What Do We Have to Look Forward to in 2013? Part I: Marketing and the Customer Experience

Now that the first month of the New Year is coming to an end, I thought it would be interesting to write a series of blogs that highlight some of the predictions being thrown around out there, and take a look at what those predictions mean for those in education segment. .

Ovum recently published its 2013 Trends to Watch: Education Technology. One of the key highlights of the report focuses on the following:

“The adoption of customer experience (CX) strategies will accelerate as institutions seek to differentiate themselves in the market through improved services and more substantive relationships with students across the entire life cycle.”

So what does this mean for the education segment?

A higher level of personalized service can and should begin with the first interaction in the student life cycle – in other words, that first marketing communication a prospective student encounters.  From day one, you are building a relationship with that prospective student – one that he or she will likely use to evaluate your school against competitors. Don’t wait until that student is halfway through the recruitment process to get to know them, customize your outreach and form a bond.

At Datamark, we can help you do this earlier on in the process to positively impact the student experience now and throughout the education life cycle. Some ideas include:

1. Direct Mail: direct mail is a great way to target the right prospective students with highly personalized messages from the get-go.  Modeling is done before the piece goes out the door so you know exactly who you are targeting and multivariate printing delivers customized images, text and calls to action.

2. Print on Demand: being able to customize, yet minimize print runs allows you to get event-based or time sensitive pieces out the door quickly and into the hands of the students you want to target at that moment.

3. Research: having deeper insight into your target market means you know who they are, how they are likely to act, and how to best meet their needs.  The more you know about your audience, the more likely you are to engage them and start building that relationship.

Personalized messaging should start at the first marketing encounter and continue throughout the decision to enroll process. One of the most under-served CX strategies for schools is the marketing-based interaction that takes place after a person has expressed an interest in your school. There are many new and exciting technologies that make customized, on-demand dynamic messaging possible.

Steve Winchester

Steve is the CMO at Helix Education. He has been an advertising account executive for more than 20 years. Steve received his BS from the University of Utah.