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Practical EdTech Implementation: Ask Us Anything — Register Now

The roadmap for EdTech implementations a decade ago had a linear feel. There was an expectation of securing a significant tech budget and allocating that to a carefully selected vendor with a 3-5 year plan. There was talk of “flexibility” and integrations. APIs would be built to tie different parts of the legacy systems together or the legacy piece would be replaced outright. The future system was going to be a real game changer.

It rarely worked out as planned…ever. Been there?

Today, replacing aging technology is an entirely different process. We’re eager to share insights into how campuses develop truly flexible systems and integrations with technology that is evolving every 6-12 months.

The technology process today has a heck of a lot more to do with justifying ROI than choosing technology.

Confused? Register for our webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" tomorrow, February 18th at 2pm Eastern. 

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Join Intead and iSchoolConnect as we talk about pushing decisive, cross-departmental collaboration at speed and scale like never before. We're talking agility in planning and innovation in technology and digital tools far beyond the usual benchmarks of annual progress in our notoriously slow-moving industry.

There’s a lot of work to do to pull complex technology and analytics projects all together. Best to have some really strong partners.

In the webinar, we’ll be sharing practical advice for successful, cost-effective technology implementations. Implementations that, long-term, produce stabilized and predictable revenue streams for your institution, even in unpredictable times.

You won’t want to miss this

Adding valuable perspective to this Ask Us Anything conversation will be:

  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President, Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Kerry Salerno, CMO, Babson College

We’ll have plenty of real-world stories and insights to share. Stories about Northeastern University’s amazing growth from 2009 and onward. We’ll talk about technology investment approaches at different size institutions. Stories about vendor selection, technology features, and most importantly, the challenge of getting all of the internal stakeholders aligned. 

Throughout, we will welcome your questions.

Important note: if you can’t attend the event live, your registration will ensure you’re first to receive access to the recorded conversation.

And as a primer for tomorrow’s implementation-focused conversation, how about a free PDF download: “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” sharing our 5 key takeaways from our February 4th panel event with The Chronicle of Higher Education and your colleagues from five different institutions.

Read on to access your copy of the 5 key takeaways and to learn how your peer institutions across the country are getting their technology investments right. A quick and helpful read before we dive deeper tomorrow.

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Successful Tech Implementation Processes Look Like This — Register Now

In last week’s virtual event, “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time”, Chronicle of Higher Education host Ian Wilhelm surveyed attendees with one key question — 

Will the pandemic experience help your institution make better decisions about using technology?

The answer from respondents? A resounding YES.

But what exactly are those decisions? Who’s making them? And most importantly, how will these decisions about technology made now lead to successful implementation and transformational change for your institution down the road?

On Thursday, February 18th at 2pm Eastern, Ben Waxman, CEO of Intead and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect will be leading a follow-up webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" to further the valuable Chronicle discussion of last week.

Register Now

In this “Ask Us Anything” conversation, we’ll be getting practical, covering all things tactical implementation when it comes to technology on your campus. The key objective? Identifying how successful tech implementation really happens (despite the obstacles) and how you can create that new reality for your students, faculty, and staff. We want to discuss your specific case —wins, challenges, and all.

Adding valuable perspective to the event will be Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud, as well as other special guests from academic institutions across the country. Get those questions ready.

Registrants will receive access to the recording of this event, so if you can’t attend live, never fear. (And if you want your questions answered but can’t attend — let’s chat.)

And if you missed last week’s “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” event, stay tuned in the coming weeks for the Director’s Cut recording, as well as a download of the key takeaways, including Intead and iSchoolConnect’s, “6 Insights in 6 Minutes.” Exciting, valuable stuff to come.

Read on for a preview of the keys to tech implementation success. Plus, one of the most common tech myths, debunked.

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Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time — Register Now

How do you and your team feel as you choose technology partners and platforms? Not exactly a walk in the park, right?

