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The Grow Enrollments Podcast
28 minutes | 8 months ago
Gauging COVID-19’s Impact On Online Learning With Udemy’s VP of Marketing
This week, I spoke to Llibert Argerich, who is the VP of marketing at Udemy. As the world’s largest E-Learning platform, business is booming at Udemy for the time being. Thus, Llibert and his team have shifted their focus from introducing a brand new product to explaining why online learning holds the key to adapting to modern society. And with great attention comes a great deal of customer data. Platforms like Udemy must learn all they can about their new students to plot their next moves for the coming months.
31 minutes | 9 months ago
Unearthing the Roots of Student Retention Issues with the CEO of TargetX
This week, I spoke to Sasha Peterson, who is the CEO of TargetX. Known primarily for their CRM designed exclusively for higher education, TargetX specializes in improving what Sasha calls the “student delight” cycle. They help education organizations recruit students, run their admissions process, and engage students on campus. This multi-layered approach reflects TargetX’s bold mission to turn traditionally separate departments into a single, unified force. In his six years at TargetX, Sasha has often found that integrating a CRM is nowhere near as challenging as creating a new operational culture that allows the CRM to fulfill its intended purpose.
32 minutes | 10 months ago
Long Sales Cycles, Tracking & Attribution With The Director of Performance Marketing at The Flatiron School
This week, I spoke to Akeel Haider, who is the Director of Performance Marketing at the Flatiron School. This coding bootcamp has ten campuses around the US, along with one London campus. Students can also complete their degrees entirely online. With nearly fifteen years of experience in performance marketing for higher education, Akeel has helped many traditional and non-traditional schools better understand their marketing funnel. This became increasingly difficult as schools began using more channels to connect with prospective students. Eventually, Akeel concluded that the key to scaling efficiently was creating a system that uses a variety of KPIs to accurately track the progression of the prospects’ journey from the first marketing touch point down to enrollment and matriculation stages in the admissions funnel and beyond.
24 minutes | 10 months ago
Explaining Empathy-Based Marketing With Springboard’s Marketing VP
This week, I spoke to Roger Welch, who is the VP of Marketing for EdTech company Springboard. This San Francisco-based startup offers career track courses on data, software engineering, coding, and UX. Unlike most other boot camps, Springboard actually guarantees job placement for their students, or they get their money back. Springboard also works closely with recent graduates for several months to help them find jobs in their desired industry. Having such a career-oriented business model allows Roger and his team to anticipate the primary concerns of prospective students and ultimately understand why someone would be curious about a school like Springboard in the first place.
18 minutes | 10 months ago
Perfecting Your Content Strategy With The Marketing Director Of Harvard Business School Online
This week, I spoke to Lauren Landry, the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Harvard Business School Online (HSBO). Lauren specializes in content strategy, which is no surprise considering her background in journalism. As an education reporter for a Boston-based media company, Lauren frequently interviewed college students about their post-graduation plans. She learned why many students were focused on honing specific skills, and why some chose to pursue post-graduate degrees. Today, Lauren applies this firsthand knowledge to develop and distribute content related to both topics, which are still paramount concerns of incoming students.
26 minutes | 10 months ago
Rebooting Your Enrollment Strategy With Kenzie Academy's VP of Marketing
Many education organizations are finding themselves completely unprepared for the challenge of enrollment growth. Their previous marketing strategies appear to have lost all relevance, thanks in no small part to the myriad of differences between millennials and their new audience; Generation Z. It seems that the only option is to start from scratch. But is this even possible? And how do you know which changes to make first? Maybe the key is accepting that a full-scale “reboot” isn’t exactly what your marketing department needs at this time.
