How “Smarter” Institutions of Higher Education Succeed

The all-pervasive nature of technology has forced colleges and universities to overhaul their systems and procedures, and embrace technology to remain competitive. One of the biggest impacts in technology within higher education is in marketing to prospective students.


Today’s youth are connected to the Internet practically every moment they are awake, and any communication reaches them in near real-time. Students have integrated social media, gaming, texting, and technology in general, as part of their daily life.

Colleges and universities need to step up and embrace technology to connect with their prospective students. However, they also need to go beyond core technology and ensure that they ignite a change in their marketing strategy. For example, replacing a print newspaper advertisement with a banner ad on a website, or a direct mail piece with an email is embracing technology. However, a mere Internet ad is unlikely to gain any significant leads. Rather, flexibility needs to be the focus. The college may need to opt for various channels, such as email, forums, article marketing, and more, apart from banner ads.

It’s also crucial for the college or university to abandon any systems that force them into fixed procedures, and embrace flexibility to adopt innovative methods as the situation demands it. Easier said than done, right? For example, a college admissions representative or recruiter may find spending time in gaming forums or engaging in a conversation through text messages, something radical and unheard of just a couple of years ago, can provide them with more engaged potential applicants.

Change in Approach

Prospective students, like most digital customers, tend to significantly research the college even before initiating contact. The prospective student can certainly find considerable information about the college, and compare it with other schools, before initialing contact. Colleges and universities need to keep this in mind to engage with them effectively.

One way to do this? Utilize a marketing automation solution that engages students in many different ways, including email and social media. The more you stay in touch, the more likely they’ll think about applying and enrolling in your school.