We’ve worked with many institutional leaders and there are common elements of a successful process. And those common elements are not the same today as they were a decade ago. Today, institutional investments in technology follow a different path, with different expectations. Success has been modified over the years. Integrations consistently evolve.

Our point: Enrollment management upgrades are essential to your institution’s future growth. Competition for students is growing more intense with no end in sight. You need both the team and the technology to succeed at stabilizing and growing revenue, and achieving the diverse student environment that your mission statement purports. 

What is this redefinition of how technology investments help universities move forward? Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Education webinar tomorrow, February 4th at 2pm Eastern, to discuss just that. All registrants will have access to the recording. So, even if you’re tethered to that critical Zoom meeting tomorrow, you can still get the inside scoop and all our best insights and advice.  

Register Now

The Chronicle is bringing an all-star panel to discuss the big picture. How are institutional needs assessed? How are institutional goals identified? How are technology investment decisions made? The panel features:

  • Cedric Howard, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Keith W. McIntosh, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Richmond
  • Mary Ann Rafoth, Provost, Robert Morris University

Plus, Intead and iSchoolConnect will be adding some grounded tactical perspective with a special segment,"6 Insights in 6 Minutes", featuring: 

  • Ben Waxman, CEO, Intead
  • Ashish Fernando, CEO, iSchoolConnect
  • B. Donta Truss, Vice President for Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach, Grand Valley State University 
  • Derrick Alex, Director, Admissions Processing, University of Houston

All in all, this webinar will help you consider the broad range of quality available in the marketplace as you find the trustworthy technology partners you need. Many of the vendor options available do not understand the complexity and varied needs of the academic environment. We do.

Read on for a preview of those insights. 

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6 Key Takeaways for Smart Technology Investments — Free Download

Our advice from a few weeks back: To survive current enrollment and revenue challenges, institutions must stop cutting at some point and invest in growth.

We know you have questions. How do you encourage a culture of innovation? How do you get a slow-moving institution to make smart, growth-focused investments? How do you manage the risks inherent in these investments? And, most importantly, what are the “smart investments” your institution should be making?

We’ve been doing the research and gathering the experts. On November 16th, Intead and iSchoolConnect hosted a webinar Predicting Revenue, Enrollment & Student Success to address these questions and more, with a focus on how investments in data and technology can help generate predictable revenue for your institution and pave the way for transformational growth.

In the webinar, Ben Waxman (CEO, Intead) and Ashish Fernando (CEO, iSchoolConnect) also introduced the new Intead / iSchoolConnect partnership -- a powerful relationship and suite of end-to-end admissions and student success-focused solutions that combine Intead’s wealth of experience in market research and strategic digital communications with iSchoolConnect’s Google-recognized technology services.

The webinar discussion tapped the wisdom and deep experience of:

  • Lisa Adams, MD: Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
  • Jesus Trujillo Gomez: Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud
  • Kerry Salerno: CMO, Babson College
  • Hillary Dostal: Economics Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Northeastern University and Endicott College

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording in full right here. You can also play it in the background while you work, but we like to think our bright, smiling faces bring some added value! : ) 

And if you haven’t got an hour to spare, you’re in luck — a new Key Takeaways PDF download is available for free at the end of this post. These insights shared by our panelists are just too valuable to miss. It is a quick and helpful read.

Read on for webinar highlights and the Key Takeaways download link.

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Connecting the Dots for Enrollment Success

Let’s pause for just a minute or two and take a few deep breaths. The pace of all that is going on, right?

With this post, we are going to connect a few dots. Reconfirm the why’s and how’s of what we are doing in the enrollment management arena.

Right now, we see civil unrest around us that is the expression of communities not understanding each other. Lack of cultural understanding, lack of connection, lack of empathy, all leading to severe consequences. This is an age-old struggle and we, in the education sector, pour our hearts into changing the underlying factors that contribute to the mess we find ourselves in.

Getting our work right really does matter. Education IS such a huge part of moving our communities in the right direction.

For most of us, maybe all of us, recent events make it crystal clear why we do this: every mind opened, every cultural connection built, is a win.