37 minutes | a year ago
Building An Effective Enrollment Strategy With National Education Partners
Of all the changes taking place in the education industry, few are more significant than the change in target audience. Education organizations currently face the challenge of engaging with the highly mysterious and highly misunderstood Generation Z. Not only do today’s prospective students require different methods of communication, but each engagement strategy must also be as personalized as possible. If you know how to talk to your school’s ideal student and where to talk to them, you’ve got a major competitive advantage. In today’s episode, we’ll cover: - What are the building blocks of a successful enrollment strategy? - How should enrollment officers engage with Generation Z? - What role will automation play in the future of education marketing? This week, I spoke to Ken Boutelle and Michael Tolmie, who are the Senior Vice President of Enrollment Services and Managing Director of Marketing at National Education Partners in Scottsdale, Arizona. National Education Partners offers a multitude of services to education organizations looking to improve their enrollment efforts as well as their general operations. They help organizations with everything from retention to student services to internal communication. It’s safe to say that Ken, Michael and their colleagues have encountered every possible obstacle to enrollment growth. What are the building blocks of a successful enrollment strategy? At National Education Partners, one of their first steps towards enrollment growth is figuring out which metrics (starts, applications, etc.) are in need of the most improvement. Any goal becomes much easier to achieve when you can attach success to specific numbers. For many organizations, growing enrollments also means doing a better job emphasizing the programs with the most unique value propositions. It usually makes sense to optimize marketing spend in this direction. However, it’s very difficult to obtain sufficient data without regular communication between departments. Ken and Michael revealed that organizations with the most enrollment issues tend to do a lot of finger-pointing. The enrollment team says the leads are terrible, but the marketing team says the enrollment team just doesn’t know how to close them. Instead, these teams should be spending more time sharing data and creating strategies that make everyone’s lives easier. How should enrollment officers engage with Generation Z? Like most organizations, National Education Partners has seen a massive decline in the efficacy of phone calls. Today’s students are much more receptive to text messages. But in Ken and Michael’s experience, it’s the content the student sees well before they talk to admissions officers that really seals the deal. In other words, a student should be able to decide if this organization is right for them solely by looking at their online content. The type of content that best suits the organization depends on their ideal student, or their most successful programs. Business students, for example, typically prefer to get their information from white papers. Education students, on the other hand, have shown a heightened interest in podcasts. Organizations should also consider popular topics of conversation for different industries. One that comes to mind for education students is school safety. What role will automation play in the future of education marketing? A major contributor of enrollment issues in traditional education organizations is the high cost of attendance. Thankfully, one tool has the potential to decrease tuition costs while increasing enrollments simultaneously: automation. At the moment, students cannot gather all the information they need or get accepted into a school without the assistance of a human being. National Education Partners is exploring ways to change that by creating an automated, Amazon-like experience. This solution will likely involve chatbots that are so advanced that they can answer any question and guide prospective students through the entire enrollment process. No more emailing back and forth, no more waiting for acceptance letters. Ken and Michael believe that organizations will see dramatic decreases in their cost per acquisitions as the need for human assistance decreases over time. There’s no future without data These predictions may seem rather drastic, but it’s important to remember that they come from hard data. Your organization may be in store for some drastic changes. But with the right data, you’ll know exactly what those changes are and which tools they require. Data is the cornerstone of any successful enrollment strategy. You simply can’t expect to improve enrollment efforts if you don’t know what’s hindering them.
29 minutes | a year ago
Breaking Down Benefits of CRMs with a 20-year Veteran of Higher Education
Today’s education marketers have wildly different responsibilities than generations past. Simply put, the job has become more important, and therefore requires the use of more advanced tools. One of the most sought- after tools in education marketing is CRM platforms. We know that CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” But what do these platforms actually do for education organizations? How can you choose the right option for your team? Before purchasing a subscription, you must first ascertain which additional resources you’ll need to reap the intended benefits of CRM platforms.
34 minutes | a year ago
Learning How To Increase Conversions With Indiana University's Top Marketing Professor
Education marketers often make the mistake of putting too much time and money into generating new leads. They fail to realize that all this work is essentially meaningless if their conversion rate doesn’t improve. It’s the leads who are already inside the sales funnel that deserve the most attention. Moving leads further and further into the funnel, however, is easier said than done. It takes a lot of creativity to convert a lead into a customer, or student. Education marketers must ultimately figure out what kind of information and outreach tactics prospective students need to seal the deal.
