Keeping Your Marketing Straight When the World Goes Sideways

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Katie Van Hazelen, Sr. Content Strategist at Helix Education joins Andy Nelson, Vice President of Marketing at Helix Education to discuss the underlying structure that makes for good “attention-getting” communication and marketing in a rapidly distractible world.

Understanding and being empathetic to your audience'sneeds, regardless of what the situation is, will help you achieve your marketing goals. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professionaldevelopment podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Helloand welcome to the latest installment and Helix Educations Webinar series, covid nineteen,the Road Map to fall two thousand and twenty. Today we're talking about studentparent expectation management under the theme of Keeping Your Marketing Straight when the world goessideways sank. Everybody for joining us today. My name is sparkie mortimer. I'mthe associate director of creative strategy here at Helix and I'm going to bemoderating our discussion today. Just a couple of quick housekeeping items before we getinto things. This is the twelve Webin are that we've presented in this series. That's pretty incredible, and so if you've been with us for one ormore of our webinars in the past. You'll know that there are a coupleof things to be aware of. Where recording the session right now and wewill post this on our heelings education youtube channel. In the past we've useda otter ai for a live transcript as the meeting is going on. It'sbeing a little glitchy for us today. The wonders of Technology Right, andso unfortunately weren't able to provide that live right now. So we apologize foran inconvenience with that. We will still make a transcript available once we haveposted this on Youtube. We are creative problem solvers if nothing else at helixeducation, so if you'd like a transcript, will be able to provide that alittle bit later on. The Qa function is still working though and slackor in Zoom. So if you look at the bottom of your screeners andicon that's is Qa, at any time during the discussion today you're welcome toclick on that and submit a question. We've got a couple of questions aheadof time, so thanks for those. We will have a larger QA sectionat the end, but they're also going to be times in between sections todaythat will have questions as well, so don't feel like you have to waitfor the end of the meeting to ask your question if you've got one.So again, as a reminder, we've been on this journey to fall twothousand and twenty all together. This is the twelve Webinarre that we've had sofar. We're going to continue through the month of August and perhaps longer aswe continue to answer your questions about this online transition, as we get closerand closer to fall two thousand and twenty, thinking of short term and long termplans to deliver quality online instruction as well as quality online enrollment marketing,and that's going to be our topic today, and so our presenter today are bothfabulous, and not just because one's my boss in one I work withpretty much every day. Our first presenter is Andy Nelson. He's the vicepresident of marketing at Helix Education. Two plus decades of a marketing experience andleadership, including the last several of those years at Helix, feeling various roles. Prior to his current role as WEP management, he was responsible for theinnovation implementation team at Helix, and so that involved looking at internal and externalprocesses and procedures and and projects and all sorts of things and finding ways tooptimize and improve them, not just for helix benefit but for the benefit ofour partner college universities as well. And he's not only a marketing professional whenit comes tired, he's also worked on the institutional side at hire at priorto Helix, and so, Andy, we are glad to have you.Be on the lookout for perhaps some folk see APHORISMS, statements of belief aswe go and he is is quite one known for those. So no pressure, Andy. Our other presenter today besides Andy Is Katie van Hazeen. Sheis a senior content strategy for us at Helix Education. I've worked closely withKatie the entire time that she's been at Helix. She's one of my favoritepeople here. Really well versed in marketing communication, audience segmentation. Market Researchhas really proved transformative for us at Helix in the way that we communicate withprospective students and keep them engaged all the way throughout their student journey. Thoseefforts culminated in a Helix Education winning an award from Marquetto it's an adobe companythat deals with marketing automation. Thanks to Katie and our collective teams efforts inthat Vein Helix, as ward of the two thousand and nineteen orchestrator award fromMarquetto and so Katie has proved been dive in many ways for us. Herehe looks so I'm so excited for all of you to hear the kinds ofinsights and expertise that I get to hear every day working alongside and you andKatie. So, Annie, I'm going to turn the time to you toget US started on what we're talking about today. So and you take itaway. Thanks for either. That's that's a lot to live up to.It so hopefully, hopefully, we can. We can fulfill some of that.Our goals for the brief time that we have here together are really prettysimple. We want to talk about some of the things that we have cometo rely on pretty heavily during the last...