To achieve loftier goals, the academic institution must remain economically viable. And we need the students to enroll.

We know, looking ahead, more dramatic change is coming as we navigate various immigration decrees and virus news. We’ve all been working really hard to maintain the pace and make smart decisions. So, let’s just pause and reflect for a moment and connect some dots.

In short, the process is: view the data, assess the tools, make a plan, execute. Sounds simple, right ; -)

Our Intead Plus library of recruitment content and worksheets has supported so many. It’s out there if you need it. Below we review our process with some helpful lists to get you thinking, considering.

This is such an important time to plan and act.

Often, as the team here begins our projects with a new client, institutional leaders apologize for the many silos across their campuses that hold information and work far too independently. We are often tasked with gathering the necessary information and bringing as much unity to the siloed teams as possible.

Deep breath.

And again.

Getting our important work done the best way: There are so many approaches and so many adjustments that are necessary as circumstances and the people involved shift. All of our talents for listening, embracing and connecting ideas, all of this is needed from all of us.

There are underlying processes to how we do enrollment marketing that are essential and consistently required regardless of the circumstances. These processes adapt as situations change. 

Knowing where your processes stand, and which dots might need more attention has real value. Read on and consider whether your enrollment management system’s dots are functioning holistically.

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#NewDigitalTools: Will the TikTok Craze Continue?

Remember Farmville? This one game grew to $200M USD in revenue! Now, not so much.

Remember Google Vine as short-form video? Kinda faded away with the advent of Instagram video.

So now, we consider TikTok and wonder, how long will this one last? This one is sophisticated and is already valued at more than $1B USD. This new marketing channel is powerful as long as you have the creative talent to use it.

The rule is: creative content rules. Period.

And the reason we are talking about it is that your target audience is spending a bunch of time there right now. The image above is captured from my 17-year-old niece's TikTok account. She is a content creator there and she and her friends have a great deal of fun (and spend way too much time) in and on TikTok. 

So, about TikTok...in May, we wrote about the growth of Chinese EdTech and what opportunities that presented. As of last year, Chinese startups received over 50 percent of all global capital invested in EdTech. This year, of the top six EdTech unicorns—private companies worth more than $1 billion—all but one was Chinese.

With the largest population in the world, China is automatically the greatest educational market. With a population of over 1.4 billion, there’s a market of more than 283 million students. With 17 million new babies born a year in China, this pattern isn’t slowing down.

Outside of the educational realm, tech is still booming in China, and one platform from China is now the most valuable startup in the world. What might this have to do with connecting you to those potential students in China—or anywhere for that matter?

Read on…

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Email Marketing for International Recruitment: Part II

This week, we are picking up part two of our discussion on email marketing for international student recruitment. If you haven’t done so already, you can read part one here.

There is so much discussion around whether email is ‘dying’ and whether it is even a viable channel for student recruitment marketing. Our answer is an unwavering yes - until something else supplants it. But that hasn't actually happened yet, despite the yammering. It's all about where and how you use this channel to influence the student decision-making. A strategic approach is important and knowing when and where to use email is essential. 

What we know: don't use email marketing lists as your first touch.

An important reminder: We'll be presenting about all this stuff at the NAFSA conference in May in DC along side Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University. Check out the link below to our session and hit the like and favorite icons if you'll be joining us! You'll get an inside look at some of our latest research.

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The email marketing that we conduct and recommend is not “first touch” marketing through list purchases and email blasts, but rather, nurturing campaigns to draw existing leads down through your recruitment funnel. Once built, a carefully crafted and automated email nurturing campaign can move leads to the point of application, without placing additional burdens on your admissions team. They have enough to do, right? 

Let’s jump into how you can implement an effective student recruitment email marketing strategy.

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Email Marketing for International Recruitment: Part 1

Whether you refer to it as a series of engagement streams, workflows or nurturing campaigns, we all know that email is still one of the key channels to stay connected with prospective students throughout their decision-making process. If they have demonstrated interest in you, they will read your emails. And the opposite is also true: If they have not demonstrated interest in you, they will not read your emails.

