What You Need to Know to Recruit Students: They’re not Prospects. They’re People!
Digital marketing makes it super easy to measure its own success. You can look at click-through rates, conversions, and costs per starts for any campaign you run. You can follow your prospects’ exact pathways to enrollment.
As Content Manager, I know whether I write a blog post, infographic, e-mail or e-book, I can monitor the traffic the content generates, identify where my prospects came from, and see how long they stayed on the page to read what I wrote. When they bounce off, I can tell if they’re leaving the website entirely or just moving on to another page. It’s never been easier to see the results that your content generates and whether or not it’s worth your investment.
Even for someone who pretends to be analytics adverse, it’s pretty cool stuff –hard not to head down into the rabbit hole of all that digital data and want even more.
So if it’s easy for me to get lost in the analytics, it must be pretty damn near impossible for all the left-brained analysts not to look at leads as numbers, conversions as dollar signs, and sales from marketing efforts solely as ROI metrics.
In digital marketing, everything we do is geared toward reeling in “prospects.” I usually hide my disdain for the word from my fellow marketers, but it’s time to speak up.
They’re not prospects. They’re people!
And in the case of higher education marketing, they’re also often young people, just starting out on a path to a school and a career. I’ve worked with these young men and women for nearly a decade. That’s probably why, in spite of all I know about how to get them to click, convert and enroll, I can’t look at them as purely prospects or merely millennials. I don’t see numbers; I see people, with names, faces, hopes, and dreams.
And that’s a good thing.
It means I don’t look for leads, but rather the right leads. It means that the schools I represent are stuck with my idealistic notion that the students I try to attract for them should actually be a good fit to the programs they offer. I’m not only hoping the school gets increased enrollments; I’m hoping their students make it to their graduation, celebration and vocation.