4 Steps To Creating An Effective, Realistic Marketing Plan For Your Overwhelmed College Admissions Department

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an admissions department in possession of a reasonably-sized staff…probably still doesn’t have the resources to spend much time thinking about marketing.”

                                -What Jane Austen would have said if she’d worked in higher ed in the 21st century

What kind of growth in enrollment numbers do you think you’d see at your college or university, if your admissions department actually had the resources to focus on truly strategic marketing?  

It could be a game changer, right?

Realistically, though, most admissions departments just don’t have the time.

Sure, they send out periodic mailings and emails, and scramble to get a few other things done where they can.

But that isn’t their primary focus.

That can’t be their primary focus – because they have to keep the student enrollment data flowing.

They spend most of their day wrestling with student data – inputting it manually, checking it for duplicates and errors, moving it between apps and databases, and dealing with integration headaches.  

So, short of hiring an entire second admissions team to handle the marketing side of things, what’s a university to do? 

Here’s a 4-step plan that will enable your existing admissions staff to turn a strategic eye to marketing and boost its efficacy exponentially, while still accounting for the realities of data management.  

  1. Determine what your biggest resource drain is.

Before we can begin our new approach to marketing, we need to make room for it in the schedule. So take a hard look at the tasks your admissions staff handles every day. Which one or two take up the most time? Is it manual data entry? Are they dealing with data quality issues all day? Is it putting out fires in the existing integrations you’ve got in place? Find the top one or two time sucks for your staff. 

  1. Find a way to automate that process.

Now, take those one or two resource-draining tasks and find a way to automate them. And no, we don’t mean yet another piecemeal integration project. Look at the big picture, and find the smartest, most affordable way to create a single, unified system that deals with all your data issues at once. 

We’d like to humbly recommend that you take a look at N2N’s Illuminate platform, with its IDMatch add-on. Illuminate is an API Management Platform that integrates all your apps and databases so that they can all communicate seamlessly, in real-time – so no more manual data entry or integration hassles for your team. And IDMatch takes care of any data quality woes and worries, eliminating duplicate and erroneous records. For a surprisingly affordable monthly fee, you can easily take all the work that’s been overwhelming your admissions staff and automate it. It’ll get done more quickly and more accurately, and you’ll have your team’s undying gratitude. Win-win!

  1. Assess where your marketing efforts would be most effective.

Another benefit of N2N’s Illuminate platform is the easy access to accurate, real-time analytics data it enables. So not only will your admissions team have more time for marketing activities, they’ll have a more detailed picture of where those marketing efforts would best be spent. Which high schools send them the most applicants, or the highest caliber students? They’ll be able to build a data-driven strategy to target exactly the right audience.  

  1. Implement your strategy.

All that’s left now is to set that marketing strategy in motion. With exponentially more time available to your admissions staff, and all the data they need at their fingertips, they can forge ahead and ramp up those marketing activities – and your college can reap the rewards.

This 4-step plan isn’t just theory – we’ve helped college after college, university after university put it into practice, and we’d love to help your institution, as well. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you turn your admissions department into a marketing machine.

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