#10 – Marketing Communication (MARCOM)

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This blog addresses the marketing-communication programs that are needed to meet enrollment goals. This includes some “Habits of Mind” that may need to be addressed as you move forward.

Your marketing communication (MARCOM) system can help achieve the enrollment management results you want. It combines the traditional marketing and communication efforts in ways that one feeds the other. The isolation of these areas often leads to wasted budget and poor results.
 
Every act of communication is also an act of marketing. The brand is also an act of marketing AND it is communicated in everything that the people of the school do.
 
The following table represents some of the more important variables in the MARCOM effort. The values are likely not the same as your school but are simplified for demonstration purposes. You would need to use the table to derive your own variables  for your school. You would need to address the power of the variable in enhancing your results. The MARCOM system presented in this table is designed for the schools with traditional students.

 

MARCOM System for an Institution With Traditional Students
 
Method
Importance (Value)
1-10
Time of the Year
Comments
The value and the time of the year will be dependent on the decision making process of the students. If you want to have your applications in by January 1, you’ll have to construct the system accordingly.
Home page
8
All
This is the landing site for many students.
Web site design
8
All
Does this fit the brand and the vision of the school?
Letters
4
All
The basic designs should likely come from the design of the web site and home page.
Cards
4
 
All
Stationary Design
4
All
Academic Department Materials
5
All
Depends on how big a part the academic is in terms of the vision and strategies. Faculty become important more after the student has applied. An active faculty strategy never hurts.
Service Materials
5
All
Services have become more and more important. Housing, food, entertainment, security resources can be critical.
Face-to-Face
10
All
This variable is always the most important for the school. It includes phone calls, interviews on and off the campus.
Phone
4
All
Training and development of your staff is critical in these areas.
Email
4
All
Working with email and using it actively. Creating the Brand on email.
E meeting
5
All
These are the systems which you must manage. You need to monitor them regularly and insure a positive direction.
 
Hopefully, you will see communities develop to reinforce your basic messages.
Discussion
 
 
Chat
6
All
Campus Visit
9
All
Creating one, doing it, and follow up
Facebook
4
All
Facebook is being challenged by the mobile phone industry. High school students like their mobile phones.
Twitter
2-3
All
Twitter is a great place for telling your story. A student, have one or two from your college post each day. Use it to follow up events such as games, open houses, or academic opportunities or college PR.
Brand
8
All
This is how you want to be seen, heard, and experienced. This would be used in all communication and other activities such as the campus visit.
PR
3
This depends on the type of student being pursued.
Adult students and graduate students are pursued in a separate MARCOM systems
Normal PR would reflect, in part, the brand.
Advertising
4
 
Normal PR would reflect, in part, the brand.
 
Cost
6
 
A piece that is directed toward parents and student should be easy to follow.

 


   
MARCOM Strategic Planning
Your MARCOM strategy is how you will use the combination of variables above to-do your plan.
They include:
MARCOM Strategic Plan
Theme
What is the theme of the program?  
Large programs may only use a word like Alabama, Notre Dame.
 
Key Messages
What are the phrases we should use or not use?
 
Key Words
What are the key words that should be used or not used?
 
Style
A key understanding of the brand.
The home page examples from the two women’s colleges above clearly have different styles.
 
 
 
 
 

 

The next blog will cover present students, discuss choices, budgets, deciding, making it into system.

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Drs. Ron and Dori Ingersoll have been leaders in Enrollment Management since 1975. They have served as consultants, Vice Presidents of enrollment, and as leaders in training and development of individuals and groups for enrollment and student success. Their latest collaboration was with AACRAO in editing the book: Strategic Enrollment Management: Transforming Higher Education.
Copyright ©2013 Drs Ron & Dori Ingersoll and EMAS Pro.
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