30 minutes | a year ago
Bringing Traditional Institutions Into The Future With UPCEA's Chief Researcher
The education industry is changing dramatically, but many traditional institutions are stuck in the past. Their marketing materials and enrollment processes have not been updated to accommodate Generation Z. Instead of relying on their reputations to drive enrollments, institutions must evolve to prove that they understand the needs of their students. After all, nothing turns off a prospective student more than a university that apparently believes it’s still catering to Generation X. In today’s episode, we’ll cover: - Why traditional institutions cannot afford to resist change - The biggest problem with traditional lead forms and applications - How marketers can prepare for the AI takeover This week, I spoke to Jim Fong, who is the Chief Research Officer at the University of Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). For most of his career, Jim was an analyst who studied data from the past. Over the past five years, however, his attention has shifted towards the future, and how higher education will be affected by the next economy. Today, much of Jim’s work involves sounding the alarm for traditional institutions who have yet to make the connection between user experience and enrollment growth.
24 minutes | a year ago
How Holberton Grew From One Campus To Nine In Just Four Years
Many changes occurring in the education space can be attributed to the rise of vocational schools and bootcamps. As the new kids on the block, alternatives to traditional colleges must go the extra mile to reach prospective students. Proving the unique value of your school, however, is a lot harder with more direct competitors popping up everywhere you turn. Vocational schools and bootcamps tend to get so caught up in expanding their reach that they ignore the need to differentiate themselves from the pack. In today’s episode, we’ll cover: - The difference between brand and marketing - Why some coding schools grow faster than others - How to demonstrate core values through your brand identity This week, I spoke to Amandine Aman, the Director of Branded Marketing at Holberton School. In 2016, Holberton began as a single campus in San Francisco. Fast forward to 2020, when the two-year software engineering and coding school now boasts 9 campuses across the globe. That includes 4 schools in Colombia, 1 school in Tunisia, and its 2 newest schools in Tulsa and New Haven. How did Holberton achieve such explosive growth in less than 4 years? A good guess is Amandine’s ability to show prospective students why they should choose her school over the many others vying for their enrollment. Why Do Some Schools Grow Much Faster Than Others? As a branding expert, it’s no surprise that Amandine was quick to bring up brand positioning and messaging when asked about Holberton’s growth. Her team took the time to solidify Holberton’s core values during the school’s infancy. This allowed Holberton to direct their marketing efforts to the right people while emphasizing the school’s most unique advantages. Having a fully-developed brand identity made the corresponding content much easier to create. In just a few months, Holberton had a completely new website, logo, tagline, and messaging strategy. Holberton’s international efforts were also fueled by Amandine’s experience as Uber’s former Head of Global Marketing. It was here where she learned the stark differences between marketing to international and local audiences. What Is The Difference Between Brand and Marketing? Marketers like to act. They prefer to devote more time to putting plans into action, and less time to the actual planning process. This often causes marketers to neglect the importance of branding, Amandine said. Shortly after starting her job at Holberton, she noticed that the marketing content of most coding schools and bootcamps looked extremely similar. Some of them were even using the same stock photos and pedaling the same, generic message: “Pick us because we’re the best.” Branding allows marketing content to stand out. When developing Holberton’s brand identity, Amandine and her team discussed what makes their students feel like they belong at this school, as opposed to a top competitor. Anyone can post core values on their website. Prospective students, however, probably won’t care unless you also make a conscious effort to demonstrate those values. How To Demonstrate Your School’s Core Values One of Holberton’s core values is community. Thanks to Amandine and her team, Holberton’s website effectively portrays an environment where students truly feel at home. Not too long ago, the team even ran a “Thankful” campaign to put students at the forefront so they could share what they love most about Holberton. This segues into rule number one for genuine and authentic content: raw interactions with current students. Instead of stock images or obviously-edited photos, schools should be using real photos of students in class or just going about their lives. Amandine also suggests taking advantage of student-made art. After all, no one understands campus culture better than the students themselves. Put Students At The Forefront Of Your Content Content stands out when it captures the personalities of the student body. This way, website visitors can quickly discern if they can or cannot relate to the school’s brand identity. But there can be no brand identity without an ideal student. As long as your ideal student belongs to a growing community, you won’t have to worry about alienating too many people with your content.
