Student Recruitment in an Online World: Marketing Communications in a World without Paper

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Updated version of earlier presentations with a similar title. New research results, new examples included here. Many potential students now prefer online information from colleges and universities. Read this for strong examples from higher education websites.

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Student Recruitment in an Online World: Marketing Communications in a World without Paper

  1. 1. Student Recruitment in an Online World: Creating a Marketing Communications Plan in a World without Paper ©Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. 2009 eduWeb 2009 July 20, 2009 Chicago, Illinois Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 1
  2. 2. Dartmouth College, February 9, 2009 “Communications will increasingly move from print to electronic media.” Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 2
  3. 3. 1981 prediction for 2006… “Most of what we read will be transmitted into our homes and offices electronically.” – Barry Bingham Jr., Publisher, Louisville Courier-Journal, at his alumni reunion in 1981 Reported by Emily Bingham, his daughter, in Newsweek column, “Digital Dad vs. the Dinosaurs,” at http://www.newsweek.com/id/191406 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
  4. 4. And in 2009 in Michigan… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
  5. 5. Will evolution save newspapers? Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 5
  6. 6. 1. Technology is enabling new communication styles and information sources Smartphones & E-readers… Weak boundaries between formal and informal information sources… No control of the stories that people tell… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 6
  7. 7. The future of smart phones… Your website on a small screen? Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 7
  8. 8. Mobile version of your website… 2010? Azusa Pacific University…http://www.apu.edu/m/ Class schedules Athletic schedules Dining menus Photos Directories News Orientation schedule Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 8
  9. 9. Your publications on e-readers… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book_device#Specialized_devices Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 9
  10. 10. Limitations to adoption… http://www.coolreaders.com/readers.asp Price point is a barrier that will fall. Lack of color is a major limitation that will end. WiFi will allow links to websites from the readers. Music will enhance the experience. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 10
  11. 11. How strong is the wind blowing? A steady breeze? A hurricane? Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
  12. 12. What are high school students saying? 2007 Noel Levitz “E-Expectations Class of 2007” Prefer web for information… 57% Prefer print for information… 43% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
  13. 13. Parents… 80% say… “The E-Expectations of the Parents of College-Bound Students” Noel-Levitz “I prefer to go to the Web site for information, but if it is a school I really like, I’m willing to call them or read brochures to get answers to my questions.” Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 13
  14. 14. In higher education, 2007 to 2009… Print budget increase – Yes…. 27% No…. 65% Electronic publication budget increase – Yes…. 42% No…. 42% Karine Joly, www.higheredexperts.com 198 responses 38% private sector 4-year 42% public sector 4-year 6% public sector 2-year Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 14
  15. 15. Electronic only in 2009… http://www.higheredexperts.com Application package… 18% – 2007… 8% Academic program brochure… 8% – 2007… 7% Viewbook… 5% – 2007… 0% Admissions/search brochure… 3% – 2007… 4% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 15
  16. 16. Moving toward an electronic state… http:// www.higheredexperts.com Application package… 41% Academic program brochure… 37% Admissions/search brochure… 31% Viewbook… 23% Viewbook – Electronic only, 2007… 0% – Electronic only, 2009… 5% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 16
  17. 17. New news at July 2009 ACT EPC… Print view books dropped at… – Indiana University – Suffolk University Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 17
  18. 18. 2. Social media compels reality marketing Less impact for view books from Lake Wobegon Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 18
  19. 19. Lake Wobegon marketing… “All the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” – Garrison Keillor A Prairie Home Companion With thanks to Mary Claire Bauer, Hudson Valley CC Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 19
  20. 20. Students tell faculty stories… University at Albany Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
  21. 21. The good and the ugly on YouTube… University at Albany Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
  22. 22. Facebook… People will talk SUNY New Paltz Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 22
  23. 23. Today’s communication environment… More students prefer online communication… Print consumes more resources than online… More students stay in “stealth” mode longer… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
  24. 24. How can an online communication plan reduce stealth applicants? Create benefits for those who hide… “If you identify yourself, we will do something special for you…” Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 24
  25. 25. 3. Meeting today’s challenge at the start… How to communicate online during a recruitment cycle as long as 3 years… How to convert people from stealth mode to known inquiries Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 25
  26. 26. Critical conversion yield points… Cultivation requires engagement at 1st web visit and high yield at critical points on the recruitment cycle 1. Carewords capture initial interest 2. Visitor reveals identity to receive a special benefit 3. Inquiry decides to visit campus 4. Campus visitor decides to apply for admission 5. Accepted student sends enrollment deposit 6. Deposited student enrolls Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
  27. 27. At the first and early visits…. 3 important goals:  Create initial engagement in 2 to 5 seconds… Return for another visit… Leave stealth mode as soon as possible… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
  28. 28. A strong, immediate brand impact… http://www.uconn.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
