If I had a nickel for every time I heard admissions and recruitment marketers utter words like “We tried that once and it didn’t work.” I’d be one wealthy lady!
While it’s no surprise to any college recruiter that the prospective students they are trying to reach have changed dramatically from the ones who came before, most higher education marketers have not shifted the way they tell their brand story to better engage and convert these students.
Most colleges and universities haven’t thought about how to integrate their existing communication channels, with the optimal student-journey experience of the digitally native Gen Z students who make up the coming year’s incoming class.
According to the 2019 Refuel Agency Gen Z Study:
Something many institutions are trying to save time and money is re-purposing the tried-and-true brochures and long-form videos, without knowing how to best leverage these techniques to a video-obsessed generation. Sure, there might be some marketers who attempted to dabble with building a YouTube channel; flooding it with long interviews with faculty members or uncomfortably canned quad chats with ‘students’ all decked out in school gear. And if a prospective student did engage with that video, chances that there was any strategy or ability to respond to that outreach are slim at best. Perhaps there are some who were brave enough to explore an Instagram or Twitter presence, maybe even crafting “cool” hashtags to convince Gen Zers to brand influencers by sharing pictures campus or promoting an open house.
But even if it took off like you wanted (it didn’t), and it catches on like you hoped (it won’t), there is minimal chance that it will go viral, let alone drive enrollment. Besides, even if it had – there is no way to track, monitor, or optimize a campaign of that nature on your own. In the end, when all this experimentation doesn’t work, it’s not surprising that marketers abandon these approaches. After all, they “tried that and it didn’t work!”
I know what you’re thinking, “You’ve told me everything we’re doing wrong. You’ve told me why it’s failing. So now what?”
Successful enrollment marketing professionals know it isn’t about any one tool or tactic. It’s about using an omni-channel integration to combine what has worked in the past with emerging and disruptive approaches that are responsive to the ever-evolving students we are trying to connect with and bring to campus. It takes a partnership with creative and experienced thinkers to use these approaches to help your institution meet or exceed your enrollment goals.
That’s where Thinking Cap Agency comes in. With more than 20 years of experience as the higher education marketing sister company of Refuel Agency, we intentionally challenge old assumptions and stick with methods which have proven results. Our team of experts strategically leverage technology and storytelling with analytics and data and curate an integrated, long-term, highly successful roadmap to bring our higher education client’s measurable results. Acting as an extension of your in-house marketing and recruitment team, Thinking Cap uses proprietary data to influence enrollment outcomes and build cost-effective and highly measurable strategies by embracing out of the box thinking.
It’s time to stop collecting nickels for every, “It didn’t work” and start getting measurable results with Thinking Cap Agency as your enrollment and recruiting partner.
About Thinking Cap Agency Thinking Cap Agency is the higher education sister company of Refuel Agency. With over 25 years of higher education marketing experience, Thinking Cap is a performance and digital-driven agency that has mastered the student recruitment process from awareness to enrollment. Thinking Cap Agency serves institutions nationwide with headquarters in New York City, and offices in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, CA, and Princeton, NJ.
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