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MARKETING & ADMISSIONS BLOG

Align your teams for better collaboration in 2022

Maddi Sullivan
Posted by Maddi Sullivan on 04-Jan-2022 16:59:45

"In 2022, every company is a tech company"- Dan Tyre

The alignment between marketing and admissions teams is very important. We hear time and time again of the friction and frustration caused between marketing and admissions departments, usually due to lack of communication. 

Recently we held a HubSpot User Group (HUG) session- Marketing and Admissions... 'But we've always done it this way'- Breaking down the barriers to better collaboration in 2022- discussing the core blockers between marketing and admissions teams and the key ways that teams can overcome this. 

With the world becoming more and more digital it is clear that some departments are being left behind due to being stuck using old, manual, time consuming and traditional methods. This mindset needs to change in order to keep up with the marketing and sales landscape of today's society, and learning to use new systems- like HubSpot CRM- will be crucial in the success of all education organisations. 

One of the most common blockers is multiple different systems, in both departments, that don't work together and make it difficult to access all your desired information and communicate between teams; resulting in a higher workload and messy processes.  

In this blog i'm going to run through the 5 steps you should take to facilitate the alignment between marketing and admissions and overcome those common blockers between departments and embrace change. 

Read on if you want to revolutionise the way you work in your schools marketing or admissions department.

5 step resolution plan

Step one: Define your targets

Your targets need to be the same for both marketing and admissions. Sit down together as a whole team and really think about what your targets are. Most commonly this will be to hit a certain number of applicants for your school, college or university, and to give them the best possible experience throughout the student recruitment journey.

You also need to think about why your targets are what they are, and the steps that each team need to take to achieve them. Also think about what the roles are for marketing to achieve your targets and visa versa. 

It is important to start with one or two core targets- open event sign ups, number of applicants, prospectus downloads etc- and then work backwards and think about what is needed in order to convert those targets. 

This whole process is called 'reverse funnel analysis' 

Step two: Discuss your targets collectively- so you have a shared goal

This is very similar to step one, but is so so important. The real key to better collaboration is communication. If you can all sit down together as a team and have a good discussion about your shared goals, and define the steps needed to achieve them then you will instantly have a better understanding of each others roles and responsibilities. 

You all need to agree your shared goals, and this is a key step in the right direction for the alignment between marketing and admissions. You should also consider whether your goals are in line with the wider organisational strategy and share them with your leadership teams so that they understand exactly what it both marketing and admissions are working towards together. 

Your shared goals also need to be under continuous review. We recommend a couple times throughout the term, to discuss your goals specifically, but as teams (one whole team) you should be meeting very often. 

Step three: Break it down into baby steps

So, you have your goal(s), you know your targets, you've worked backwards and understand the key steps and mini targets that need to be reached to help you achieve your overall goals.

Here you need to be looking at the each stage of the funnel. What are you currently doing? What could you do better? What else need to be done to achieve the greater goal?

For example, you want more applications, firstly you want to look at your quick wins, what is there you can do that is so obvious. You want to have insight and intelligence throughout the journey and be capturing key data points that will help you to know what to do next; like tracking who has and hasn't opened a pdf prospectus in an email.

Furthermore, you want to be capturing your leads as early as possible, applying for schools and colleges is a very long journey, it takes lots of research, and for some parents they are looking at the next school for their child 3 years in advance. Having these leads in as early as possible enables you more opportunity for deeper and more meaningful conversations along the way. 

In this stage it's most important to think about the how, make sure you use your historical data and look at how you can better nurture your leads. 

Step four: Understand your personas

Understanding your audience is a must. Personas of prospective parents, grand parents, students or even education agent personas. Identifying your personas is key in helping you tailor your marketing and admissions efforts to the people that you want to target.

You can read more about how to define your personas here. HubSpot also has a 'make my persona' tool that is extremely easy to use.

It is also worth identifying those 'negative personas', the people that would not be a good fit for your school, college or university- this is the audience you are not trying to attract.

We also have a really good knowledge base article that gives you key steps to creating and identifying your education personas. Read here.

Step five: Map out your student recruitment process with these personas in mind

You now need to use the insight of those personas identified to map out your student processes. This again is a shared exercise between marketing and admissions teams to plan out the steps each team need to take throughout the student recruitment process to convert your prospect/leads into students/customers. 

This will be no mean feet, and we know it is a hard and lengthy process but it is definitely worth it. Being able to map out your entire student recruitment journey in multiple different personas is very impressive and having this information and process mapped out is extremely valuable to both your marketing and admissions teams and will really help them to understand what is required of each other at each stage of the journey and tailor it accordingly.

 

Finally, I know this could have been a little repetitive at times and a little overwhelming as it can take a lot of time and effort to really work better, but I hope the 5 points above will help you make a start.

Key takeaways
  • Both marketing and admissions need to sit down together and define their shared goals, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve them.
  • Work backwards. Starting with your goals and map out in baby steps how you are going to get there. 
  • Identify your audience and create your personas.
  • Map out your student recruitment process based on the personas you have identified.
  • This all needs to be done with both marketing and admissions departments working together. 

 

To hear more from the ultimate expert in education marketing, Gemma Price (also HubGem CEO) and HubSpot Sales Director, Dan Tyre and specialist in the alignment of sales and marketing teams, watch the video below. 

 

HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that incorporates sales, marketing and service features, making it the perfect solution to bringing teams together. 

To find out more about how HubSpot can help you click the button below and book onto a demo! 

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Topics: Education