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Recruiting Intelligence

3 Essential Budget Questions: A Framework for Planning

Is it moving forward? At the pace you want? Are you getting where you need to go?

If you are like most institutions, the answer is, “no.”

Or at least, the answer is, “Not as fast and at the level of quality I need and want.” So, here’s the most important question: Why not?

Budgeting for Student Recruitment

The season is upon us and whether you are submitting your budget for approval or evaluating the budget requests others submit to you, we thought we might offer some insight for your process.

Business school professors love to apply the latest 4 square analysis that simplifies complex industry quandaries. The marketing texts (Kotler anyone?) are full of flowcharts and other grids to help you make sense of the 4 Ps (Product, Price, Placement and Promotion). And then there is the ever-elusive ROI analysis.

And the best line of all that sums up our most cynical fears: We will beat the excel spreadsheet into submission until it tells us what we want to hear.

Oh, those budgeting meetings and the spreadsheet assumptions. How often do we go back at the end of the year and take a look at what we projected and what we actually achieved before we approve the next project budget?

Not often enough and usually not with enough of a critical eye.

Sometimes, having outside expertise performing an analysis or assessment of your processes and capacity against your strategic goals can really help move an institution forward. Send us a quick email to learn more about what Intead can do to help.

Download Intead’s 3 Essential Budget Questions – a 1-pager that offers a simplified approach to considering any budget request/evaluation. With this framework for evaluating your plans and whether they merit additional investment, you’ll take those complex quandaries down to a basic starting point to help identify where the opportunities for growth really are. We think you’ll want to share this one widely.

Read on to access the downloadable chart...

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Recruit International Students in Your Own Backyard

What if recruiting international students was as easy as looking in your own backyard? OK, maybe not literally in your backyard. But, there is certainly a lesser-tapped market that is closer than you might think. (And we found this beautiful photo of a typical American front yard and really wanted to use it  ;-)

In 2014, the Institute of International Education reported that 73,019 international students were enrolled in secondary schools in the United States. And of those students, 67% were seeking their secondary diploma. Exchange students, as well as domestically-based international students, are an important target group. They have knowledge of the culture, language and education system in the U.S. and they are easily accessible in the high schools just down the road from you!

Bottom Line: There is plenty of potential for recruiting international students from within the U.S. secondary school system. These students typically have a much easier time adjusting to post-secondary education in the U.S. at a university. But, recruiting them is different than the process your recruiting team might use when attracting domestic students. If you are using your domestic student marketing approach with the international students in your backyard, you are not reaching this target market effectively. Emily can add to your perspective here and share a few tips you might want to pass along to your domestic recruitment team.

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part I: Africa’s Competitive Edge

Have you been to Nairobi? Vibrant city there. International student recruiting options? Yeah, worth evaluating.

There are a number of African countries that interest us as potential international student recruiting pools. Like other regions of the world, many countries here are experiencing very recent economic pain due to dropping oil prices. In addition, competition is growing from a number of higher education institutions within Africa – primarily in South Africa.

This continent is a difficult territory to navigate as a student recruiter. And given some of the recent increases we’ve seen in international student mobility from some regions on this continent, we wanted to see what we could learn. And of course, we wanted to share that with you.

Today and for the next two weeks, we share insights in our three-part series about recruiting from select markets in Africa. Part I, below, provides a larger picture of Africa and the trends of international students studying abroad. Parts II & III will take a deeper dive country focus on Nigeria and Kenya and the potential for recruiting international students from those countries, as well as tips on how to reach them using the most promising marketing channels we could identify.

The Bottom Line: The reality is that many other destinations are more sought by your U.S. recruiting colleagues. African markets are less so. And therein lies the opportunity. The less traveled path represents the less competitive path. Consider how nice it would be to be among the top ranked universities at a college fair. Is that possible for your institution in Beijing? There are market opportunities and then there are market opportunities. Depends on who you are and what you are willing to put into the hunt for international students.

Let’s find out what Emily, our American international student stationed in Leiden, Netherlands, can teach us about this vibrant part of the world.

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Intead’s 7 Most Read Blog Posts of 2015

2015 was a strong year for international student recruiting. And looking back, our blog was filled with many new insights, guest writers, and the important research and trends in international enrollment marketing. As we dive into 2016, we wanted to take the time to showcase what all of you told us was most valuable: our 7 most read blog posts of 2015. 

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

Our recent blog post on creative, personalized digital marketing really resonated with our readers. Did you catch that one? (Catch up HERE). Creativity is great, of course, 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. (Tip: you may want to share this post series with a few key colleagues.) 

Our team (Elizabeth Frederick, Jen Thayer and Maggie Li) will be at NAFSA Region XI October 20-22 giving presentations on digital marketing and how to target your international markets. Please be in touch if you will be there and would like to set up a meeting (or get a bag of our custom m&m’s). We’d love to hear about where you are succeeding and provide some guidance where you face challenges.

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. You are going to need some help to do this kind of work including a CRM (customer relationship management) platform that gives you the ability to design flexible landing pages quickly and easily. You’ll need someone on your team who knows how to write great content to your different segments and someone who knows how to manage lists and track results. Don’t be daunted. This is where digital marketing has already gone. If you are not doing this already…your lunch is about to be eaten by others.

Now we turn to our international blogger Emily to give us the low down on international list segmentation and email marketing.

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Successful Recruiting Agents Look Like This

Recruiting agents are increasingly used by our university clients these days. There is far more ease in the move in this direction since NACAC removed a significant barrier. As institutions consider the options, it is important to understand how to use agents well. It would be nice if someone were to write a book about that, don’t you think?

Turns out there is a lovely online resource, an e-book that your peers have widely contributed to, reviewed and accepted as a valuable source. You can download it for free right HERE.

As fortune would have it, this e-book was written and produced by Intead (heard of those guys?) and more than 2,000 downloads later, the e-book continues to find its way into the hands of admissions teams researching best practices.

Bottom Line: Agents are a reliable way to outsource your sales processes to distant lands ONLY IF you put real budget dollars behind making those sales representatives well-versed in your university’s selling points. Sales reps can’t sell a product they don’t know well. Meet us at the AIRC and ICEF conferences coming up in December and we can teach you a whole lot more. Our ICEF Pre-conference Global Marketing Workshop for Education Institutions is filling up.

Now for some perspective on what agents do and how to figure out if they are doing it well for you.

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Developing a Strategic Plan for International Student Recruitment

What factors need to be considered in developing a strategic plan for international student recruitment? Which stakeholders need to be involved in that process? Though there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for all institutions to these questions, we'd like to use this post to give you some factors to consider as you develop or augment your strategic plan.

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