Man at computer using web conferencing software - higher education consulting firmWe are in the midst of a paradigm shift in higher education; demographic cliffs, declining international student enrollment, a pandemic, testing changes, and a whole new generation of students who use technology much differently than their predecessors and have different expectations.  Marketing your institution beyond the “brand” is essential.  And how institutions choose to use technology to benefit the recruitment and enrollment process is essential to their success.  Institutions of higher education are compelled to enter this new marketing and recruiting era; pivoting to stay competitive and attractive to the students and parents they are serving.

A 2019 study of almost 500 higher education leaders revealed that the biggest concern, shared by more than 60% of those surveyed, was competition between universities.

Your CRM is a vital piece of technology that manages your admissions and student lifecycle, tracks leads, and serves your transactional marketing and promotional campaign needs.  CRM’s are the backbone of marketing and data analysis initiatives and provide a place to create, promote, store and analyze all of your customer interactions. Investing in CRM technology is a budget-conscious and ROI-friendly initiative because it improves and streamlines the prospective student experience and nurtures students through their entire student lifecycle.

Fostering Student Relationships

Colleges and Universities are reconsidering the use of their CRM’s now more than ever before and searching for ways to engage with students more fully.  CRM’s provide a better customer experience by creating personalized interactions whether they are coming from websites, purchased lists, events, etc.  CRM’s allow institutions to save time and staff resources using technology to manage the admission funnel by fostering high-touch relationships and using unified data that provides actionable insights into the recruitment process.

Using Your CRM to its Fullest Capacity

higher education consulting firmEngaging with students in a tech-savvy way increases funnel engagement and builds brand awareness on channels that students prefer.  A CRM helps you deliver targeted and personalized marketing and communications campaigns to the various audiences that make up the recruitment process.  By using the CRM to its fullest capabilities, students are empowered to self-serve 24/7, giving staff the opportunity to keep students connected throughout the entire enrollment cycle. Integration with other key platforms leads to a more comprehensive business strategy that improves student satisfaction and retention and promotes a student-centric experience throughout their college journey.

Real-Time Data Intelligence

Data drives strategies and empowers enrollment teams to make sound decisions and adjust recruitment tactics throughout the recruitment process.  CRM’s are a practical repository for funnel data, giving enrollment teams the ability to read applications online, manage territories, share information with the financial aid and student services teams and connect with students on a personal level.

CRM’s provide powerful dashboards that use predictive modeling and automated scoring to help connect with the right students.  And having data in the CRM allows for better tracking against enrollment goals.

Effective Use of CRM Outcomes

  • Increased admissions and retention rates
  • Better and more communication with students across the student lifecycle
  • Omni-channel marketing opportunities
  • Streamlined processes and improved workflows
  • Increased staff focus and productivity

Talk to the Professionals at focusEDU 

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About the Author:

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Susan Kassab has served in the higher education arena for more than 30 years and brings a wealth of experience in all sectors of enrollment management and marketing. She joined focusEDU after serving as a Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing.

Susan has worked for medium and small liberal arts institutions in both the Dean and Vice President roles. Most recently, she served as the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. A Philadelphia region native, Susan has contributed her knowledge and skills to Widener University, Saint Joseph’s University and Neumann University. While at Saint Joseph’s University, Susan organized and led the new Graduate Division under Enrollment Management, leading joint recruitment opportunities and creating degree options for the Graduate Schools. She also led the internationalization efforts and managed two overseas offices. More recently, Susan has created a more effective application review process, increased communication, and a more robust digital marketing effort by aligning processes and procedures within the admissions, CRM and Marketing arenas. She has also worked with ELS Educational Services, delivering strategic international enrollment management plans and enrollment to partner colleges and universities.

As a seasoned practitioner, Susan has succeeded in a number of key areas of enrollment management and has built skills that include; Comprehensive Enrollment Management and Marketing; Institutional Strategic Visioning; Enterprise Systems Analysis and Integration; Specialized recruitment in the international, transfer, military, graduate, and adult markets; Internal and External Partnership Development and Change Management.

A comprehensive enrollment professional, Susan is a member of and served in several professional associations; The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Association of International Educators (NAFSA), Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), The Association for Graduate Enrollment Management (NAGAP) and the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC). She has served and presented on a wide range of topics including Strategic Planning, Internationalization, and Best Practices in College Recruitment.

Susan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and her master’s in education at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. She is a long-time resident of Wallingford, Pennsylvania and serves in a few capacities at Media Presbyterian Church.

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