...few months to better understand and manageour enrollment marketing, and we'll do that, of course, through the Lens ofCovid Nineteen. It's a little difficult in a form like this to knowexactly what the audience is looking for, with the audience needs, but hopefullywe'll give you a few things to think about, some ideas of ways youcan improve, some things that you might want to consider shure enough, oreven some some proposals that you might want to take to the broader team.So our conversation is going to go something like like this. Of course,if you have any questions on along the way, please send them to us. As Park you mentioned, there is a qua feature here in zoom andwe'll do our best to cover all of the questions before our time here togetheris through. So to get US started, are working hypothesis for this Webinar isquite simply this that the basics still apply. So sure that you haveheard this quote or one similar to it. It's hard to know exactly who saidat first it was probably a Prussian general in somewhere in the mid eighteenhundreds. Many of express similar sentiments. Mike Tyson even weighed in. Thegreat philosopher Mike Tyson weighed in on this and put his spin on things,commenting on an upcoming fight with Vandy Vander Holyfield and report asking about fully fieldplan for the fight, and he reminded us that everybody has a plan untilwe get punched in the mouth and so, however you want to look at it, the key is to start with the solid plan and a good foundation. But US expected things are going to change. So even even when thingsare more ideal, things will change. But the key is to have agood foundation and a good place to start. So, whether you subscribe to thefour peas, the seven Pas, the two seas, the four seasor even the six seeds of marketing, the important thing to remember is thateven when things get a little nuts, the basics still apply. So don'tthrow away everything you know when the crisis come. However, you want toslice it up state focused on your audiences, your messages and the modes of communication. When the full impact of Covid nineteen really started to be felt andwe started really as a world, to shut things down and and in specificallyin the online or in the education space, we started to move things to onlinecourses, there were a lot of people kind of a loose ends.Administrators wrestled with what to do and when to do it, and the marecome. Folks were trying to sort out what all of these decisions meant totheir various audiences and how best to communicate to those audiences. The advent ofa crisis just simply isn't the time to develop systems and protocol so a crisislike this will test those systems and put pressure on those processes that are alreadyin place and highlight areas, large and small, that needs some showing up, and I will belabor this point, although I could. There are afew things that we've had in place for quite a while, for years,most of them that were absolutely essential at this during this time. The firstthing that is critical is a well defined funnel. So understanding the student journeyand knowing exactly where the students are along the way is just absolutely critical foryour communication strategies and your performance measurements. The use of this funnel and thenomenclature throughout your entire organization facilitates that internal communication and helps to eliminate confusion.One of the things that we this absolutely rely on are the definitions along thestudent journey so that when I speak with somebody in finance, or do Ispeak with somebody in enrollment or anybody in the marketing team, when we usethose definitions in terms, everybody on understands exactly what we're talking about. Andthe funnel is fairly well defined. There is a great deal of deal ofminutia in the funnel. So we can cut things up and slice things upand get very granular, which is critical. No matter how well and how hardyou work to define that funnel, if you don't have good data,if you're not feeding and tracking everything, you're really going to be Hamstrung.Similarly, no matter how good your data is, if you don't have easyaccess to that data, timely management just simply is not an option. Thisis one of the most common issues that I've run across in my career.Most companies are far better at collecting the data then they are accessing it,analyzing it and putting it to work. So often to get to the informationit would you've got to find people in it who can build and build reportsand crew the database and pull stuff out, and then you got to figure outhow to manipulate it and share it and visualize it. So this isa real, real must here. You got to figure out how to accessthat data, and not just one or...

...two people, but everybody in thecompany needs to be able to see this stuff and to analyze it and reactto it in their own in their own sphere. And finally, you're goingto be asked to provide forecast and projections. That's one of the inevitable things aboutlife as a marketer, and we'll talk more about this in a minute, but the bottom line here is to make sure that you understand the assumptionsin your marketing plane. Plans are full of all sorts of variables and yougot to know how all those variables work together in that original plan so youcan make proper assessments moving forward. What happens when I pull this lever orthat lover or when this metric changes. What's going to happen downstream? Understandingall of that at the outset is absolutely critical because when things start moving fast, you need to know what you can rely on and what what moves inrelation to other things. So if covid nineteen is highlighted some deficiencies in anyof the areas above, now's the time to start tightening them up and workingwith the broader teams in your organization to get the resources you need. Thesebasics are important all the time, so there's plenty of justification for putting theeffort in based on the lessons that we're learning from this this current crisis.So Katie's going to talk through some of the basics of external communication, specificallyhow we've approach marketing and communication thus for in Code Nineteen. Great, thanks, Andy. So I am going to talk to you about our marketing strategiesand how we approach messaging, but I'm also going to talk to you alittle bit about how those tactics and understanding the basics have helped us market duringthe last few months as we plan our future efforts. But before I dothat, I want to share a little bit of an experience with you thatI think we've all probably had at one point of time. So if you'lljust transport yourself to the yester years of early two thousand and twenty, whenwe all were still cruising around on planes, let's pretend we're back on that plane. You just got cozy in your ten or fifteen minutes into your inflight entertainment, and then your screen pauses and your audio cuts out because thepilot is making an announcement and he goes how do folks? It's Captain SteveComing in from the cockpit and he talks to you about a couple of things. It's usually something like where the flight crew is from and how his airline, whether it's Delta or united or skywest or southwest, they all care aboutyour comfort and your safety. And then he talks about my personal favorite,your current cruising altitude. Well, that's all well and good, but whatI really want to know from Captain Steve are totally different things. I wantto know when we're going to land, I want to know if the flight'scan be bumpy, I want to know when I'm going to get my dietcoke in my cheese. It's right and there's no disrespect to Captain Steve.He's doing his best, but the message that he's delivering at that moment doesn'tfeel relevant to my needs. So the next time he makes an announcement Iwon't pay attention. I'll probably learn to start kind of paying less and lessattention to poor captain Steve Up there. Now I don't bring this up todog on Captain Steve Because he's doing his best and it probably gets a littlelonely up there in the cockpit, but I just think this can be relatedto your marketing strategy, because at its core, good marketing is good messagingand good messaging is good experiences, and if you don't speak to your audiencein a way that they can understand it and at times where they're receptive toit, then they're not going to pay attention. And ultimately, unless amessage is relevant to the recipient, then it simply won't resonate. So howdo you craft a message that will resonate, especially when you're up against the clock? That is the question of the hour. Now, before you diveinto creating a new facebook ad campaign or before you start creating that letter fromthe president, you really ought to take a step back and understand the basicsof a good strategy, because, regardless of whether you're marketing a new programor a covid update, the basics will still apply, and there are reallythree things you ought to be considering whenever you're crafting me strategy. So thefirst question you should ask yourself is what is your message and what are youeven trying to say? But, more importantly, why are you sharing it, and also what actions do you want that specific message to drive? Andultimately, the most important thing that you should be considering is what's in itfor your user. So go back to the plane analogy. What is relevantto me is that this plane is safe and that my ride won't be bumpy. I don't speak altitude, but if Captain Steve is trying to tell methat thirty twozero feet is the optimum cruising altitude because it's safe and it won'tbe bumpy, then that's your message. The second thing you really need tounderstand is who you're speaking to. I mean, when we speak and HigherEd, We know that we have three kind of main audience segments. You'vegot your parents of students, you've got your students and then you've got yourstate holders. But if you drill down you'll start to find that there aremany more layers to that. So of course you have your current students,but you also have your first term students,...

