+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us  

Recruiting Intelligence

Marketing Culture. What’s Yours?

We’ve all heard about how company culture eats company strategy for lunch, yeah?

Last week, we wrote about how folks often confuse strategy and tactics. And we gave a little side eye to those colleagues among us who use the word “strategy” to appear smart and make others feel less than.

The cheat sheet on that one: replace the word “strategy” or “strategic” with “different” or “differentiation” and you’ll be able to get to the nub of the discussion topic quickly. Strategy has everything to do with position in the marketplace, which means how you stand out and leverage your differences against the competition. Tactics are all about the marketing tools and channels you use to make your institution’s valuable differences shine, be heard, and understood.

But in academic marketing (and virtually every other operation we can think of), how we achieve our strategic differentiation, how we meet our institutional goals, has everything to do with the team we have to do the work (the team that creates and delivers the product).

An interesting observation here: academic institutions really are all the same, right? Sure, there is R1 and R2, public and private, not-for-profit and for-profit, 4-year and 2-year, but these categorizations, when you get down to it, are not that significant, at least at the undergraduate level, right? They are all producing the same thing and in the eyes of the consumer, what is really different? They all have the same administrative and academic departments. And the rankings are a sham anyway, right?

Read on for how to counter that sad and ineffective point of view.

Read More

So That’s Your Strategy?

People look smart when they reference strategy. It elevates any discussion to greater importance as soon as the word strategy enters. Often, it gets others in the room thinking, “Right, maybe I’m not thinking about this strategically.” Followed by the thought, “What exactly would a strategic version of this discussion look like?”

The idea of strategy is often misunderstood. I fully admit, it really can be difficult. I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve been in where people describe their tactical execution plan as the strategy. 

A simple example of why folks get confused, and I’ll use what we know best, the world of marketing: Your marketing strategy to enroll more students requires great marketing content. Content is a tactic you will employ to achieve your strategic goal. Yet, you will need a content strategy to be successful. So, content is not a tactic. It is a strategy, right? No, it is a tactic in this scenario. A tactic that needs its own strategy.

Oy vey.

Our team, of course, lives in the world of marketing strategy, planning, and execution. Today's post shares some insights into how to simplify the discussion and confirm when you are employing a strategy vs. discussing the tactical execution of any given initiative.

Read on and maybe we can shed some light on how to actually be smart in the discussion, not just look smart.

Read More

Find Your Niche Market:Recruiting Outside of the Top 10 Cities

Of all the cities across the globe, more than half of international students studying in the U.S. between 2008 and 2012 on F-1 visas were from 94 different cities. This is a staggering fact. Think about it.

As we studied the SEVIS data, it certainly got us thinking: why do we only ever hear about the top 10 cities in recruiting? Aren’t there student fairs worth going to in other cities?

There are plenty of great cities out there where talented and eager international students are looking for options. And the opportunities to recruit from these second tier cities are clear for lesser known institutions. In this blog, we look at why and how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Bottom Line: Many of our clients are seeking to accomplish two recruiting goals: 1) enter new international markets where they currently have little or no name recognition among international students and 2) increase student recruitment from their current international markets against growing competition.

The only way to achieve these goals is to build local relationships (this takes longer than you think) and look at second and third tier cities as a way to capture markets that are strong but less accessible (meaning less competition).

Meet Us in Denver: We will be at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference in May presenting new data about the impacts of current economic and political events around the world on students’ plans to study abroad. Schedule a time to chat with us at NAFSA in Denver. We’d love to learn about your recruiting plans and share our latest research with you in person.

Now, our intrepid blogger, Emily will take us along a few roads less traveled

Read More

Advertising to Students with Instagram


Should Instagram be one of your student recruitment tools?

Here's another question more to the point: Are you prepared to ignore the 50% of high school seniors searching for university options via Instagram?

Sure, go ahead and put your marketing budget into those slick mailers that cost $10+ per piece. You do know that they go straight from the mailbox to the recycle bin, right? Trust us, we have 17 year olds at home and watch it happen each week. Sorry, harsh but true.

In last week’s blog post we introduced you to all of the great things Instagram can offer to universities: ease of use, engaging content, targeting younger student groups, providing a glimpse of life on campus. All of these things are great for your digital marketing initiatives. And Instagram is constantly updating and evolving both their phone app and website to make the platform even easier to use.

In addition to those free features Instagram offers its users, the platform recently added advertising options. In this week’s post, Emily will introduce us to the how's and why's of advertising to students on Instagram.

QUICK SIDE NOTE: Can We Meet in Denver? We will be at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference in May presenting new data about the impacts of current economic and political events around the world on students’ plans to study abroad. Use this link to schedule a time to meet with us at NAFSA in Denver. We’d love to learn about your recruiting plans and share our latest research with you in person.

Now, on to Emily's take on Instagram...

Read More

Get The Most Out of Student Recruitment Travel

You know the saying: you can do anything, but not everything. It applies to all aspects of life and work. And it really applies to those in the international student recruitment industry who travel.

Traveling for recruitment is a whirlwind. There is advance planning, the many activities, meetings, fairs and visits that you have scheduled for your trip. Did we mention the long days on your feet at the booth while struggling with jet lag? Best not to mention that part, right?

And then, of course, the most important part of recruitment travel: following up with leads. Wasn't the whole point of the trip to find prospective students and ultimately enroll them?

It is quite a lot to take on. And last time we checked, you only had two hands, one brain, and 24 hours in a day.

Of course you can do it, but not all at once. We know the challenges you face while traveling, we’ve talked to your peers in the industry and we hear you. So, to help with that most important part--the lead follow up--we’ve created a “Getting The Most Out Of Travel” worksheet for you to, quite literally, keep in your back pocket. 

The Bottom Line: making sure you are converting those student leads, which is really why you are spending those budget dollars on recruitment travel to begin with.

Setting up a plan is key. To effectively market your institution while traveling, you have to have a clear strategy in mind and a step-by-step process to reach your end goal. This downloadable worksheet might be just the thing to share with your team as a helpful checklist as you fly forward...

Read More

Audience Segmentation Worksheet for International Recruiting

If we said it 1,000 times—and we probably have —it still wouldn’t be enough. Audience Segmentation is the fuel that drives your email and digital marketing to the next level. By segmenting your prospective international students based on geography, academic interest, TOEFL scores and other demographic information, your creative content will engage them in a way that stands out from your competition.

Here’s the thing, of the 4,000+ universities and colleges in the U.S., only a handful are doing this level of marketing. So, if you are wondering if you should make the effort…uhm, YES!

So the Intead team has created a worksheet that spells it out in 9 steps. Want to download a copy to share with your staff? Read on...

Read More
Content not found