On Marketing and the impacts to Education
The future of digital marketing is a space where personalized experiences exist within a multi-device landscape in real time. <- That is a lot of buzz words. Let me break this down.
Personalized experiences shouldn’t just be about predicting where we want people to click. We want to shift their desired experience from being driven by web strategists to an experience where their last click influences their next one.
While it is vital to use data to inform digital strategy, what has become increasingly important is allowing this process to happen in real time. Many Ecommerce enterprises are using these strategies already, allowing for algorithms to predict related purchases and increase cart values.
Education can use these tactics to offer relevant value points in a personalized digital experience. For example, offering a prospective students relevant to their IP address, their previous sections visited or connecting them to a live agent who can immediately help with their particular questions.
These personalized experiences can also be used internally to track trends, common questions and seasonally important items. Allowing business processes to be influenced by this business intelligence data can not only reduce call and email volume but also increase the responsiveness of institutions and better position their brand as student focused.
With increased competition, institutions must respond to students immediately. Social media has allowed for them to respond quickly on surface questions, this has increased the expectations of consumers on all levels of inquiry. This means allowing for that very specific admission question to be answered immediately (yes, immediately). This doesn’t necessarily state that a live agent must be able to answer questions at all hours, however, we can answer immediate questions via technology based on keywords and sentences.
The implementation of Salesforce-like business tools to rank prospects is something many administrators feel they need to implement, however have very little concept of what it could mean. Ranking prospects based on their tracked interactions with the institution can not only focus your efforts in responsiveness, but also help in understanding (and reacting to) the needs of highly ranked prospects. For example, if most of your 5-star prospects are asking the same questions, you can pre-emptively supply them with this information before they need it. This information will also help institutions find those 5-star prospects through social advertising and niche content marketing.
This personalized, real-time experience must also be device agnostic. The future of marketing will include many more devices over time and we shouldn’t dictate or leverage a certain platform. Learning management systems (LMS) are becoming device agnostic and the overall student experience should be reflective of this as well.
The trends in marketing as a sector are moving towards customized experiences that motivate consumers to share them in a social setting. Education needs to be a part of this.