...your first generation students, you haveyour students who are on academic probation, you've got your students who are aboutto drop and then you can just in this exercise, go on andon and on, and I don't bring this up to overwhelm you with options, but simply to point out that each of those audience members are unique fromeach other and each segment of your audience needs something different from you. Soit's worth spending to some time to look at your audience segmentations and try tounderstand their mindsets. What are the barriers in their way? What are theemotions that they're feeling? Because ultimately you'll understand what you want them to do, but you also need to understand what's preventing them from taking the action thatyou want. And when you understand that and you understand those barriers, youcan create marketing that alleviates those barriers and ultimately leads to a good student experience. So the last tenant that you really ought to be paying attention to isyour channels. Now, there are many channels that a marketer has at theirdisposal. We can send an email, we can send a text, youcan shoot off a letter from the president. Are Stick of a billboard. Nowthe great thing and a fantastic thing about having so many options is thateach of those channels works best for something, but not each of those channels worksbest for everything. So, as a very, very basic example,if I need a perspective student to call admissions, I'm not going to writethem a letter, I'm going to send them a text. So that mayseem really obvious, but it's worth taking some time to consider how your audienceinteracts with and responds with the channels that you use, and then, onceyou consider all of this, regardless of what you're up against, then youcan move forward with an action plan to create a very impactful marketing strategy thatwill speak to your audience, that will serve them, to meet their needsand will ultimately provide them with a good experience and allive them to your institution. So let's talk a little bit about what this looks like in the realworld and talk about how we've implemented this with our covid marketing. So withour COVID marketing we've kind of broken it up into a three stage approach,the phase one being the nitty grady. If you think back to early March, campuses all over the country we're closing and there was a little bit ofpanic, a little bit of confusion and, I think, a whole lot ofHuh, is this really happening? And so what we needed to dowas communicate exactly the situation and the immediate impact that this has to everyone inour funnel. And when you thoughtfully approach your message, by going through theexercise that we just looked at on the previous life you can then thoughtfully tacklethe challenge at hand, even if it's an unprecedented one. So phase onein communicating this needed to be quick. We needed to make it snappy becausethings were moving pretty quickly. But because we have a matriceat because we've createdthese matrices in the past, we can then easily dissect their audiences and approachthem strategically. So what you see on the deck here are three examples ofaudience segments. Obviously we could go a deeper diet. We can go intodeeper audiences from here, but for the purpose of brevity will just cover thesethree and I'll, as an example, kind of talk through how we wouldapproach something like this for current students and their parents, so we know exactlywhat we need. We need to let our current students know what we're doingand the impact that it has on their education. Even if there is noimpact, even if you're an online institution who is going to consider as theircontinue business as usual, students need to know that. We also know thatthere's going to be a fair amount of concern and worry going into this,so we need to get ahead of the problem and be available to address theconcerns. Now we know, or at least can take an educated guess,that these current students are probably pretty worried about their progress. They or theirchildren have just spent the last six months, two year, three years, whateverit is, working on a degree and now everything is up in theair and they have questions like how am I going to take my finals?Do I do my clinical experiences? So the way that we will counteract thatis crafting a strategic message that says this is our institutions response to this eventand these are the ways that we're going to help you. Now, becausewe're in a crunch and because we know the channels that work for this audiencesegment, we will tackle this through text and email, and one unique waythat we went about this at Helix is by crafting a crisis communication strategy,call chain, if you want to call it something like that, whereas welooked at our audience segmentation and we broke it into different populations, set eachof those populations of text that said something like we know you're worried, youreducation is still on track, but we're going to call you so that wecan talk about it. So those students...

