Challenging the Way We Think About Enrollment Marketing

December 8, 2023

Challenging the Way We Think About Enrollment Marketing

tag enrollment marketing | higher education | higher education marketing
Challenging the Way We Think About Enrollment Marketing

In the realm of higher education, there’s an undeniable challenge: the tendency for institutions to blend into the same indistinguishable mold. It’s an issue that permeates both our marketing strategies and, even more critically, our student recruitment efforts.

Picture this: prospective students receiving a stack of postcards from various institutions, all bearing an eerily similar template with a standard “insert obligatory picture of campus here” section. It’s a tiresome sight, isn’t it? It’s time for a change.

Don’t get me wrong; the traditional methods have their merits and have proven effective for countless institutions over the decades. But what we’re witnessing in higher education today is a shifting landscape. What works for one institution may not necessarily work for another, and the further we stray from our unique institutional identity, the greater the challenges we face.

The Problem with Playing It Safe

This is the core issue plaguing higher education: the realization that one solution does not fit all. The majority of our clients at Up&Up are private liberal arts institutions, each with distinct strengths and challenges that larger institutions, both public and private, may not understand. Yet, it’s disheartening to see large, one-size-fits-all agencies offering a cookie-cutter approach to admissions teams.

And this is just one example where this happens. Many institutions continue to struggle with enrollment, primarily because these solutions fail to cater to their students and their families’ unique needs.

The Importance of Standing Apart and Above

In an educational landscape that often feels homogenized, students seek institutions that genuinely understand and value their individuality. When an institution consistently demonstrates that it recognizes and remembers what sets each student apart, it fosters a sense of belonging and engagement. This personalized approach not only enhances the overall educational experience, but also creates a lasting bond between the student and the institution.

It goes beyond mere academics; it’s about being part of a community that cares about their journey, their dreams, and their success. Students want to know that they are not just a number, but a meaningful part of the institution’s story; and institutions that prioritize keeping students top of mind are more likely to inspire loyalty and success in their student body.

From a branding perspective, it’s crucial to acknowledge that prospective students choose your institution for a reason. Highlighting that uniqueness in your enrollment marketing strategy is the key to success.

The only way to achieve this is by establishing a robust collaboration between your enrollment and marketing teams. From the very first interaction with your brand, students should be able to grasp what your institution stands for and envision themselves within it.

The Solution: Bridging Marketing and Enrollment

This brings us to the most impactful transformation you can make in your enrollment marketing efforts: bridging the gap between marketing and enrollment. When these forces unite, the potential for a consistent message, authenticity, and a unique visual identity that resonates with your institution’s spirit becomes evident. It’s this synchronization that will elevate your communication plan to new heights.

Now, why is this synchronization essential? It’s not merely about standing apart from the crowd of institutions offering education. It’s about:

  • Nurturing a clear enrollment marketing plan that doesn’t just speak to students, but also captures their hearts
  • Crafting a message that doesn’t just convey information but evokes emotions
  • Engaging in a dialogue that doesn’t just address queries but forges connections

Enrollment marketing isn’t just a matter of numbers; it’s about creating a narrative, an experience, and a journey. It’s about fostering a bond that extends beyond a transaction, where students don’t just enroll in your institution, but they become a part of its story.

If you’re eager to explore how Up&Up has aided institutions in bridging this crucial gap and crafting an enrollment marketing plan that genuinely works, we’re eager to connect with you. Because together, we can turn the tide in higher education marketing and recruitment, making a lasting impact that extends far beyond the classroom.