Archive for July, 2012
On Monday, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released an in-depth report addressing concerns in the for-profit higher education industry. The result of a two-year investigative process, the 1700+ page report highlighted a number of issues – from aggressive and deceptive recruiting practices to poor student outcomes and high student debt.
Those of us in the for-profit sector have already seen – and responded to – many of these criticisms. In fact, much of the data presented in the report was released well over a year ago, and has driven huge changes in our sector over the past 18 months. From clearer language in school advertising to comprehensive monitoring of recruitment practices, schools and their partners have invested a great deal of time, expense, and effort to ensure that prospective students receive the information they need to make educated decisions before embarking upon a higher education program.
The report also presented some positive findings – most of which did not make the mainstream media coverage. It was great to hear Senator Harkin, in his press conference this week, noting that in order to meet President Obama’s goal to have every American adult spend at least some time in higher education, for-profit colleges and universities must play a critical role. Specifically, he noted that the for-profit sector is unique in its ability to meet the demands of the growing number of non-traditional students seeking higher education (which Harkin estimates at 73 percent of all students).
The Senator also actively complimented a number of schools like Strayer, Walden, American Public University, and National American University, and he noted the impressive changes he has seen among schools like Kaplan, Apollo and Devry, who have shown dedication and commitment to improving student outcomes. As a partner to nearly all of these schools, we were very pleased to see their efforts recognized.
As we review and consider the findings of this report, there is no question that there is still work to be done. The for-profit sector must continue to provide access to educational offerings that drive better outcomes, and don’t leave students strapped with unnecessary debt.
For our part, as a provider of products and services for recruitment marketers, this report reinforces our commitment to that end, and to ensuring compliant marketing practices. We are making ongoing investments in products that help schools to reach and recruit the right students, and we will continue to promote the highest standards of ethics in recruitment practices.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what you can expect to find in our July newsletter:
-The Featured Article gives you the chance to test your Inquiry IQ and see how much you really know about inquiry generation
-Market Insights features our 2012 Benchmarking Report which highlights higher education marketing trends and challenges
-Product Spotlight on our Mobile Marketing Roadshow is packed with industry stats
-Monthly Webinar features our most popular webinar of the year!
A few weeks ago, we were in a steamy Las Vegas at the annual APSCU Convention, unveiling our latest inquiry generation service called Inquiry IQ. Visitors to the awesome CUnet booth had the chance to test their own Inquiry IQ and learn about where their expertise lies, and where they might need some help when it comes to inquiry generation. The results were encouraging: the average Inquiry IQ of survey respondents was 106 (above average), which means that many schools are taking the right steps to diversify and optimize their media buying. Want to know how you compare? Well now, you too can take the test! Click here to take the five minute quiz now!
Knowing your score is the first step to improving your overall media buying results. The next step? Creating a detailed, multi-channel plan to help reach, recruit and enroll students. And that’s where Inquiry IQ comes in.
What can Inquiry IQ do for me?
As part of the Inquiry IQ service, schools receive regular reporting on inquiry performance by campus, program and source, along with ongoing recommendations for ways to diversify and optimize media planning and pricing. The result is a targeted, transparent inquiry generation strategy that drives down cost per start, uncovers new opportunities and provides greater insight into overall enrollment marketing.
How does it work?
With Inquiry IQ, all inquiries are routed through Sparkroom, the industry’s leading platform for inquiry management, which processes over one million inquiries each month. With this powerful technology, CUnet can access a level of insight into inquiry performance that is unparalleled among inquiry providers. CUnet’s account teams leverage that data to work collaboratively with school clients to continually diversify and optimize their media mix, and identify those sources that best meet their requirements. This performance data also allows CUnet to target the right sources at the right prices, by negotiating lower pricing for those sources that under-perform, while increasing investments in areas that drive results.
CUnet’s Inquiry IQ multi-channel planning service takes a collaborative approach to media planning, uncovering untapped opportunities and targeting the right sources at the right prices through the following process:
1. Assessment & Analysis: CUnet’s account teams review the school’s start goals, followed by a detailed analysis of their current and past inquiry performance by channel, program, cost and campus.
2. Identify Anomalies: With Sparkroom, CUnet’s industry-leading technology platform, the account team reviews inquiry performance to identify sources that stand out.
3. Diversify & Adjust: The account team presents a customized plan offering a diversified media mix and adjustments to pricing, allocations and programs. The team then implements all agreed-upon changes.
4. Ongoing Optimization: CUnet follows up with weekly client calls, regular reviews and reports on results and ongoing suggestions for optimization.
