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Recruiting Intelligence

The GROWING Pool of Enrollable Students, Part 3

Let’s talk about how your institution seals the deal with non-traditional students. It is all about the planning and execution – both the marketing, and the heavy lifting that happens before the marketing. You are going to need the goods in place before the campaigns roll so that you are able to deliver on the marketing promises made.

Briefly Reviewing the Opportunity

This is our third post in our three-part series about students who have Some College, No Degree (SCND) non-traditional students. In last week’s blog post, we discussed the segment within these 36 million Americans who are most likely to return to school—Potential Completers.

Now, just because they have a high likelihood of re-enrolling, doesn’t mean they actually do it. But, since the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s original report in 2014, about 940,000 SCND students have since re-enrolled and have completed their degrees. That is roughly the same number of international students currently studying in the US – another valuable student segment we love to talk about.

There’s the projection that non-traditional students will double the enrollment growth of traditional students by 2022. This is why, a number of years back, the Intead team applied our targeted marketing research and execution skills to this growing segment. Our aim: position your institution to take advantage of the trends that matter. You've grabbed our non-traditional student marketing ebook from us by now, right? 

A Challenging Reality

We all know academic industries are slow to change and move. Convening the right team and presenting them with the data that supports change is how things get done. The team at Intead is often sought to facilitate that transition and help set a cogent and actionable plan for student enrollment growth...based on data.

There are many factors to consider as you evaluate how to maintain or expand your enrollment numbers in the face of significant market shifts. It is all about how you plan and execute.

Over the next two weeks, the Intead team, Patricia, Alicia, Stephanie and Ben, are attending a number of our industry’s major conferences: TABS, ICEF and AIRC. We will be sharing data on international and domestic student mobility at the high school and university levels and the digital marketing tools that can truly change your institution’s position in the competitive market – from peer-to-peer platforms, to artificial intelligence, and the ever shifting pay-per-click campaigns that engage your target audiences.

Developing an Actionable Plan

So, about those planning and execution tips to help you enroll non-traditional students AND a preview of all the market research we are about to drop.

Want to get a jump on it? Reach out: info@intead.com and 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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You Have Your Student Segmentation, Now What?

Student segmentation and predictive modeling are becoming mainstream discussion topics for university administrators. How do you reach, recruit and serve different student segments?

We have once again been reflecting on a report distributed by the Parthenon Group a few years ago that we still find relevant today. Isn't it amazing how strong content can remain relevant over time? This particular study on audience segmentation was called: The Differentiated University. Let's take a look and see what new insights you (and all of us) can take away from this research. 

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