Developing targeted communications
A marketing professor of mine at Eastern Illinois University pounded the idea into our heads when discussing a product or service: “What is the Target Market.” At the time we were sick of hearing this phrase by the end of the semester, but this idea stuck. This is Marketing 101 and common sense, but sadly many people miss the mark.
If you sold cars for a living and tried to market a new vehicle to someone that just bought a new vehicle, would this be the smartest move? Of course not. If you are not giving students the information that they have requested and they know a specific program they are planning to pursue you have lost a genuine opportunity to woo that student. I realize that many students do not know what they want to do when they enter college, but when they express an interest in a particular program, make a note of it and pursue that desire.
The best way to work this out is to further develop your mailing tracks in your student information system. (If you don’t have a Student Information System – it’s time to get one.) Make a trigger that automatically generates a mailing, email or phone call to the student about the particular program. If you have an enlightened faculty that actually “get” the big picture of enrollment (very hard to find) a direct communication from this office may be in order to further distinguish your institution from all the others vying for the students attention. Many faculty members don’t have the extra time in their schedule, especially at large universities, and you may want to develop a specific mailing from these people to the student.
How cool would it be to receive a letter or email from the Chair of Engineering with specific information about the program? This will make a lasting impact to that student and probably lead to a new student for your program.