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Recruiting Intelligence

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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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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Geotargeting and Retargeting in Digital Marketing

Working in a recruitment office, we’re willing to bet that you have more on your plate than you can handle. But that’s par for the course, right?

We know it can be difficult to find the time to take advantage of all of the opportunities in front of you. This week, we want to give you a quick overview of two targeted marketing concept that can have a positive impact on your international recruitment initiatives – and how you can make the most of the opportunities they present.

It is likely that your institution already employs some form of geotargeting and retargeting in your online advertising campaigns, but how can you ensure that it’s being done effectively for international recruitment? Let’s dig into these terms and how you can use your audience segmentation to strengthen your approach.

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Competition In Edtech Is Off the Charts

Every time we turn around there is another set of edtech companies showing off their wares. At NACAC, NAFSA and the American Marketing Association’s Higher Ed Group, everyone has a tech solution.

We’ve been watching the rise of edtech and loving the growth and the disruption. From offering new ways of delivering educational content to how we confirm that students are absorbing that content, there are beautiful things happening. And the data being collected is going to help us all improve our education outcomes.


There are more than 15,000 companies in some form of edtech position. And by some estimates more than $50B (likely more) has been invested in making them grow. Some of the names are familiar to you and some are new to all of us.

But everything is not rosy here. All too often, the marketing for these companies shout out “Artificial Intelligence” and “Predictive Modeling,” when they are anything but “intelligent” or “predictive.” If you scratch the surface when you meet them at a conference, you’ll find that their “predictive modeling” is simply filtering their list purchases in sophisticated ways. We're thinking their marketing pitch might be better termed “Artificial Modeling.” To wit, they are selling stuff with no substance.

Intead will be doing a series of posts and webinars with industry leaders addressing edtech in the coming year. We’re excited to shine a light on those that are doing incredible things. As always, our Intead Plus members will get the best stuff from us.

Please read on for a nice summary of the wonderful ways edtech will transform the classroom, our employees, and our lives in the years to come.

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How much to pay commission-based student recruiters?

The agent debate ended a number of years ago for most of us. Sure, there are a few stragglers complaining about the unethical practices out there.

Our view: Every industry has unethical characters. Commission-based recruiters, as a group, have more than their fair share. Basic buyer beware precautions are the rule. Careful vetting and management of your recruiters will keep you from getting burned more than once.

Rather than being asked whether commission-based agents are a valid recruitment channel, we are now consistently asked, “What is the going rate?” And the market is shifting.

Intead and AIRC set out to understand as much as we could from both universities and agents in the current market. We published our report late last year and offered up a well-attended webinar.

Want to learn more about what others are paying their agents and how they are managing those relationships? Our most recent research findings and the webinar recording are just a click away.

Read on…

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To Russia, with Love: Russian Student Recruitment on the Rise

If you are following political news in the U.S., it’s hard not to be thinking about Russia these days. So, it’s no wonder that Russia’s role in the international education community is on our minds, too—including the country’s increasing enrollment draw. You’ve seen us post about the drop in new international student enrollment at U.S. institutions, and the increasing competition represented by China and Canada.

So if you are starting to set your sights on recruiting from a select set of African nations (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, S. Africa), this is an important blog post for you. "Africa," you say? "I thought we were talking about Russia."

It is a globally connected world and we're here to connect the dots for you. Read on and we'll address Russia’s strengthening enrollment numbers and how that is important to your plans to expand your recruitment efforts in Africa ... so, throw a shot of vodka into your Starbucks cup, and let’s dive in.

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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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