...were primed and ready to receive acall, which they did within an hour, and it was from somebody from theinstitution who was able to talk through their concerns and address it head on. By doing this, we were able to get ahead of the message anddeliver the message that we really wanted to. Our CEO, cary, had ahosted a Webin or several weeks ago about crisis communication and she said somethingalong the lines of if you don't tell the story, then students will startto tell their own. And something like this really comes in handy when youneed to alleviate concerns and and worry. So obviously we're talking about something that'shappened in the past, but again, this doesn't have to be we don'thave to only look at this matrice he's when we're worried about something big.Something like this might happen for an er, might be helpful for another victicket I. For example, if you're going back to campus us, what's yourmask policy? What about when you want a new program or have a changein leadership? Understanding and being empathetic to your audience's needs, regardless of whatthe situation is, will help you achieve your marketing goals. So we'll moveon to phase two and talk about the second phase that we went through,which was kind of the near future. This is about two to four weeksafter campuses started closing. What we needed to do was to communicate where we'regoing from here. We know what's happening, but what does it mean to ouraudience? And so, for this particular side, let's take a lookat perspective students who have submitted their application but they haven't finished it, orthey've been admitted but they haven't quite registered. Again, what we need them todo is understand the impact but, more importantly, brass hacks, weneed them to finish their application or we need them to finish their admission process. So we're going to craft a message that answers the concerns and the mindsetthat they have at that time. We're going to tell them exactly how wehelp you finish and we're going to use the channels at our disposed so thatwe have the time to work with, because we have two to four weeksand we know that audience responds to so one way that you could look atthis at your institution is by taking a look at the wire frame that youalready have in place. Do you send a letter at point of application?Do you start an email Kaden? Do you have somebody reach out and calla student? Whatever it is, take a look at what you're already doingand then just tweak the mess sitging, tweak the copy to make sure thatit's addressing things ahead on, like upcoming starts, modality changes. Again,covid impact on an application, even if there isn't an impact. By doingsomething like this your again getting ahead of the problem. But, more importantly, all of the marketing channels that you're using are starting to tell the samestory. Whether your applicant is looking at the text they just got or they'rereading the email somebody sent them, if they're looking on facebook and they seean ad or if they got a postcard in the mail, it's all aboutthe same thing. It's all about how we can help them finish these spitecovid nineteen. So let's go ahead and move on to discuss what we're doingnow and kind of how we're moving into the new future, which is thelong game. Right. We know that this isn't shortly temporary. I meanwe hope it's not, forever, but we need to communicate now how ourinstitutions are poised exactly to meet the needs of this moment, and so we'lltake a look at kind of perspective students for this. And when we sayperspective students, we mean anybody who has whose pre inquiry who hasn't yet raisedtheir hand, or maybe people and their parents who have inquired but they haven'tmoved to that next step of applying. Obviously we need them to submit theirapplication, but there's a lot of big fish to fry at the moment.People are very concerned about a lot of things, mostly the economy. MeThey're worried about their jobs and they're also questioning, can I really go toa school online? So the way that we will change our marketing is bydiscussing just those things. How jobs, education will lead to job security andalso for us in the institutions that we work with, we can discuss quitea bit about how online is in the DNA, but if that's not thecase, you know you can discuss how we put measures in in place toensure that you're interacting with your peers, to make sure that you have timewith your professor, that you're using zoom or skype or whatever it is,to emulate a real in class experience so they can feel confident that they're goingto get the education that they need. And of course, we're going todo this through all of the channels that we have available because, similar tophase two, wherever a student or prospective student is looking and wherever their parentis looking, we want to make sure that that same message resonates. Whythis is important and why this is kind of a big strategic move for usis because right now, at this moment in time, everything needs to betopical. If you're a marketer, you...

...know that Pre March two thousand andtwenty, it was tough to get somebody's attention. Well, now it's Julytwo thousand and twenty and it's even harder to get somebody's attention. So everythingwe say needs to be exact, relevant to the exact situation that people arein, and by addressing the concerns of our current and potential students, regardlessof where we are in our marketing techniques, we can deliver marketing that speaks directlyto them and also helps us achieve our goals. So hopefully that givesyou a little bit of insight into how we, he looks, are workingtoward our goals marking. I guess I'll turn the time over to you tosee if we've had any questions that come that have come in, that wecan help address right now. We have. We've had a couple. One comesfrom Jenna. You know, you you ended really emphasizing the study ofmessaging to perspective students, and Jenna asked what are the most common problems yousee in Higher Ed Messaging to prospects? Can you give examples or themes thatyou see in the market, and so what would you say to Jen inthat case, Katie and and if you want to wag in as well,sure. So. I think one thing that we need to be cognizant ofis creating messaging that's very much about the institution and not about the student,and so I think that, you know, I think of messaging is kind ofa van diagram. You have the institution right here and then you havea student right here, and somewhere in the middle is where your message alignswith them and serves them. And so I think when we look at thingslike in our messages, we've been doing online for twenty years. Then weneed to be really cognisant of how that applies to the prospective student and whatthey can gain from it, because otherwise it's very much an us, notyou message. If that makes sense, and you do you have anything toadd to them, I would add only that that's really where understanding your audienceand having good data to be able to segment and understand and you know they'vevisited your web properties. What page is, what things were they interested were theyinterested in, and what else can you glean from them based on theirbehavior, so that you can provide relevant messages to them? It's the information, the insights we have on any given inquiry are pretty scarce and obviously youmove further up to the top of the funnel, we know very little.So to the extent that you can understand who you're speaking to and Taylor thatmessage. So that Katie said, not only is it relevant to them,but it's also not just the shotgun to approach, because there are things thatare going to matter to different people at different times. So that that abilityto