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Recruiting Intelligence

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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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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International Student Recruiting in a Turbulent World

What a summer it has been! No one could have imagined the dramatic and troubling international events that are now having an impact on our international student recruiting plans.

  • Turkey: A coup attempt and university closings
  • UK: Brexit (need we say more?)
  • Vietnam: Regulatory changes to how agencies operate
  • Canada & US: Regulatory changes to conditional admissions requirements
  • Brazil: Significant currency fluctuations

And that's not all! Our point: International students' motivations and plans to study in one location or another are certainly changing. Domestically, fewer US students will be choosing the for profit college option (ITT we're looking at you).

Bottom line: We have a whole host of international student recruiting trends to write about this fall and beyond.  

Our goal now, and always, is to keep you informed and competitive as you make some tough decisions about where the most valuable student recruiting sources are. You have a limited recruitment budget, let's help you spend it wisely. [read on...]

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Using #Instagram for International Student Recruitment

For your top 2016 international student prospects, using Instagram is second nature. These teens and young adults #instadaily like total pros. But, Instagram isn’t just an entertainment or social networking application. Not really. Not any more.

In September 2015, Instagram opened its doors to advertising for all businesses, big and small. That same month, Instagram hit another milestone when it beat out Twitter in active monthly users. Instagram’s website reports 400 million active monthly users. This is big.

So naturally there are big questions that arise with advertising opening up on Instagram. What is Instagram marketing? Should your university be doing it? Short answer: Yes.

Why? This is where your prospects are spending their time. Your digital marketing needs to adjust to the changing social media landscape. Hard to keep up? Hard to staff it? Of course. Want to beat out your competition? Right, of course, again.

Oh, and this from Higher Education Marketing: 48% of U.S. high school seniors were researching universities via Instagram in 2015. BAM!

No whining about how you can't find a way to do it. Let's get down to how to do it.

This week and next, Emily will share our thoughts and tips on why and how.

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part III: Kenya

 

Over the past two weeks we have shared data and tips on how to stay relevant in the international student recruiting market in Africa. Starting with a broad overview of this market, our first blog post of this series Africa's Competitive Edge (Part I) showed the positive trends and opportunities for recruiting in African countries. Nigeria (Part II) took a closer look at one specific market, and the trends of students studying abroad and how to market to them in this country. In this Part III post, we will explore the international student recruiting landscape and prospects in Kenya.

Touted as the Silicon Valley of Africa, Kenya is one country that has been a focus in recruiting since it graced IIE’s list of top 20 places of origin in the early 2000s. However, steadily since 2003, there has been a decline in the number of Kenyan students studying abroad. Between the 2013/14 and the 2014/15 school years, the number of students coming to the U.S. from Kenya has dropped 4%. Restrictions for students have become tighter and competition from within Africa is becoming fiercer. Still Kenya is the number two sending country of students to the U.S. (3,072) behind Nigeria (9,494).

Kenya is hoping to hold on to the slight economic boost they received at the end of 2015 from their growing agriculture sector. Hopefully, this kind of growth will empower more Kenyans to study abroad. Though the U.S. still beats the UK and Australia in the number of Kenyan students they are able to recruit, universities in the U.S. may still struggle to provide affordable options for Kenyan students, especially as the number of advanced study options in other African countries continues to grow.

Bottom Line: Schools outside of the African continent will need to use local connections and targeted digital marketing to attract Kenyan students to specific academic programs. Emily has some tips on how to do that and which programs might be most attractive in this valuable market. And she'll tell you why that beautful picture above represents great job opportunities for the right graduates...

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part II: Nigeria

In last week’s introductory post Africa's Competitive Edge on international student recruitment in Africa, we set the scene. Though the economies in many countries have seen hard times recently, the momentum of students in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa seeking to study in the U.S. and other places around the world is increasing. Documenting the trend: increasing numbers of competitive SAT scores being sent from Nigerian students to U.S. universities.

Today, we will share our thoughts on the trends and opportunities of student recruiting specifically in Nigeria—the largest sending country in Africa in 2015. Almost 9,500 students from Nigeria are studying in the U.S. today. Let's look at a few ideas about how to market to this particular group of students. There is a lot to learn about this country to be successful in your recruiting efforts. We want to get you started.

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Intead AIRC and ICEF 2015 Slides Now Available!

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Puzzling Together Recruitment in Colombia: Part II

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the potential of recruiting students in Colombia and statistics reported in the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors report (find IIE’s report here). Although the country’s current economic state is unfavorable due to the peso hitting record lows against the dollar, Colombia’s government has placed more focus on education and as a result, more students have gained access to financial aid and scholarships.

However, even as we warm up to Colombia’s attractive demographics and international interests, there is another common issue Colombian students face when looking to study abroad. The English language remains a problem for the majority of Colombian students. But, like many other Latin American countries Colombia is working hard to help more young people become bilingual which is where marketing your English language program can help you stand out to this group of prospective students.

Bottom Line: Young Colombians seem to have a drive to learn the language that will help them improve their futures. Employers here are eager to find English speaking staff to help them do business around the world. Academic recruiters seeking Colombian students will do well to focus on pathway programs and the career opportunities a degree will foster. Finally, since university rankings are less important than affordability here, lesser-known institutions that can prove their value can do well.

Emily is ready to wrap up this two-part series with additional perspective to help you with your international student recruitment plan.

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