Get More Our of Your CRM Investment
Feb 01, 2016
How much are you spending on marketing technology in 2016? How much of that is CRM and all the other marketing automation tools that you bought in order to become more efficient and productive?
And how are the results? How much lower is your cost per enrollment? And how much higher has your retention rate jumped?
In this post, you will learn how to identify opportunities to optimize your relationships with prospective and current students which will improve your student recruitment and retention performance, and how to develop an effective strategy that better leverages your resources – including technology.
More effective student recruitment and retention won’t happen just because you installed a CRM package or marketing automation. You need a clear strategy and a way to create and maintain an effective and efficient process for consistently delivering a WOW experience. Technology can help but it cannot do it all.
The Graduate and Adult Education department within this small, private university had a total annual marketing budget of about $200,000. Out of that, they spent $50,000 on their CRM and $25,000 on a leading marketing automation tool.
They then spent the remaining $125,000 on promotional activities aimed at generating enough leads to reach their rather aggressive enrollment goals.
One of their largest problems was that they didn’t have an efficient process for identifying or prioritizing opportunities that would improve recruitment and retention efforts. For example:
No idea what campaigns worked. Marketing would spend the budget on a lead generation campaign and they were able to track how many leads were generated by each campaign – but the enrollment management team failed to capture data on how many of those leads started the application process, completed the application process, were accepted in the institution or enrolled in courses.
Since you want to invest in campaigns that generate students, their processes and procedures were ineffective or nonexistent.
No idea why potential students enrolled. The enrollment team had no process for working with potential students in order to qualify and prioritize and segment them. They sent the same emails to everyone regardless of the individual’s needs, wants, perceptions and expectations – which means that when “Bob” was interested in how he could fit the cost of the program into his monthly budget, he was receiving emails about the “convenience of online learning” and the “real world faculty” teaching the courses.
Instead of focusing on how to get the information necessary to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time via the right channel in order to motivate the right response, the ‘process’ was really nothing more than ‘getting out whatever we want to say faster’.
“Adding technology to an ineffective marketing strategy and ineffective processes simply accelerates the pace and reach of that ineffectiveness. You get to fail faster and on a larger scale.”
No idea who was a potential at-risk student which impacted retention. During the recruitment process is, as we stated in a recent post on student retention tips , the time and place for gathering and analyzing the data you need to determine if the prospective student is qualified to enter your institution, and whether or not they possess the factors that contribute to being an at-risk student.
But since their process wasn’t focused on gathering specific data that would help determine [ex] that “John” has several factors we have identified as common amongst students that drop out – this university wasn’t able to proactively identify students that could benefit from some assistance in order to graduate. So, they had to wait until the symptoms of attrition showed their face – absenteeism, poor grades, failure to register for classes in a timely manner – which can be too late for many.
So what does all this mean for you? How can you avoid these common mistakes and improve performance?
You can use our Student Relationship Management (SRM) Assessment! This is a fast, simple, straight-forward self-assessment tool that helps you quickly identify opportunities to improve your student recruitment and retention efforts.
The SRM Assessment consists of 100 statements addressing student recruitment, student retention and your student relationship management strategy. All you do is select from the provided responses ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” and the assessment automatically scores your responses and offers an assessment.
This assessment helps you:
- Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in your recruitment strategies and processes.
- Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in your retention strategies and processes.
- Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in your student marketing data collection and analysis processes.
- As a result, you will be able to create strategies, processes and procedures to put in place to improve your student (customer) relationships.
- And, if you haven’t already selected a CRM system, it will help guide you in the selection process. If you already have a system in place, it will point out where you need to make modifications to that system to improve your relationship management.
And if you need help turning that insight into more efficient processes that better leverage your technology, you will be happy to know that we offer an affordable consulting package.
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.