segment your audience is is crucial right from the outset, right from thebeginning interactions with with your prospects? Yeah, excellent. So thank you, Jennier, for that question. Thanks Katie and Annie for your answers. Andwe had a question they came in ahead of time that I think we couldbigue back off this one really well, and it was what guidance did yougive your teams about messaging? And so, Katie, I think he touched onthis a bit, but is any any other insights from Katie or Andyabout the guidance that we had helix received about messaging at both and, youknow, across these different Matri season segments like you were talking about? Katie? Yeah, and I'll touch on a couple of Katie, you can bringup some points too, because I know this was a conversation fairly early onand one of the things that happened early was our enrollment marketing manager sent outan email just that everybody just kind of a general reminder to understand that covidnineteen is now the backdrop for everything that we say and do and people willbe viewing it to that mom so be sensitive to that and make sure youkind of read the copy and look at the images in that light. Also. There's some reminders about understanding that when we have a lot of messages outin the market for campus base learning, well, all of a sudden that'sgoing to be something that we need to make sure that we are revising tofocus on the online modality, because that's what that's what's going to be available. But there are a few other tips and tips that came came from thatkting. What what would you add? I would add that again, wewant to be sensitive and tactful and our approach. I think that, youknow, being careful in this moment about what's going on in the world isimportant. I think that you can easily do that by ensuring you know,you can easily make sure you're not being predatory by kind of speaking truth toadvertising and speaking about what we what we know to be true. We doknow that there's people, regardless of what's happening in the world, education willhelp you with job prospects. I think that you can also for a bitin a way that people can understand and I think you can also call uponpeople within your institution who can help deliver the message in a sensitive way.So I think that's around about answer. But in terms of messaging, thatI think was the guidance that we took is ensure that we're sensitive and tactfulwhile still addressing the common concerns that people have. Yeah, and to reiteratesome of the things that Kat who brought...

...up earlier, understanding the different messagesfor your different audiences is pretty important. If I'M A if I'm a studentthat is beginning the enrollment process, what I need to know what's going tohappen because the campus I was going to go to is closed. But ifI have yet to really begin that process, but sort of looking around, Ijust want to know that you know how to handle online learning and thatyou can provide and you're set up to continue. So I so really again, understanding who you're talking to is a big piece of that and being ableto reassure them or encourage them, as the case may be, or theirconsideration committee, their influencing committee, to make sure that we're we understand andwe know what's going on is pretty important. But it varies significantly where you dependingon where you are on the problem. All right, excellent, great insights, Katie, and any thank you. Ryan. Is a question. Whatis an enrollment coach? On the screen there we say the message,call your enrollment coach. So enrollment coach is a turn that we at Helixin our part institutions use to refer to admissions representative, enrollment represented. Therole of an enrollment coach is to take that perspective student from the time thatthey first inquire till the time they are registered for classes and start their firstday, and that kind of Roman coaches with that perspective student all the waythrough that period and so helping them to complete their application, securing any transcriptsthat are needed, help giving direction on financial aid, completing a fast accordinatingwith the with the institution on matters such as those, and basically kind ofwhatever else that perspective student needs to get ready for that first day of class. And so other institutions maybe something like admissions wrap or enrollment wrap. Butyeah, that's that's how we define what an enrollment coach is. A thanks, Ryan for that question. We've had a couple more question that I thinkyou're going to be addressed pretty well in our next section, as we talkedabout internal communication and expectation management. So and has a question of how canwe effectively communicate the need for this type of communication strategy to administration and Katieasked, not you, Katie van Hazelm, but Katie O'hare ask any talked aboutdata collection throughout the funnel. Does he have a recommended templet of datapoints to measure? Also in terms of planning, is there a marketing countertemplet that you recommend to share your plan with others? I think it's agreat segue into our next section on internal communication and expectation management. So Andy, I will let you run with it from here. Sure, and andSparky, there was a lot there. It's some of like no, wecover but we may need a reminder to make sure we touch on all ofall of those points. If you would kind of help to keep score,I would appreciate it. I got you. So at the same time that youtry to manage all the the external communications, there are internal constituents thatare looking to you for guidance, not only regarding the execution of the strategiesnoted above, but also things like spend and top of funnel performance. Sowe'll talk a little bit about all of that. But quick note on someof the numbers you're about to see. I've removed any of our partner identification, and I don't really even use the same partners in every example, butthey are real data points. So you can kind of do with that whatyou will, but but these refer to no specific partner. So one ofthe first things, the first pieces of internal communication you have to worry about, is to the teams that are handling the message creation and the message dissemination. Having a clear, documented plan that you follow regularly is critical at atime like this because you don't want to skip any steps, taking the shortcutsthat are going to lead to problems down the line. You can really gettripped up by the anxiety to get things done quickly. Like I said earlier, a crisis isn't the time to develop a process. However, there arethings you can learn from your time in the crucible. For instance, we'verefined our process so that, at the discretion of the account manage or subjectmatter expert and in specific situations, we can waive the initial kickoff meeting andlet the written SPEC be the guide. It seems like a small thing,but it can shave hours off in the project. Now I didn't take thetime to kind of lay out our inter our entire internal creative process but itis a detail of the thorough process that is managed by our account management teamand there are we use a work in the Jiga, a tool to helpkind of process and keep things moving. But it's all very clearly defined andwe use it all the time, not just in an emergency, so thatwhen something like this happens everybody knows exactly what to do. And in thiscase we created a little little out to speed things along a little bit.We also made some process changes around Webinar. Surprise, surprise, we we hada process for doing webinars, but this accelerated paste has encouraged us tomake some changes. And what we did if we separated out some of theelements and put them on parallel paths rather...