27 minutes | a year ago
Breaking Down The Science Of CRO With The CXL Institute
Traditional institutions are the most common subject of scrutiny for education marketers. But let’s be honest: online learning platforms aren’t perfect, either. There is a ton of room for improvement when it comes to their digital marketing efforts as well as the overall experience they provide to new students. Until these improvements are made, online learning platforms will continue their struggles with matching the brand awareness of traditional institutions.
21 minutes | a year ago
Sitting Down With The Co-Founder Of V School - A Disruptive And Pragmatic Approach To Education
The biggest disruptors of the education space are all about breaking down barriers. Think about it: What might stop certain students from getting the education they need to succeed? Maybe they can’t afford the tuition and expenses of traditional institutions. Maybe four years isn’t enough time to master the most relevant skills for their desired industry. One Utah-based vocational school decided to see what would happen if you eliminate both barriers. They knew, however, that they would only achieve their goals if they also focused on the primary objective of virtually every education marketer: making sure their schools accept the right students.
39 minutes | a year ago
How The Art Of Problem Solving Formed A Curriculum Around The Skill Of All Skills
Many parents would likely agree that their education did not adequately prepare them for the real world. In order to save their children from the same outcome, parents often choose education organizations that focus on highly relevant skills. They want their children to learn the most critical skills for tomorrow’s workforce. An organization that specializes in fulfilling this need would almost certainly have a major competitive edge. But how can that organization be so sure that its students will be successful, regardless of what tomorrow’s workforce looks like?
23 minutes | a year ago
How Storytelling - Not Marketing - Brought Tremendous Growth To ExecuNet
There’s marketers, and then there’s storytellers. Members of the latter group often say that their job is to teach, rather than sell. It’s easy to imagine why this mindset would be particularly advantageous for an education marketer. After all, today’s students don’t just want basic information about potential schools. They want a myriad of reasons to believe that this is indeed the right school for them. Thus, education marketers must master the art of storytelling and show prospective students how this experience will change their lives.
28 minutes | a year ago
How Bottega Gives Students The Workforce Preparation They Are Looking For
A term we hear quite frequently in the education space is “disruptor.” But when something gets thrown around so loosely, it’s easy to lose track of its original meaning. Simply put, the central purpose of disruption is meeting the student’s needs more effectively. Education organizations must look at the traditional school system and ask themselves, “What parts of this just don’t make sense for today’s students?” Many organizations would likely agree that the biggest problem with the traditional system is that it does not adequately prepare students for the ultra-competitive workforce.
35 minutes | a year ago
How Galvanize Turned Their Admissions Staff Into Expert Salespeople
Today’s students don’t just search for schools. They shop for them, and most shoppers probably wouldn’t make a purchase based on the advice of an “admissions counselor.” What these students need are sales associates. In order to meet the demands of prospective students, admissions teams must adopt the same skills as salespeople who close deals over the phone and online. If your admissions team can’t close, a great deal of your marketing efforts could go to waste.
27 minutes | a year ago
How Education Organizations Can Build Their Brands Like The World's Biggest Companies
Education marketers face the daunting task of introducing marketing concepts to organizations that don’t sell traditional products or services. One of these concepts is identifying an organization’s central mission. Education organizations must mimic the biggest companies in the world and allow their mission to shape their brand, unite their various divisions, and ensure wise spending decisions. Many education marketers believe that becoming more data-centric and cost effective begins with schools accepting that they are indeed “brands” like every other company.
27 minutes | a year ago
How Mongoose Is Exposing The Power Of Texting To The Education Space
Texting has proven to be an essential component of many successful education marketing strategies. This makes sense, as today’s students absolutely despise talking on the phone and can easily spot generic, scripted emails. The education space, however, is notoriously resistant to new marketing tools. Thankfully, one forward-thinking research company has created a texting platform that helps institutions ensure that their first texting at-bat is a home run.
42 minutes | a year ago
How The Make School Is Transforming The Higher Ed Cost Structure
Unlike previous generations, today’s students view college as an investment. They often choose the school or program that presents the highest likelihood of a strong salary after graduation. One San Francisco-based college is particularly confident in its students’ post-graduate success and has a rather unorthodox way of showing it: The college literally does not get paid until its students have secured well-paying jobs. It’s called income sharing, and yes, it really works.
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