+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us  

Recruiting Intelligence

Key Takeaways from 3 Student Recruitment Meet Ups

…It goes further than identifying opportunities. You also need to manage them. Perhaps a renewed focus on the mechanics will move the needle more effectively?...

Our full-day workshop at San Diego State University was a truly packed day. After initial conversations about the current student recruitment landscape and the data that informs smart enrollment decisions, we broke into 3 discussion groups talking about recruiting agent management, global digital marketing, and global partners.

Attendees were free to flow from one conversation to the other as our all-star faculty held forth using the Intead Global Marketing Workbook as a guide (available through our Intead Plus subscription). It was fascinating to watch the flow of inquiries and learning throughout the day as attendees tapped the expertise they needed to formulate their global marketing plans.

And we noted the praise for the faculty perspectives gathered. Based on the feedback, participants appreciated the highly productive series of deep conversations with the opportunity for detailed answers to specific marketing/recruitment questions.

We spoke to even more colleagues at the AIRC and ICEF conferences who expressed regret that they were unable to attend our workshop due to timing and work conflicts. If you share that perspective, please let us know. We are evaluating when we might hold this event again, on the East Coast or in other locations. Send us a note. Perhaps we can make this workshop accessible to you.

In the meantime, read on for quick notable ideas from our whirlwind trip westward for AIRC, ICEF, and our workshop in between. You’ll be glad you did.

Read More

Succeed in the New Student Landscape: A Can’t-Miss Event

At some point when we listen to stories of successful initiatives, part of that story almost always includes a line like this: "Well, we were really curious about..."

How is your curiosity quotient these days?

Success emerges from teams that want to know and understand. That desire, and how well you act on and fulfill that desire speaks to the drive to succeed.

In a few weeks, a select few of your peers will gather with leaders in our field of international recruiting for a full-day, hands-on workshop to seriously get stuff done. Dubbed “Succeeding in the New Student Landscape,” this event is designed to help you diversify and build your global student recruitment plan for 2023 and beyond. This event offers small-batch, intensely focused conversations to apply the latest data, trends, perspectives, and best practices to your institution's current state. 

We are keeping it small so that every participant gets the kind of attention that addresses the immediate and long-term thinking needed for each unique institution.

The details:

  • December 13, 2022 (falling conveniently between the AIRC and ICEF conferences)
  • On campus at San Diego State University
  • 19 industry thought leaders as your faculty and keynote speakers
  • Two tracks: Get It Done (Track I), Leadership (Track II)
  • Two on-target keynotes: Social Justice as it relates to International Student Attraction (lunch), and Chinese Student Influencers Today (dinner)
  • Cost (inclusive of all meals): $350 

Ready to learn more? Read on for our list of speakers, moderators, and full-day breakdown. We hope to see you there! There are still spaces left as of this blog posting date.

Read More

NAFSA Region XI: Slides Available + Useful Takeaways

Here’s a quick tease: has someone with a brilliant marketing mind approached you about using influencer marketing to promote your institution? Let us be perfectly clear: it’s a mistake for academic institutions to do this to their brand.

However, there are ways to steal the critical thunder from this growing advertising trend and make it work for academia. Intead conducted a pilot with Northeastern University and the results are here for you to chew on. Great food for thought.


We’re sharing the slides below, but honestly, slides only go so far. It’s the discussion. So yes, grab the download, but if you really want to learn from us and improve your student recruitment game, dive into our San Diego Workshop coming up in December.

Seats are disappearing quickly and we are limiting participation to ensure everyone has access to our amazing workshop faculty. Questions will be answered. Intense discussions will be had, with insight and data. If you’ve not taken a look at the program and the faculty, learn more here…seriously, take a minute and check this out. Opportunities to learn from these experts don’t come around often.


Today we shout out to our colleagues old and new at the recent 2022 NAFSA Region XI. This kind of regional connection and cross-colleague learning is invaluable. A common theme to our 3 presentations and our poster session this time around was how our information can help you explain the value of your work to the powers that be at your institution. What we can add to your justification for budget and other resources to achieve institutional goals.

Below you will find our 2022 NAFSA Region XI session slides showing off the expertise of our presentation partners, thought leaders all:

  • Kirsten Feddersen, Assistant Vice Chancellor of International Enrollment Management, Northeastern University
  • Kathleen Simenson, Director of Admissions, University of New Hampshire
  • Zongxiang Mei, International Education Coordinator, Central Connecticut State University
  • Sarah Lopolito, Assistant Dean for International Programs, Director of the International Center, Clark University
  • Iliana Joaquin, Digital Marketing Manager, Intead

Read on to build your case for how your institution can succeed in a competitive market.

