Why You Need to Close the Loop from Marketing to Admissions

college admissions team that works with marketing

If we sent your admissions team 1,000 qualified inquiries next week, would you be ecstatic or horrified? One of the unexpected challenges of marketing in higher education is that there’s sometimes a disconnect between what Admissions wants and what Marketing produces. Or what Marketing expects and what Admissions does. But if you want to increase enrollments, improve marketing ROI and have a happy team all around, you need to close the gap that often exists between Marketing and Admissions.

Here’s how:

Open the Lines of Communication Between Marketing and Admissions

If you don’t communicate well, you cannot work well as a team. This is true whether you an have in-house marketing team or if you work with an outside agency. The more everyone can connect, the more likely you’ll be able to achieve your goals—whatever they may be.

Choose a Common Goal for Marketing and Admissions

Speaking of goals, they need to be defined, communicated and agreed upon. Another disconnect between Marketing and Admissions is that they often don’t define success by the same measurement. Marketing is pumped that they produced those 1,000 inquiries. But Admissions can’t handle the volume. Or they don’t consider those inquiries qualified by the same parameters that the Marketing team does.

Find common ground so you can reach a common goal. Everyone agrees that the end goal is enrolled students who become graduates. But how are you going to get there? Create benchmarks along the path to enrollment. It may be volume of leads. But it also could be a downloaded eBook or the RSVP to a campus tour. Now that you’re communicating well, use that new skillset to communicate your goals.

Use Lead Scoring for Higher Education

Lead scoring attaches a numerical score to your prospects so there is agreement on what a good lead looks like. It’s rarely an easy exercise, but it is an important one; one where you’ll really get to use those communication skills. Marketing and Admissions should be in on the conversation, but don’t stop there. The more input, the better. And make sure to look at your data to determine what actions consistently led to conversions so you can give them the weight they deserve.

Collaborate on Content Marketing

The great thing about a great marketing team is that it’s able to produce robust content that can be disseminated across traditional and digital marketing platforms. But it’s only truly effective if Admissions clearly communicates the kind of content the team needs based on what it hears from prospective and enrolled students. When parents and students ask—why are there no industry statistics on job prospects for the careers graduates will enter? Bam, Marketing can create a whitepaper to answer that very question. Prospects want visuals, Marketing can create digital infographics. In need of hand-outs for campus tours? Marketing is your print team too. And make sure to look for opportunities to turn a single piece of content into more. Repurposing content improves efficiencies and gives Marketing and Admissions more content to work with.

Keep a Resource Inventory Marketing and Admissions Can Use

Once Marketing has built those resources, make certain they’re easy to access and well-organized. The next time a prospect conversation touches upon a whitepaper subject, Admissions has a ready piece of content. Your Admissions team—and school—becomes the expert in the eyes of that prospective student. When they’re ready to commit to a school, you’re already on their radar.

If your Admissions team needs a Marketing partner that creates spot on content that gets results, contact the experts at ESM Digital. We specialize in higher education so we know exactly what your goals are and the obstacles you might face.

~Linda Emma