Last year, on a trip to a remote college in Upstate NY, my GPS lost its satellite connection as I drove in the shadow of the Catskills. Having no paper map or printed directions, I wandered aimlessly; wasting precious fuel and time, and feeling utterly powerless until I serendipitously spotted a sign that pointed me to my destination.
It occurred to me that my situation at that time was similar to that faced by many colleges and universities. A recent study revealed that 64% of them either don’t have an integrated marketing and recruitment plan, or would describe the one they do have as “fair” or “poor.”
At a time when institutions of every stripe are trying to make their classes on ever-smaller recruitment budgets, this lack of a plan with dollars tied to specific goals and objectives must be unnerving, at best. How do they justify their investments? How do they judge the efficacy of their efforts?
More and more, college presidents and CFOs are taking cues from business marketers and are demanding specific proofs that institutional marketing and recruiting budgets provide an acceptable return on investment (ROI). Gone are the days when marketing teams proved their value by the amount of “stuff” they produced.
Effective recruitment marketing begins and ends with a plan, tying strategies, tactics, and dollars to specific goals and objectives, and providing opportunities for measurement and course corrections along the way.
Creating a map for marketing and enrollment isn’t easy, but it will help you avoid the dead end of marketing efforts that fail to produce the students you need.
If you have questions about the marketing and enrollment planning process, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.