Read More

#NAFSA2022 Takeaways: Intead’s NAFSA 2022 Slides Now Available

The most common topics of conversation throughout #NAFSA2022:

  • So much is in flux right now globally and central to it all: China is not what it used to be. When will China come back?
  • The proliferation of tech tools for student recruitment is overwhelming. They all promise great things and we’ve seen these promises before. Which ones should I evaluate? Will they actually work? How do I know?
  • Boosting yield on applications is a struggle, especially with my team’s limitations on time, experience, and skills. We are understaffed to make this stuff work.
  • I need to find ways to make JEDI efforts more impactful in my recruiting programs and on my campus. 

These issues are being discussed in forums far beyond the NAFSA conference. How we tackle these topics will affect immediate and long-term recruitment priorities for all of us doing this work.

Intead’s NAFSA presentations addressed much of this. A BIG thank you to our amazing collaborators and colleagues from Benedict College, San Diego State University, Clark University, Northeastern University, CIEE, ICEF, and GNET.

Whether or not you were able to attend our live sessions, we’re making our presentations available to you. We think you’ll find them valuable resources as you move into the 2023-24 recruitment cycle. And where the slides don’t give you all the context you need, reach out with your questions.

In the meantime, read on to download our decks.

Read More

The Lament That Goes Nowhere: A New Perspective

As I sat out most of the #NAFSA2022 conference in my Denver hotel room due to a positive covid test the day after I arrived, I worked the phone, email, and social media to keep as many balls in the air as possible. From my 34th floor room across the street from the real action, I provided helpful reports on Downtown Denver traffic patterns ; -)

If you missed our Big 10 Digital Campaign Case Study download, you'll want to grab that here. We ran out of the handouts at NAFSA but PDFs are forever!

During NAFSA, what I missed most, what I regret, is simply those moments when the Intead team is presenting and the NAFSA crowd is clearly taking in new ideas and sharing their excitement about how digital marketing, new tools, and deep insights into target audience decision-making (the stuff of real marketing: voice of the customer) all come together to create successful recruiting initiatives.

Despite what I did NOT get out of the conference, the Intead team (Patricia Tozzi + Iliana Joaquin on-site, and Rachel Trahan behind the scenes) took all matters into their own hands bringing their usual level of amazing. Meanwhile, I sat in my hotel room patching into all the important chats by phone and trying to avoid feeling pathetic.

There is a theme that has been running across international student conferences for many years, and #NAFSA2022 was no exception. It is a lament one often hears from department leads – in most institutions and across all industries. It is the cry of the under-resourced. The “If they only knew how important our work is" dirge.

These department chairs and administrative leaders are frustrated by colleagues and bosses up the chain who somehow do not recognize the value represented by the real work being done and the outcomes produced.

  • “How do they think they will get the growth outcomes they want if they don’t support us?”
  • “Why are they not seeing or valuing our success? Our potential? How hard we work?”
  • “Why do the resources always go to those guys?” (read: domestic marketing)

So, we get it. Your department needs more funding. For marketing collateral, for digital media buys, for tech tools and analytics. For more hands to simply do the work.

But, let’s turn the questions around. Read on for new perspectives on these longtime frustrations…

Read More

AIEA 2022 Takeaways: Where do we go from here?

As I wrote from the MSY airport lounge, #AIEA2022 had just wrapped. At that time, in the previous 24 hours, Russia had launched a military attack on Ukraine, some of our colleagues tested positive for Covid at the AIEA conference, and Boston (my destination) was expecting a foot of snow the next day. Oh, and my Boston flight was unceremoniously canceled with no flights available to get me to Boston for another 3 days. Life as we know it continues with turbulent distress, ambiguity, and elements of normalcy.

With these realities in mind, I offer focused reflections on the ideas that struck me most during the conference and a few ideas on how they might add value to your work. As always, we don’t want to get all esoteric here. It’s about actionable steps for internationalization and diverse student experiences that take us all forward, together, with vision.

Enrollment management is complex. The tools available to help us can be confusing. Read to the end of this post for some very tangible advice from 4 international students who spoke at the conference.

More learning ahead

We hope you will be joining us at NAFSA 2022 in Denver this Spring. We will be sharing 3 forward-thinking presentations and a poster session. We are honored to co-present with colleagues from Benedict College, San Diego State University, Clark University, Northeastern University, CIEE, ICEF, and GNET. More details on those in future posts.

More immediately, read on for reflections and action items from AIEA 2022...

Read More

What’s the Story Behind Your Data? Part 2

Last week we shared stories of clients’ unexpected results from our analysis derived from data they had on hand. Insights that helped them improve their enrollment management and enhance recruitment channels they didn’t even know they had.