  29. 29. Words that students care about… Words people cared Words that didn’t rank about…Top 25% high…Low 25% – Advance your career – Accessible faculty – Balancing work, home, – Experience of faculty and school – Corporate sponsorship – Career advancement – Shaping leaders – Cost – Class diversity – Best school possible (industry or – Prestigious, well- experience) recognized degree – Format of program Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
  30. 30. Words and content to engage visitors… http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/programs/emba/index.cfm Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
  31. 31. Easy to scan for brand message… http://www.smith.edu/about_howsmithfeels.php Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
  32. 32. Easy access to academic programs… http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/programs.html The stronger the students, the more they want to find academic programs offered This Dickinson version lets visitors get information about several programs at the same time Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
  33. 33. Early, prominent blog content… http://www.mitadmissions.org/ MIT admissions page – Blog series is featured content – 12 Students & 4 staff – Includes a blog by the financial aid director MIT introduces people first Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 33
  34. 34. FAQs in video introduce people… http://admissions.richmond.edu/faq/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
  35. 35. Campus tours introduce people… http://www.mtholyoke.edu/cic/tour/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
  36. 36. Establish credibility with frank talk… http://www.muhlenberg.edu/admissions/aid.html Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
  37. 37. Integrate website & social networks… http://www.phoenix.edu/students/online_communities.html Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 37
  38. 38. 4. Getting an online inquiry… Give a reason to reveal identity… Make it easy to become an online inquiry to get the benefit Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 38
  39. 39. Offer a viewbook in online format… http://www.risd.edu/undergraduate/Default.aspx Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
  40. 40. Estimates for net costs… http://www.financialaid.utoledo.edu/estimator/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 40
  41. 41. Tips to help acceptance chances… http://apps.carleton.edu/admissions/apply/essay_tips/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 41
  42. 42. Priority scholarship review status… http://www.drew.edu/cla/admissions.aspx?id=24689# Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 42
  43. 43. Short inquiry forms encourage action… http://www.blueoxmailbox.com/Display/40/126/100/RequestMoreInfo.html Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 43
  44. 44. 5. After an online inquiry… Regular contact is critical… At least once a month Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 44
  45. 45. Consistent, frequent email contact… May 2006………………………December 2007 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 45
  46. 46. Include a quarterly online magazine… http://www.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/blogs/blog/mount-holyoke-alumnae- quarterly Start sending when an inquiry is made Track interest in stories included Include links to main website Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 46
  47. 47. Be careful with PDF solutions… http://www.i-studentadvisor.com/loyalist/loyalist-english.html Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 47
  48. 48. 6. Final conversion steps… Personal IM & text contacts… Telephone contact… Special website features Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 48
  49. 49. IM, text messaging, telephone… http://www.mckendree.edu/prospective/admissions/IM_the_admission_staff.aspx Ask permission Offer options – Phone – IM Communicate as needed by admitted students Reserve for admitted students if capacity requires that Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 49
  50. 50. Online enrollment deposit… http://www.admissions.umich.edu/admitted/edr.php Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 50
  51. 51. Orientation info for students & parents… http://www.sxu.edu/focus/default.asp.... http://www.sxu.edu/focus/parents.asp Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 51
  52. 52. Selecting a roommate online… Rutgers University Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 52
  53. 53. The summary… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 53
  54. 54. Repeating 7 key elements… More people prefer online communications Technology is changing and requires new resources to adapt communication plans Special customer-centric features increase initial engagement Create benefits for stealth explorers to register Plan frequent online follow-up Video plays a more important role Use analytics to measure success and make changes to what isn’t working Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 54
  55. 55. Useful sources of information… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 55
  56. 56. Industry specific research… Interactive Marketing Channels to Watch – http://www.enrollmentmarketing.org/about.html – Reviews enrollment management attitudes and concerns about adopting new technologies and outlines steps to a new strategy. E-Recruiting Practices report – https://www.noellevitz.com – Reports survey responses on recruitment practices and budgets. Senior Admissions and Enrollment Officers: Experiences and Attitudes – http://www.maguireassoc.com/resource/archives_papers.html – Survey reporting major pressures faced by enrollment leaders, including resources for new technologies Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 56
  57. 57. For general background… http://www.pewinternet.org/ Writing, Technology and Teens Teens and Social Media It’s Personal: Similarities and Differences in Online Social Network Use Between Teens and Adults Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 57
  58. 58. Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President and Senior Consultant Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 248.766.6425 bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com http://twitter.com/HighEdMarketing Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: http://www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com/customercarewords.html Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 58

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