messenger at the best time. And another part is having your system set up to indicate or elevate the best leads - AKA lead scoring (those most engaged) so you know where to focus your valuable time and resources.

So without further ado, let's get to it.

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The Power of List Segmentation Part II: What's Motivation Got To Do With It?

Last week’s blog post kicked off our mini-series on audience segmentation with a discussion on segmentation by demographics, geography and interests. This week we will delve into models for identifying underlying student motivations and how to make use of this data for your international student recruiting.

Psychographic segmentation identifies unique groups of students with shared motivations and desires in order to help you, as a recruiter, discover what drives them to enroll at your institution. Student's don't just show up on your doorstep. They must be motivated to seek out your institution, out of all your competition. 

Here's an interesting audience segment: 50% of Nafsan's think that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change Higher Education but they don't know how. We aim to fix that! Intead Plus Members will have access to an exclusive webinar about AI and Higher Ed on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 1 pm. Not an Intead Plus Member and still want in? We might know some people at the door! Drop us an email.

The market segments we discuss below are common to most student groups no matter their geographic origins. Yet, each segment will respond more or less to different influencers, based on what part of the globe they come from.

There are so many ways to parse the data. No wonder so few institutions take the time to implement this granular approach to marketing. You know other industries, including clothing retailers, are doing this stuff with their digital marketing. it's not that hard to do. But it takes time.

Retailers use CRM platforms and employ small teams of people to write copy and develop marketing approaches for each clothing line based on audience segmentation. They commit the resources to meet each audience segment with the right information, at the right time, to help them make an informed decision about a purchase. Although the service your institution provides differs wildly from the offerings of any retailer, the granular level of segmentation is relevant and applicable to your specific academic programs and the audience segments you are approaching for each one. 

Bottom Line: We certainly see parallels with how retailers and universities can communicate their offerings to audience segments and cross sell (students interested in this program also pursued interests in these areas...). What we don’t see is a parallel commitment of resources. Academics are so often strained by budgets and limited resources, but the reality is that those committed to growth and success commit funds to reaching the right audience with the right information.

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The Power of List Segmentation Part I: Are you already doing this?

Creativity is essential in our field, and today we talk about how to apply that creativity to the right leads. In fact, we are going to give you plenty of details over the next few weeks on the power of segmentation as you recruit international students. (ProTip: you may want to share this 3-part series with a few key colleagues responsible for your recruiting - domestic and international.) 

When we talk about segmenting your audience, it is critical that you understand your institution's differentiators. Our recent blog post on getting creative about differentiation really resonated with our readers. Did you catch that one? (Read it here).

Bottom Line: by segmenting your international student leads based on geography, academic interest, TOEFL scores and other demographic information, your creative content will engage in a way that stands out from the competitive crowd.

But wait, there's more!

This post is going to take you into an important set of segmentation processes and parameters. A very important one, lead scoring, will be addressed later in this 3-part series on audience segmentation. You and your team won't want to miss any of these posts.

Come see us present at the TABS Global Symposium on April 28-30 in Newport, RI, and we can talk all about the digital marketing we love so much!

Here's the thing: You are going to need some help to do this kind of work. You need the tools and the skills to make it work effectively. Don't shy away from that. In a competitive market, your enrollment numbers are going to fall if you are not keeping pace or pulling ahead of your peer institutions. You know this. The headlines have been screaming about enrollment declines for the past three years (and then some).

So fire up the CRM platform that gives you the ability to design flexible landing pages quickly and easily. Pull in that person on your team who knows how to write great content to your different segments. And get ready to recognize the person who knows how to manage lists and track results. You'll need them (or us) to make this process hum.

Read on...

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