How important is a “Complete View of the Student Journey’ in Higher Education
Today, Universities have large budgets to support the student recruitment process and, with increased competition, it is very important that this money is spent only on marketing activities that have a direct impact on conversion rates. Therefore it is important to have a complete view of the student journey right from initial enquiry through application, enrolment and beyond.
If your University is not able to clearly see all the steps in the student journey, then you will not be able to determine which of your marketing efforts determines whether a student decides to join your University- or another.
The Problem with ‘List Based’ Systems
Many Universities we work with used to have ‘list-based’ systems to manage the Student Recruitment process; these were focused on only dealing with the student at a particular point in time. So if they were attending an Open Day, for example, it was very difficult to look back and see whether that student had ever been part of any Outreach activity, whether they had requested a prospectus or whether they had made any form of enquiry to the University in the past.
The systems that some of our clients used to use overwrote older information or just made it simply too difficult to tie parts of the student journey together in any logical way.
Put the Student at the Heart of the University
When designing the Achiever Education Solution (AES) we made putting the student at the heart of the University the key priority. With AES it is the INDIVIDUAL who is important and we build a complete view of all interactions around them. This means that it is possible to see the complete view of the student journey and determine which interactions, or combination of interactions, ultimately had an effect on student conversion – initially to an Application and then ultimately to an actual Enrolment.
Understand the Current Situation
Experience has taught us that when evaluating if your system is the right one for you, it’s useful to check whether your current solution is able to answer these questions;
- How many students who requested a prospectus went on to attend an Open Day?
- How many students who attended an Open Day went on to Apply?
- How many Applicants attended an Open Day?
- How many Applicants requested a prospectus and also asked a question on the website?
- How many Applicants who attended a Course Information Day went on to Enrol?
- What did students that went on to Apply ask about when considering whether they would apply to the University?
- What did students that went on to Enrol ask about when considering whether they would attend the University?
Unless your Student Recruitment system is able to store all this information in a ‘Relational’ database format it may be impossible for you to get this crucial student recruitment conversion information.
Drive Continuous Improvement
Once you have access to all of this critical information you can then move to the next stage – enabling your University to review ratios and start to put together the strategy, channels, content and interactions that you know will maximise conversion rates.
Another issue some of our customers have had is access to the data. Make sure your student recruitment software provider gives you the ability to get access to your data so that you can ‘slice and dice’ all of the elements to inform future activity.
This data needs to be built up over time and ultimately is only an indication of why a student applies and enrols at the University. However, when making decisions about how to engage with the student in the best way to encourage conversions, having access to this information does provide valuable indicators to help predict student numbers and ensure your University marketing spend is maximised.
If you want to find out more about how the AES (Achiever Education Solution) can be utilised to help your University to get a complete view of the student journey, simply click here.