With our client work, we focus on the quality of the leads over the quantity. You should too.

Important Note: If you are reading this blog when delivered, this morning is the last chance to register for our Intead Plus Webinar: Artificial Intelligence for Higher Ed Explained. March 28 at 1pm EDT. Ben and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect, will discuss online behavior and technology trends, as well as case studies that will help you understand the role AI can play in optimizing student recruitment and retention

Register For The Webinar

Intead Plus subscribers will have exclusive access to the webinar recording after the fact (so you can share it with colleagues who are unable to attend).

But let's get back to email marketing.

If you’re like many academic institutions, you may have long standing email workflows with hundreds of automated emails structured to go out to unique audiences on a weekly basis. Many other admissions teams do not have the resources to establish this system. Either way, maybe it’s time to ask: could your email marketing program use a refresh? We’re betting the answer is yes.

If that seems insurmountable, bear with us. We will be giving some quick tips throughout that you can use to make some small, effective changes to your current workflows. You can move beyond having just one or two email nurturing campaigns that go out to everyone, regardless of their interests or geographic location. You can segment your audience effectively. 

On the other hand, if you’re a one-person team or a small office looking to implement an effective email marketing strategy, you will have your work cut out for you… but that’s why you’re here! We will give you an overview of key concepts to consider and walk you through the process, step by step (we'll do it over 2 blog posts so as not to overwhelm -- and by now, your should be entertaining the thought, "Who else on my team should I be forwarding this blog post to...?" We encourage that thinking.)

Email marketing at the institutional level can be complex, to say the least. But this week we will help you break it down into a few key principles that will help you write (or edit) emails quickly and efficiently, while ensuring that the content will stand a strong chance of resonating with your desired audience.

Let’s get started.

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Getting Smart about Edtech: Learning Management and Social Learning Platforms


OK, let's stay focused people!

So there are a few bad eggs out there doing admissions really, really wrong. You are not doing it wrong. We are not doing it wrong. We've got work to do, so let's ignore the headlines and get back to doing our jobs.

Just a few weeks back, we wrote about the growth and growing competition in the world of “edtech:” a broad term for the array of technologies designed to enhance learning, streamline the administration of educational programs, and improve student outcomes (find the post HERE). 

Current thinking divides the area of edtech into 8 segments and we will be discussing each of them in more depth this year. Our next Can't Miss Event is a webinar on Artificial Intelligence and its relationship to Machine Learning and Predictive Modeling. What does all this mean for international and domestic student recruitment and retention? 

Join Ben and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect for an exclusive Intead Plus webinar on March 28 at 1 PM EDT: Artificial Intelligence for Higher Ed Explained.

We’ll be sharing valuable data about online behavior and technology trends, as well as case studies that will help you understand the role AI can play in optimizing your own student recruitment and retention plans. 

Register for the Webinar

Let's put it this way: It's a heck of a lot more than filtered lists and chat bots. And we are afraid that many others in the field are not thinking broadly enough about how this all works and what it truly involved. And of course, the consideration of what is affordable for the value.

Join us live—or if you can’t make it, heads up that Intead Plus subscribers will have exclusive access to the webinar recording (trust us: this is one you’ll want to refer back to and share with colleagues).

In our blog today, we are not about artificial intelligence. Instead we are focusing on edtech’s potential for better connecting students to resources and each other. Ensuring that students can easily connect with enriching materials and their fellow learners is a pretty basic goal of every educational institution...and yet, one that can be surprisingly difficult to do efficiently and well. And while technology can’t solve every problem...it sure can help a lot.

Read on for our review of 2 primary buckets of helpful edtech tools: learning management and social learning. What do these terms mean? How can they be helpful? And if your institution is already using these kinds of edtech tools, how can you know if they’re working?

Good questions—let’s get going.

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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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