Success comes from translating your data into insights that point to actionable tasks to improve your operation, and your results. 

This is work that Patricia Tozzi, our Chief Strategy Officer, engages in every day with our team. In Part 2 of this blog series, she discusses more actionable steps around data translation. Those of you who have worked with her have seen the results. This week we focus on where to start.

Side note: if you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

Read on for Patricia’s take on finding meaningful data and putting it to work…

Read More

What’s the Story Behind Your Data? Part 1

There’s so much richness behind data analysis. However, it’s not very often that institutions fully explore the data already available at their fingertips.

Today’s post comes from Patricia Tozzi, our Chief Strategy Officer. Taking a quick break from her directing Intead’s client campaigns, we asked her to give us perspective on how she approaches the inquiry into all the data that surrounds us. How she deploys her innate curiosity to develop campaigns that succeed for our clients.

We hear the desire to improve marketing efforts, innovate, and influence decisions that will result in real enrollments. Yet, it’s hard to get new ideas to take off due to limited resources and institutions’ slow-moving pace. This we all know from our years of experience working with academic institutions.

Our take is there are valuable, free resources you may be underutilizing (or not using at all) that can help you gain insights and, hopefully, lower some barriers to innovation. 

Thomas F. O'Toole, associate dean for executive education and clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, expresses our experience so well, “I hear people say ‘We need data scientists.’ Well, yes, very selectively—but what you need more broadly are people in different types of functions who are able to translate business needs and problems into data analytics, manage the data required, perform the analytics, and then apply the analytic output in the execution of marketing initiatives and activities.”

Patricia is such a translator.

What we often see are academic leaders who smile, nod, and make a joke about their math skills not being what they should be. Is this you?

No shame in recognizing your skills and skills gaps. But what are you doing about it? Because leaving all that data untapped is not an option.

Read on to learn how to tap into what your existing data is trying to tell you. We think this two-part series is one you’ll want to share more broadly within your institution.

And, if you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

Read More

5 Lead Nurturing Best Practices for Universities and High Schools

For enrollment management professionals, the next few months are all about watching the applications come in and then pouring everything into nurturing them toward enrollment.

In an ideal world you would personally guide each lead from application to enrollment, but that’s just not feasible for most academic institutions. Instead, you need a strong and efficient lead nurturing strategy to engage your prospects and boost enrollment. (You do have one, right?)

Strong lead nurturing strategies take into account each stage of prospective students’ decision process and gives them relevant information along the way.

In fact, the best strategies anticipate student questions before the student (or parent) even knows they are going to ask them. When you’ve done this work for a long time, you tend to know the general flow of the journey of most consumers.

You see how the family starts with a few obvious questions, learns a few things, and then realizes the next questions that need asking. Not unlike the way students progress in the classroom as they come to understand a subject. Learning is an iterative process of inquiry that builds on itself.

In nurturing students selecting an institution or degree program, you are looking for a meaningful alternative to the one-on-one conversations you wish you could have over the course of the admissions journey. Rather than literally holding each lead’s hand, your role is to champion a rock-solid lead nurturing strategy for your institution.

If you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

To learn the 5 key tactics that will help your team create a lead nurturing strategy that works, read on. This post is a great primer for any recruitment team interested in strengthening enrollment yield.

Read More

Reverse Enrollment Declines: Use Marketing Tech Better

So many dashboards. So little time.

Where is success hiding? How much investment will it take to achieve our targets?

With student mobility still in a state of flux, all bets are off for your predictive models. Or are they?

Today, we are talking to those with a CRM and marketing automation tools already in place.

Is this you? Your system works well enough and you can see some obvious gaps in functionality and interconnectedness. But you have what you have and there is no immediate opportunity to upgrade or change what you have. So…it is all about using the tools you have, better.

How do we get there? How do we know which features have real value to our operations? How can we use what we know to achieve better results?

We are heading into four wonderful days of interacting with our peers at the AIRC conference in Miami this week. The Intead team will be presenting on innovative ways to use the rising tide of influencer marketing for academia (it’s not going to be what you might think), and we will be presenting on innovative approaches to grad student marketing.

We can’t give enough thanks to our colleagues Toni Jaeger-Fine from Fordham Law School, Ita Duron from Massachusetts College of Health Sciences, and Kirsten Feddersen from Northeastern University all joining us on the dais to share our experiences and ideas. SO many ideas. Testing and confirming marketing approaches that are unique to each institution’s strengths.

Reach out if you would like to share a cup of coffee in Miami!

Read on for our two concrete recommendations for using your marketing tech better.

Read More
Content not found