...than on a linear track, therebydecreasing the overall time from start to launch or start to Webinar. So ifyou have already defined a right and use regularly a process for creative a messaging, take the lessons that you learned from covid nineteen and create one. Ifyou do have one. Now's a good time for a lesson, to learndebrief to identify ways you might want to improve. The other important line ofcommunication is all around performance and the marketing spell. Everybody, from enrollment offinance is anxious and looking for guidance. So the best guide that we cangenerally give comes from some form of comparative data. So taking a look atyour year of a year, month of a month and even day to daytrends can provide some pretty valuable insights. So this is a basic are.Here's where the basics of a well defined funnel and clean data really pay off. When we're looking at the data and all trying not to board anybody withall the number that we get to play with, we're looking at it ineither either in terms of when the inquiry was generated or received, or whenthe student moved into a particular status, like submitted African who completed out.So we're talking about coming from the received data or when they change their status. Looking through the received date Lens, we can see critical top of allactivity and get a sense of how consumers are behaving based on the day theyarrived in our system. Because we wanted to share this info with a lotof the other people around the organization so they can see it, so theycan help interpret it, we created a quick Google doc and what you're seeinghere are just some screen grabs from a few of the of the graphs thatwe put in this Google doc and we added the little slicers at the topand orange so that we could control better for things like changes in the mediummix, and we could also alter the date ring so this you can lookat several months at a time, several days at the time, you canlook at all channels, some channels, and this view also gives us theyear of year and month to month and they kind of compares. So wecreated a separate graph for each of the top of the funnel steps to makefor a quicker assessment of how things are moving through the funnel. We focuson these steps raw to submitted applicant. Those are the ones that are wemost commonly look at from a marketing perspective, although we look at the entire funnel, but we tend to look at everything from row to submitted. Sowe won't get through the whole funel. I think we've already done that,but that's things like raw and contacted or raw and scrub and contacted and qualified, up to submitted applicant, because all of those things tend to happen fairlyquickly and they provide a good early indication of how our marketing dollar is performing. So if you take a look at these numbers, you can see atthe beginning of the month we're really down year over year, and this isback in March. We're down and qualified inquisier every year. But if youlook at submitted applicants you see a different story. So you have to watchthe entire funnel. You can't just focus on either end of the funnel becauseyou're going to you're going to miss important trends and and you're going to missopportunities to react to what you're seeing. As I mentioned, the other waythat we look at things typically is by the status start date. So onany given day, how many students moved into a specific status like qualified inqureeor submitted African? This perspective is valuable insights as it speaks to the qualityand the performance. So how engaged or the inquiries and how are we doingit moving them along? This is a view that up our enrollment of folksfind particularly useful as they evaluate and forecast future starts. So they're less concernabout when an inquiry was received and much more concerned with the volume of agiven status relative to the next start. So if we're a hundred twenty daysout from the start, we need to have x number of submitted APPS andwhy number of completed APPs if we're going to reach our our new start goal. We also put the other some other barographs and things like that that showedtoward the aggregate by month as another quick way to see how these things arecoming together. Of course, not all this stuff is happening in a vacuumand the use of key ratios is also pretty important, and the one thatI wanted to touch on a little bit here today is the cost per ratio. And typically folks like to think of Crossper only in terms of frostper inquiry, sometimes cost per start. But by extending at all the way through toeach of the steps, you can really start to see some things that areimportant. It's impossible because you can't you can't really judge performance just on volumeor just on cost. So this cost per ratio is a good way toget engage overall and at a pretty granular level. You can look at thingsby a cost per by channel, by...

