With summer around the corner, it's a great time to get your admissions and marketing offices on track before fall. With so little time to address weaknesses, how do you make progress and still impact your next big recruitment period? Reviewing and aligning admissions and marketing practices is key given the continued decline in enrollment according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recent findings.
With competition increasing, do these 5 activities now to ensure success this fall.
- Goals, Benchmarks & Milestones. Your admissions and marketing teams should work together to align budgets, inquiry goals, and conversion as you approach peak fall and spring enrollment periods. If possible, enrollment objectives and goals should be set by program. In the absence of actual metrics, align forecasted media spend and estimated inquiry volume with industry best practices to achieve success. Common metrics to monitor and forecast are Marketing CPE (marketing cost-per-student enrolled), CPL (cost-per-lead), and inquiry to enrollment/start conversion rates. Properly defining and benchmarking your enrollment funnel conversion metrics is a fundamental process to ensure short and long-term successes.
- Plan Your Focus by Month. Admissions and marketing teams should plan out areas of focus by month as they approach busy recruitment periods. Assign quarterly “rocks” accountabilities to recruitment and admissions leadership is critical. Some potential areas of focus might be marketing hiring, admissions training, marketing technology, speed-to-lead, converting applications, marketing cost-per-lead, or SMART
- Skill, Will, Hill Assessment. Once you have identified your targets and areas of focus completing a “Skill, Will, Hill” assessment will help your teams categorize your needs into three “categories” so they can be addressed.
- Skill: Identify which of your needs are education or training related.
- Will: Determine which of your needs involve coaching, performance management, and/or require addressing potential sources of conflict.
- Hill: Review and identify which processes and/or systems might be getting in the way of reaching your goals.
Then tackle these issues head on! Seek a partner that can help asap if you do not have the expertise in- house.
- Start, Stop, Continue Meeting. Set a Marketing and Admissions bi-weekly meeting to ensure significant progress towards success. The purpose of these meetings will be to identify what the team should start, stop, and continue:
- What are we not doing that we should start to increase effectiveness?
- What hasn’t been yielding results that we should consider stopping?
- What are we doing that is working that we should continue?
- Transparency is Key. Set-up a monthly shadow day where marketing team members shadow admissions advisors on the phone with real prospects. Listening to your recruiters address potential student concerns can be the best way to get a true understanding of the issues your potential students need to address before enrolling in your programs. This tactic can provide your marketing teams with the fodder they need to truly make your institution's program copy stand out!
A solid strategy lays the foundation for success. Learn more how to assess your program today.
* Don’t know where to start? Enrollment Builders can help.