Drop the Megaphone: Tools & Techniques for Omnichannel, Multilateral Communication
Prospective students, applicants, enrolled students and influencers are all awash in a flood of traditional and non-traditional education options, and they are all inundated by a torrent of advertising, recruitment and reminder messages, in print, outdoor, mass media, websites, social apps, and search results. Time is precious, attention is scarce, and patience for the traditional “firehose” of outbound communication has worn thin – at every stage of enrolment. What’s more, expectations have skyrocketed for personalized, interactive, on-demand information – in multiple channels – in response to natural language questions.
Across industry sectors, the worlds of web, social, phone and face-to-face sales, marketing and support are rapidly converging. In response, higher ed institutions have been deploying teams of social media, telephone and outreach ambassadors to engage current and potential students in two-way conversations. They’ve also been investing in sophisticated technologies to maintain contact databases, automate follow-up and communication touchpoints, predict applicant decisions and student needs, and provide 24/7 personalized answers, advice and guidance.
Many smaller institutions have focused on “high-touch” strategies to grow applications, improve conversion and heighten retention, by doubling down on personal attention, student ambassadors, in-person events, active social channels and carefully crafted communications. Larger institutions have deployed high-tech tools to transform marketing, recruitment and success initiatives at scale, including CRMs, AI chatbots, predictive analytics, virtual community platforms and personalized adaptive technologies.
Whether your preferred approach is high-touch or high-tech, and whether you work in marketing, recruitment, enrolment or student success, the goal of communication should be the same: engaging your stakeholders in responsive dialogue, delivering the information they want, in the way they want, at the time they want, and ultimately building a vibrant community based on affinity and multilateral interactions.
In this 3-hour interactive workshop, marketing strategist Ken Steele will outline the fundamentals of bidirectional communication and multilateral community-building, share world-class examples for PSE marketing, recruitment, conversion and retention, and prompt participants to share their own experiences and insights. You’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your current strengths and weaknesses, and come away with plenty of food for thought and bright ideas to consider.
Higher Education Strategist,
Ken Steele is Canada’s best-known higher ed futurist, facilitator and consultant in branding, marketing and innovation. As a former Shakespeare scholar and instructor, technology consultant, marketer and entrepreneur, Ken brings a unique, wide-ranging perspective and divergent thinking to college and university strategic planning, marketing and enrolment management.
Worldwide, more than 30,000 higher ed professionals have come to know Ken as a definitive source of breaking news, bright ideas, strategic foresight, and thoughtful insight. He co-founded Canada’s largest PSE market research firm, created a leading daily news digest, and has written dozens of articles and white papers, and hundreds of research reports and environmental scans.
Ken monitors worldwide developments shaping the future of higher education in real time, writes a free daily newsletter (the Eduvation Insider), produces a video webcast (Ten with Ken), and convenes national roundtables of higher ed marketers. He sits on eCampus Ontario’s Virtual Learning Advisory Committee, and has consulted with hundreds of colleges and universities – from New England to New Zealand – helping them interpret market research, understand their competitive context, distill their institutional “Brand Chemistry,” and nurture a culture of innovation across campus.
If you haven’t heard Ken speak before, take a look at his introduction video here.