...add group and even keyword when we'retalking about search and use that to guide your marketing decisions. Of course,this is one set of ratios. The whole conversion rate is another set ofratios that are obviously critically important, but I think costpertends to get ignored alot, especially all the way through the funnel, and we this became criticalfor us in this the Covid Nineteen Lens or through the Covid nineteen lends,when we saw big advertisers in verticals like travel were dramatically reducing their stands.Mean they were just pulling out of all kinds of stuff, and a quickcheck of our costpurs from those channels helped us evaluate how we were seeing theimpact of that. So are we in fact they're getting out? Does thatmean there's more inventory for us? Does that mean we can spend more money? And if we do spend more money, how is that going to equate intonew inquiries and ultimately new starts? So we can we can use thatcost per ratio to see what's going on and see if we should put moremoney into specific channels similar similarly, Costpur was a really good way to gagethe impact of the dramatically increased activity that we saw around search terms like onlineschool and learning online. So I forget the statistics, but it was hundredsof times more search terms or in our queries to the search engines for thosekinds of terms. The big surge in all that, though, was largelyfrom parents and K twelve teachers who were frantically trying to find resources for yourhow what to do with their kids. So it was important for us tounderstand how this was impacting our campaigns. And sure enough we saw our costper raw ory some tip top of the funnel. We saw our cost perright inquiry start going up on those more generic terms, as more generic campaigns. So we needed to we needed to make some adjustments, or else wewould just be spending money on things that were really going to ever hang outfor us. So that early warning signal prompit this to reduce that spen untilthings set bounds. So understanding these ratios, looking at them all through the funnelis pretty important. And again I think costper is one that, especiallyat the granular level and all through the funnel, tends to kind of getoverlooked. So it's impossible to say if we are truly in the new normalor if we're just kind of at a slower portion of the transition to thenew normal. Only time is going to tell that, but things do seemto have settled down just a little bit and we are looking at this andhelix as a good time to shut things up. I think in the crushof the every day and the desire to get things done, we often forgetthat taking time to sharpen your saw is also part of the work. Soit's park you hope that counts pretty the folksy aforism, but taking time tomake sure that you're working effectively and to tighten up the tools that you're usingis really critical, and so we're looking at this and we're doing a lotof lessons learned, a lot of introspection to kind of figure out how wecan be better always, but especially the next time something like some kind ofprices happened. We're testing new messages and looking for different and new ways andgay with our audiences, both internally and externally, on the matters that areimportant to them right now and that that whole marketing mantra of the right messagefor the people. It's important internally and externally as well. So sparky,remind me of the broader questions that we want to touch on. Yeah,so the first half of Katie O'hare's question, I recommended temple a data points tomeasure. I feel like we've covered that. The second half of Katiesquestion and then as question are kind of two sides of the same coin.Just in terms of Katie asked, is their marketing counter. Temple, yourecommend to share your plan with others and and talk about how can we effectivelycommunicate the need for this type of communication strategy to administration in so what waysto share this with other decision makers in and other folks like that? Sure. So let me let me touch quickly on the the data one, althoughI know we've covered it. I think the key to this is working withinyour internal teams and within your internal systems to figure out how Grang of oryou can force things to be. We kind of several years ago sort ofunpacked everything, took it all apart and put it back together and a lotof what was there was usable, but we just kind of reorder reordered it, or we can figured it so we could see that entire funnel. SoI would recommend that you figure out what are the steps and we when youget this slide deck, you'll see that the list of those of those steps, of those are the big milestones and there are lots of substeps under that. But take that time, and it is a process to define the entirestudent journey and make sure you understand the...

INS and outs of it. Onceyou have that, then you get into the you can get better into thewhole idea of a marketing calendar and and lobbying for those internal mechanisms. Broadlyspeaking, in case you get ready to jump in on this, but broadlyspeaking, are are. The way we look at our marketing calendar is basedon when the start date is and because we have lots of good data,we know the average time or the average distance from the start that inquiries comein to contribute to that start. So if the start is on September one, we know that really because it takes forty five to sixty days to getthe entire process done, that the cutoff point for contributing to that September onestart is going to come sometime forty, five sixty days prior to September one. So that area before that is the recruiting time and the calendar is reallydriven by that start date and then the each inquiry has kind of its owncalendar. So you come in and you this happens to you on day andsometimes, well, Katie can, if you really got time, we cango into what happens. Like it minute one and then you know our one, but it goes all the way through each so each individual follows their ownprocess and their own communication and that again is based on behavior. So ifyou do this, then we will respond thusly, if you don't do anything, we'll do this. So really it's all about timing from the start,but then once you come into the system, everybody kind of has their unique andindividualized calendar and messaging based on kind of what they're doing and where theyare. Katie, yeah, I would agree and I think that, youknow, that's the way that we segment our audiences is to ensure that themessaging for somebody who is in their final stage of the application process it's avery different message and approach than somebody who is in the kind of perspective portion. And so, to any point yet, we do make sure that we're takinga look at our data and look at the funnel and if we know, you know, if we notice that last year people took sixty two daysto get from A to Z and now they're taking forty five days. That'sdata that we can use to kind of craft things and create proactive strategies toaddress this. Yeah, I just can't say enough about how important having thedata, collecting the data and then having access it is everything in this conversation. All Right, I see multiple thank yous from Katie, so I thinkwe're feeling good and she's feeling good to so, Katie, thanks for thatquestion. We're into the broader QA and so we've got time for a couplemore questions. We have a couple in the QA already. If you joinUS little bit late, the QNA kind is there at the bottom of yourscreen and you can use that. Jenna had a follow up question talking aboutthe importance of the funnel, she says, but it feels like the funnel ischanging with the shift to virtual effect. Advance prospects can attend college fairs,etc. And so how do you recommend that institutions think about adjusting theirfunnel and their mat tricks as we see these kind of changes in the funnelhappens? So any Katie, what would you say to Jena. In thatcase, I guess I would challenge at a little bit in that I don'tknow that the funnel necessarily is changing, but the behaviors may be changing,especially when you look at channels like I would say, you know, recruitingfair or Student Fair. That is a particular channel and that behavior, noquestion, is going to change. So but the basics of the funnel,the backbone of the funnel, all pretty much stays the same. But whatI look at channel performance. That's going to change over time. So thenthe question becomes, okay, if we used to have a lot of successfrom events, we've got to replace that somehow. That's one thing to discuss. The other thing to discuss is, you know, these event providers.They're also trying to figure out how to replace live events. So what arethey doing? How do we get in on that? How do we makethat effective? And then it's a process of testing, trying, measuring andseeing what happens. So, but that's that's true any time you're talking aboutbranching into a new channel or a new subset of a channel, and thatthat routine. The rigger around testing is another one. The thing we didn'treally get into a whole lot today, but that is an absolutely critical pieceof the puzzle. To there always has to be some prospecting going on.What what about this? We tried this? What happens if we if we gointo this channel or massage are current efforts in a given channel. SoI do agree there are things that the landscape is changing and has changed.So now it's question of trying things to recover and to react in the newworld. But I think when I think of the funnel, I think avery, very defined students move from rowing...

