GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | September 30th, 2020

What will the next round of recruiting look like?

What will the next round of recruiting look like?When the Spring 2020 recruiting cycle was upended mid-stream due to COVID-19, many schools had to pivot quickly. Since then, the entire higher education industry including recruiters, marketers and leaders have been operating in pandemic emergency mode, focusing on the short term out of necessity and trying to remain as flexible as possible to address continuous change. As such, there have been significant impacts on recruiting and enrollment in higher ed. However, in thinking about the upcoming recruiting cycle, it may be time to regroup and think long term.

Although you may be staring down challenges to your planning process that include financial pressures, demographic changes and technology innovation, it’s important to realize that the opportunities to reshape your school’s recruiting process are abundant. While you’re developing your projections, enrollment goals and the supporting strategic marketing plans, here are four ways to prepare for the next round of recruiting.

Focus on building community

At a time when many people – your prospective students included – are feeling isolated due to continued social distancing, one-to-one connections are critical. According to an Inside Higher Ed article that examines the community college model of building relationships beyond the traditional college campus experience, checking in on your prospects virtually to address their needs can mean the difference between yielding a student or losing them.

Invest in technology

If there was ever a time to upgrade your digital technology, it’s now. Let’s face it, the online recruiting events you begrudgingly accepted last Spring in hopes that they would be temporary, are not going anywhere. In fact, it appears that they may become a staple in the foreseeable future. Be sure your internal tech partners are up to the challenge and your team allocates the time and resources it will take to learn how to use new meeting platforms and digital collaboration tools.

Continue offering options

Your students (and prospective students) want to know your plan. They are interested in how you are altering your recruiting process including admissions testing, events and application deadlines. They’re also curious about what their degree experience will look like, what shape leadership development and career planning will take and how they’ll interact with other students safely. During a time when there are a wide variety of preferences – in-person, virtual, hybrid— and several barriers to decision making, the most important thing you can do is to instill confidence and set expectations with a clearly laid-out plan, addressing as many concerns as possible and clearly outlining what they can expect.

Remain flexible

According to many higher education leaders, thinking long term – although difficult when the future is unsettled – is critical. If it’s possible, find a way to create a roadmap that allows for quick alterations. Contingency plans can give your team and prospective students confidence that you’re prepared to pivot quickly and efficiently when needed.

Need help?

Navigating the upcoming recruiting cycle will be challenging. But developing a strategic plan that builds community, integrates technology, offers options and allows for alterations can help you meet your enrollment goals. If you need help creating a realistic recruiting plan that can help you gain more quality leads and seated students, GPRS can help.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | September 18th, 2020

The secrets behind building and maximizing your higher education marketing budget

The secrets behind building and maximizing your higher education marketing budgetSay it’s the beginning of your school’s recruiting cycle and you’ve completed last year’s analysis—reviewing enrollment numbers, the impact of marketing on those numbers and even cost-per-seated-student. You’ve solidified your marketing budget, planning is underway and you’re feeling confident in your next steps. But then, you get the call from recruiting saying that they’ve added a new program or increased their enrollment goals. What do you do now? How do you build a media budget that can support your current programs while also making accommodations for these changes? Do you need to request more funds? How can you justify the additional funds, and more importantly, what’s your new plan?

The budget

Many marketing plans and budgets, regardless of industry, are all too often determined solely by a percentage of gross revenue. However, if you start with the audience in mind, you can propose a fundamental shift in the way your school develops a sound marketing and advertising budget that can serve all programs.

If you’ve created personas, you have a good idea of where your potential students get their news. Different programs – even under the same brand – have very different audiences with varying media consumption habits, so developing a strategy for each one based on where they spend their time is critical. Examine if your audience likes social media, shares videos, clicks on ads or visits news, entertainment or business sites. This can help you create a roadmap for the types of digital media you will consider in your strategy.

Your strategy

A solid higher education marketing strategy is made up of a combination of your enrollment goals and the resources it takes to achieve those goals.

First, examine the key performance indicators (KPIs) for each program you’re marketing – this will allow you to set targets and track progress against those targets. It will also help you determine the marketing toolkit you will employ.

  • Are you looking to cast a wide net and build awareness for a new program? Focus on garnering a high amount of impressions.
  • Are you looking to increase engagement with an existing program or new audience segment? Focus on generating content that will get more shares.
  • Are you looking to build quality leads and convert them? Focus on digital advertising conversions.

Here are some questions you can ask your recruiting and program team members:

  • How many enrollments do you need to make the program profitable?
  • How many leads do you need to yield your enrollment goal?
  • What has been your cost per seated student ratio for the past 2-3 years? What is ideal and realistic?
  • When is your key recruiting period and how do you see marketing supporting those periods?

The tactics

Once you’ve built your strategy and set your goals, it’s time to develop the tactical plan. This is the proverbial “where the rubber meets the road” and where the majority of media planning and budgeting happens. If you’ve appropriately examined your audience, clarified your goals and built your strategy, making a decision on which tactics to use will come more easily.

Start with listing everything out and deciding on the ones that bring the highest ROI (you can rely on last year to know what has worked well). Focus on the high-impact tactics first.

  • Higher investment – conferences and recruiting roadshows, travel, revamping your entire website, targeted and produced web video marketing, inbound digital marketing including banner ads and paid search, search engine optimization.
  • Lower investment (especially if they can be done internally) – blogging, podcasts, shareable assets like checklists and infographics, faculty research summaries, SEO-rich landing pages with information capture, admissions webinars and chats, and virtual meet and greet events

All of these tactics can help you create a digital identity to reinforce your visibility and brand.

Need help?

Your digital marketing plan will be more successful at achieving your set enrollment goals if your budget is formulated during a careful strategic planning process. If you need help creating a realistic higher education marketing budget that can help you gain more quality leads and seated students, GPRS can help.



121 N. Main St., Suite 109
Souderton, PA 18964



For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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