Is this service only for new CUnet customers?
Nope! Inquiry IQ is available now for current and new customers. If you’re already a customer, contact your account manager to learn more.
How do I get more information?
Usually, I try to include a funny intro with our weekly news round-ups, but today our thoughts are with those affected by the shooting at a Colorado movie theater early this morning. For more information, I’m linking to this Facebook Page which has a on-going compilation of news about the event.
- For-profit colleges aren’t the enemy (
The Star Tribune) The rise of for-profit universities and colleges ( University World News) Universities Reshaping Education on the Web ( The New York Times) Reading, Writing and Arithmetic Are No Longer Enough ( The Huffington Post) University of Wisconson to Offer Free Online Courses ( The Cap Times) Going Back to The Basics: Vocational Education is a Must (Trend Hunter) Education Is Too Vital to Be Left to Educators ( Tulsa Beacon)
Reaching Prospective Students in an Always Online World Part Two – Now at LeadsCon East 2012 and CCST 2012!
I know I am not alone in believing that the biggest revolution since the invention of Internet is the shift from desktop PCs to mobile data-capable devices (and everything associated with it, from changes in marketing practices to an overall cultural shift). While most marketers are aware of how important this change is, many in our sector still struggle to clearly identify how mobile media can help their business – or specifically their college or university – to achieve their marketing goals.
This is the challenge that I, along with a highly distinguished panel of mobile and marketing experts, recently addressed at the 2012 APSCU Annual Convention. We spoke to a full room, and based on the questions and feedback, it was clear that many marketers in higher education are looking for guidance in this area.
During the session, I spoke about the success we have had in mobile campaigns for our clients here at CUnet. Using data from those campaigns, I walked through three areas that are of critical importance to advertisers:
- Mobile volume: Can mobile media be a source of scalable prospect inquiries?
- Mobile quality: Do mobile inquiries convert into students?
- Risk and barriers to entry: What’s the barrier to test considering cost, compliance, and targeting capabilities?
Now, if you were not able to attend the session at APSCU, and are interested in learning more about mobile marketing for lead generation, I wanted to share some upcoming opportunities to hear more about mobile and how it is impacting higher education marketing. I will be presenting at both of these sessions, and I welcome everyone to come by and speak with me directly.
The first session is at LeadCon East 2012 on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 from 9-10am where I will be part of a panel discussion for a session titled “Mobile Lead Gen – What Works and When Will It Scale”
The second opportunity will be at CCST – Career Colleges and Schools of Texas Annual Conference on October 12 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas, Texas.
If you still aren’t sure if this is the year to jump in to mobile, let me leave you with a few thoughts to keep in mind:
- There are more mobile devices than people in the United States.
- In many cases, prospects are already searching on their mobile phone when they inquire.
- Estimates show that 25% of all paid search clicks will come from mobile by the end of this year.
You can also download our latest mobile marketing flyer here, which outlines what CUnet can do to help improve your mobile marketing campaigns.
I hope to see you at LeadsCon or CCST!
This month’s webinar explores the results of our Third Annual Higher Education Benchmarking Survey, which was conducted earlier this year among over 300 higher education marketing professionals. The ensuing report has always served to establish trends and best practices among the higher education marketing community, and this year is no different.
Webinar participants will learn about trends related to a rising cost per enrollment, and will come along for the ride as we explore the shift from schools buying to directly generating their own inquiries. We will also unveil data that suggests a change in priorities for higher education marketers, and new ways that schools are attempting to diversify their revenue streams. Joining us will be Michael Ferree from LeadsCouncil who will add his own commentary on what might be contributing to some of these trends.
So what are you waiting for? Space is limited, and this one will definitely fill up fast. Sign up today to reserve your spot!
Well, faithful readers, it’s been just about two weeks since the start of the APSCU convention and that should be enough time for people to relax and reflect on the largest proprietary education convention in the United States.
Previously, we covered Michelle Rhee’s keynote session. In this post, we’ll take a look at:
- Inquiry IQ
- President Bush’s discussion on Friday
- How many calories you burned at the convention
- All of the (flattering) photos we took (non-flattering photos have been assigned to the blackmail folder)
- How our social media strategist won $80 playing cat-themed penny slots (okay, we won’t, but it did happen)
First, special props to Underground Elephant, who had a real-life mermaid swimming around at the booth, apparently unconcerned that we were located just a stone’s throw from the Mandalay Bay’s shark tanks.
You are currently browsing the The CUnet Blog blog archives for July, 2012.