...cree to scrub to contacted qualified inall the way down to clearing senses first day of class. Any anything youwant to throw in there? I agree. I think that your milestone marker isstill probably aren't going to change. It seems like a lot of timethe modality in which we kind of push people through the funnel might change right. But I do think tangentially it's a good opportunity for us to revisit thestrategies that we were doing six months ago and see how we might modernize andmake them again relevant. I know I said that term for four or fivetimes already and I think maybe if I say it one more time, thenadd appears. I don't know. But if you're focusing on what's relevant.Of People really are hungry for Webinars, then serverm a Webinar. If theyreally want to have a oneonone zoom session with an admissions rap, than that'ssomething that we could consider as well. So I mean, I don't knowif that's necessarily an answer, but I think that things are changing and andI think that there are going to be some things that come out of it, because it will some good things that come out of it because it willkind of force us to all modernize and reeking things through different Lens Yeah,and that you know. There there have been pretty significant shifts in the educationallandscape from a marketing perspective. You know, before this is, this is thesethings happen for lots of different reasons, and mean fifteen years ago the inthe adult education space, especially affiliate marketing, is huge. Now that'salmost in irrelevant channel. So the quest for marketers is always to be onthe lookout for new, different, better ways, and the only way toget there is to test. But I think we, we as Marketers,oh it to our institutions to not be trapped by history. And you know, this always used to work, so we assume that it's always going towork. I think that's it. That's a danger, and so I wouldhope that some portion of every budget is carved out for testing, some portionof the human effort, the human time, is also carved out for scouting thingsout and testing things out, because that's that's the only way to reallystay in the for proud and stay revelar, because you can bet our consumers arechanging and the are the people were trying to communicate with their changing andthey're moving fast. So we got a we owe it to everybody to keepup. All right, that sounds great. We have about five minutes left,and so just really quickly, we'd like to just kind of wrap upby sharing a lot of the resources that are available to folks that healing educationis making available to colleges and universities as they transition to a quality online experience. And so again, if you've been with us before, you've heard thesesorts thing before. If this is your first Webinar with us, first ofall, welcome. Second of all, as we approach fall two thousand andtwenty, we help our colleges and university partners to make this transition. We'vecauched within these four pillars is that you have institution online readiness, beyonline teachingand learning, experience, online student experience and engagement, and then the pillarthat we've talked about today, student and parent expectation management. And so howhelix education can help across these different ways is that we have assembled a collectionof professional development resources, templates, KPI, documents, all sorts of things tohelp aid you in this transition. They're available right there. Hello Educationcomnew future will put that URL in the chat as well. See you geta chance to click that. You also find webinars like this one, aswell as the pass boners that we've done, as well as podcast other professional developmentopportunities, as I talked about within those four pillars, and so anythingthat you'd like to get a little bit more emphasis on, you're welcome goto the website and do that. We also have an email address set up, and so anybody who is looking for more information about your specific situation feelfree to shoot us an email at new future info at Helix Educationcom. We'vealso put that email address in the chat for you to copy and paste andlet us know. Like we said at the beginning, we are continuing onthe road to fall two thousand and twenty, and so we have more webinars comingup in the weeks ahead. The plan now is to go through August, but will continue these for as long as you out there field that it'snecessary that we can help you out. And so just a quick preview ofother topics that we have coming up. The topics all relate week by weekto those four pillars that we mentioned earlier, and so each week will focus ona different pillar. And so, like I said, this week fellunder the student parent expectation management pillar and then next week is institutional online readiness, and so you see that those are weekly areas of focus in themes aswe progress through the month of August.

And so just one last time we'regoing to put that url up there on the screen as well as the emailaddress, and so feel free to use and download those resources available at HelixEducationcom, new future and set us an email if there's anything more that wecan dig into. New Future Info at Helix Educationcom. Thanks to everybody fortending, thanks for your questions and especially thank you to Katie and Andy foryour insight and expertise that you shared with us today. For everyone out therewho joined us, have a great rest of your day and week. Staysafe and we hope to see you at more webinars in the future. Sotake care and have a biggers to your day and week. Attracting today's newpost traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprize wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growthplaybook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressingenrollment growth challenges. Download it today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook.You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (230)